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North American Family Business Advisors Dedicated to the Preservation of the Family Farm

Mind Your Management Hours

Lydia SorensonComment

Why farm leaders should spend their time strategically

You have more demands on your time than ever. On any given day, you balance production, management, human resources, marketing and family life. 

“As in any business, time on the farm is of the essence,” says Chuck Schwartau, University of Minnesota Extension regional director. “A couple of days or even a few hours can make a big difference.”

Most farmers are tuned into... read the full article here.

Interview: Backswath Management, Inc.

Lydia SorensonComment

Source: Canadian Business Journal 

There is a truism in business that applies to farming; a business typically outgrows its management. With farms becoming increasingly larger and more complex, the prevailing wisdom is that business-focused farmers cannot be all things to all aspects of managing their business. Watch the interview here

Preplan a Partnership Split

Lydia SorensonComment

Author: Marcia Taylor
Published: DTN Magazine 
Featuring: Dick Wittman

Buy-sell agreements offer ground rules to prevent emotional and financial trauma. Consistency in approach should be the norm, whether a buyout is triggered by death, disability, retirement, or involuntary separation. This article show cases how a multi-party family partnership has weathered eight major transition events in 30 years. Read the full article here.

Finding Mr. Right

Lydia SorensonComment

Author: Mike Wilson
Published: Farm Futures
Featuring: Dick Wittman

Critical to farm transition planning is selecting and grooming a successor for the CEO position. What are the credentials? Who can apply? Must it be a family member in a closely held family business? Take a peek at the critical duties and core proficiencies needed to succeed and begin your search by clicking here.

Your Most Important Conversation This Year

Lydia SorensonComment

Author: Lance Woodbury
Published: DTN The Progressive Farmer

One of the most important practices in a family business is the act of meeting together to discuss the future. Talking about where the business is headed, how Mom and Dad plan to handle their estate, what roles people intend to play in the business, how and when the next generation may return are important conversations. But too many families are either uncomfortable or fearful of having a discussion about what will happen in the days to come. Read more here

The Succession Dance

Lydia SorensonComment

Author: Lance Woodbury
Published: DTN The Progressive Farmer

In many ways, the succession process seems similar to a dance. A bit of uncertainty and self-doubt as a senior partner evaluates a successor's capabilities, followed by an awkward start as they find their feet and negotiate control. They finally develop a rhythm and understanding of how to work together, and the retiring generation can have some fun! Click here to read the full article. 

Outsourcing Your Successor

Lydia SorensonComment

Author: Marcia Zarley Taylor
Published: DTN The Progressive Farmer
Featuring: Joe Kluender

Less than one out of every three farmers has designated a successor, land grant university surveys find. Dairy farmers Lloyd and Daphne Holterman solved the problem by partnering outside the family and instituting a 10-year employee buyout. Read the full article by Marcia Zarley Taylor, DTN Executive Editor here

What is Succession Planning, Anyway?

Lydia SorensonComment

Author: Barbara Dartt
Published: Summer 2009

Family business succession is more complicated than corporate succession because of the family dynamic. Potential for family conflict or misalignment often causes individuals to postpone planning. However, many of the challenges your business faces have been faced by others – there are process and advisors out there that can help... click here to read more. 

A Balanced Management Approach to Growing Farms

Lydia SorensonComment

Author: Terry Betker
Published: International Farm Management Association

Actual observations show that two neighbouring farms will typically report different financial outcomes. One farm will be better off than the other. Same enterprises. Same size. Same weather. The only variable is the difference in management decisions made for each of the farms. Longer term, the implications pertain to the potential impact on the ability of the farm to support growth objectives and sustainability. An increasing number of farms are facing the issue of not having the capacity to support growth. Why is this happening? Click here to read on. 

Farm Succession Planning: A Workback Approach

Lydia SorensonComment

 

Author: Terry Betker
Published: International Farm Management Association

A great number of farmers will comment that even with all the succession planning resources available to them, they still do not know what needs to be done, by whom and in what order. Applying process, with clarity of timelines and accountability, helps in working through difficult issues... click here to read more. 

Live From the Ukraine - It's Michelle Painchaud

Lydia SorensonComment

Author: Michelle Painchaud
Published: AgriEvent

Michelle Painchaud recently spoke about how to enhance employee performance at the fourth-annual Large Farm Management: Organization and Strategy International Conference in Kiev, Ukraine. The conference had over 500 participants, including representatives from leading European agricultural companies, and local government agencies, and audit and law firms... click here to read more.