It would seem that no one has ever told the Jochums that “too many cooks spoil the broth.”
Günter, Crystal, and daughter Fiona Jochum farm together just west of Winnipeg, Man. But they don’t just farm as a family, they also farm with Gunter’s brother-in-law. All told, there are a number of managers, and Günter says they wouldn’t have it any other way.
The key to this multi-generation and multi-family farm working together, says Günter and Crystal, is communication.
“If you don’t talk, nothing will work,” Günter says. Crystal says that so many of their conversations about the farm and the farm business happen at the meal table.
That may be somewhat counter to what some professional advisors may tell you to do, but Crystal says that their families eat, breathe, and sleep farming — it’s an intrinsic part of their everyday life. What’s key, however, is making sure everyone has a voice, she says.
Fiona, for her part, is three years into being a manger of the farm. Contrary to how some farms pass on responsibilities, Fiona has started with managing the farm’s books and grain inventory, scheduling grain movement, and assisting with marketing. A lover of spreadsheets, the role was a natural place for her.
“We all seem to have our place, on the farm, and it just kinda happened,” Günter says. “If someone needs time off, there are enough people now to cover (the work),” which contributes to the Jochum family being able to enjoy precious downtime.
Listen on to the full discussion with the Jochums below:
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