FG BUY&SELL        FARMERS WEATHER       ARABLE FARMING        DAIRY FARMER      FARMERS GUARDIAN        AGRIMONEY        OUR EVENTS        MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS        BLOGS        MORE FROM US

Opinion- Sian Bushell, owner of Sian Bushell Associates and a trained facilitator helping family businesses develop succession plans

farm life

In a recent survey published in Farmers Guardian, participants gave the main reason for not talking about succession as concern it might cause upset in the family.

 

However, with more than 10 years’ experience working with farmers, I can guarantee there are family members feeling frustrated and insecure, simply because the family are not having the essential conversation.

 

Sadly, not talking is resulting in serious mental health issues in some of our farmers and this is not just a British problem.

 

The same fears exist in Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, where I have also participated in family meetings.

 

The older generation should take responsibility to start this conversation, but it is sometimes left to the younger generation to attempt, with the risk of being thought of as greedy or trying to push the older generation out of the business.

 

One brother and sister were so frustrated at hearing their father say one day he would get in someone to help them come up with a plan, without actually doing anything, they gave him a family meeting with me as his Christmas present.


‘How do you start this conversation’ is a question I am often asked.

 

This needs to be planned properly and time set aside to begin the conversation. I would certainly not recommend starting the conversation during a TB test or Christmas dinner.

 

Setting aside proper time with an agenda everyone involved has contributed to is essential. Talk about and settle the easy things first, as this will set the ball rolling and give everyone confidence.

 

Everyone must be listened to with respect, as the key is to understand and address everyone’s wishes and concerns.

 

It is important to separate assets from the business when talking about the future. You may wish to involve professionals at some stage for advice, but it is far better for the family to have an agreed plan before seeking professional advice on how to implement it effectively.


Succession has the word success in it and I think this is essential to remember. We are privileged as an industry to have many keen and motivated young people wanting to farm and it is our responsibility to ensure they have this opportunity.

 

We need to harness their enthusiasm, energy and new ideas with the wisdom and experience of the older generation. A surefire blueprint for a thriving farming industry.

Farmers Guardian
Posted by Farmers Guardian
PopularCommentsRSS Feed
Twitter Facebook
Rating (0 vote/s)
Post a Comment
To see comments and join in the conversation please log in.

Recent Posts

Recent Posts


From the editor: Come on vegans, isn't it about time we had a rational debate?
"I don't think Dairy Farmers can have a rational "...
18 days ago
From the editor: Dairy industry collaboration is the only way forward
"The milk market has set back a lot of farmers who "...
02-Mar-2017
Opinion- Justin Fox, historian and environmentalist
"Yes, there's a ridiculous amount of hyperbolae "...
31-Jan-2017
Young Farmer Focus: Sophie Barnes, Taupo, New Zealand
"Brilliant get up & go for it attitude that NZs "...
09-Jan-2017
From the editor: Rural communities need more than just vast housing estates
"You need to hit the National Planning Policy F"...
25-Nov-2016
Waiting
FG Insight and FGInsight.com are trademarks of Briefing Media Ltd.
Farmers Guardian and FarmersGuardian.com are trademarks of Farmers Guardian Ltd, a subsidiary of Briefing Media Ltd.
All material published on FGInsight.com and FarmersGuardian.com is copyrighted © 2016 by Briefing Media Limited. All rights reserved.
RSS news feeds