Farming with family can be rewarding, and also stressful.
Transitioning a farm’s ownership from one generation to the next can be emotionally-charged and high stress, but would it be easier or any different if you were selling the business to a non-family member?
Dick Wittman of Wittman Consulting says that many farmers may feel as if they’ve failed in some way if one of their children don’t want to take on the family farm.
But the farm career and investment vehicle you built was your dream — not necessarily one of your children’s.
Wittman says we need to challenge this idea that a lineal heir is a measure of success. Still, there are instances where selling the farm as a whole business and property is still the goal.
To navigate unconventional farm succession, Wittman says all owners and family members should open up the lines of communication to discuss what the vision for the farm transfer may look like. Whether the farm is sold to a long-time, loyal employee, the neighbours, or young upstarts through a mentorship, an unconventional succession can still be successful.
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