Help next generation farmers when it comes to succession
The succession process can be difficult, but with planning and these top tips, we aim to make the transition easier.
How to help next gen farmers get a foot on the ladder #GetIn2Ag
1. Educate the next generation about farming
- Establish with stakeholders a dedicated education plan to prepare the next generation of rural entrepreneurs
2. Improve the economics of farming
- Cooperation in the chain is needed to get a better balance in reward for farmers. In the longterm, this will benefit all players in the chain and result in more efficient food production. On an individual level, the best performing and viable farms have, in 70 per cent of cases, a potential successor in place and a sound economic business will enable a smooth succession
3. Prepare the farm for succession instead of a successor
- Formalise the succession process, ensure transparent communication, rethink the governance structure and hire a specialist to facilitate the succession process at an early stage
4. Explore innovation and investment
- New business models should be explored around the family farm concept
5. Polish the image of farming to make it more respectable and desirable
- Speaking to delegates at the meeting, Ricardo Rios Pohl from Chile recalled his early farming experience. Ricardo is not a farmer’s son but used to be a computer scientist. “How can you engage and motivate smart, eager kids from non-farming families to start a career in agriculture?
The first challenge to overcome is to get the image of farming restored and educate people about the misconceptions about farming in the society.
“Farming is something to be proud of and has much to offer to rural entrepreneurs. The increasing global demand for food in combination with innovation gives farming a bright outlook.”
Make a successful succession plan
- Start discussions early – passing on control is not an easy process and will not happen overnight
- A farm needs to be prepared for succession instead of preparing a successor on the farm
- Communicate regularly – even if it is once-a-week around the family table
- Hiring a specialist to facilitate the succession process at an early stage is a crucial step
- Succession is about two sides and both need to confirm timings, potential continual involvement and financial security