GFM Network News


Froese: What’s possible when people are separating and don’t want to go to war

Froese: What’s possible when people are separating and don’t want to go to war

Couples who are amicable and consider the farm successors will have a different outcome than those who are bickering

The Great Pause continues to amplify cracks in the family dynamic which may lead to separation and divorce in farm families. In my coaching practice this year for the first time I am navigating transition planning at the same time the founders are leaving their marriage. I am also receiving calls for help from women […] Read more

This plan looks complex, but it really is just an apportionment of life insurance payouts, tax-free, to enable the farm to continue and to provide a way to reorganize the share capital of the farm.

A fair and efficient farm financial plan for all

A share structure provides a shift of ownership to one child who farms and a living income for the two who don’t

A grain farmer we’ll call Owen, 63, farms 1,000 acres of grain not far from the Manitoba-United States border. He has three children ages 35, 34 and 29. The eldest, Jack, wants to take over the farm. His two siblings, who we’ll call Max and John, have town jobs and have no wish to farm. […] Read more


If you want the farm to continue and keep the legacy going, then the farm succession process must begin while you are still alive, with a sound mind and body.

Succession plans: address the underlying issues

How to begin or become unstuck

Many articles have been written about farm succession or farm transition as it is more recently called. I think it’s time to look at some of the underlying reasons why this can be a difficult process. I base my comments on my work as a farm business and transition consultant for 17 years as well […] Read more



Let’s be honest about the filters we carry as farmers.

Froese: Clear, concise communication is better understood and received

Sometimes our automatic ‘filters’ get in the way of this so we need to be aware of what those could be

Elaine, I am feeling paralyzed and overwhelmed with this farm transfer thing.” “How do I talk to the kids without emotions running wild?” “We do fine until we try to get a sit-down family meeting with an agenda, then no one is really honest with what is going on here.” Communication that is clear, and […] Read more



Froese: ‘Shutdown’ insights to get folks to the transition table to talk

Froese: ‘Shutdown’ insights to get folks to the transition table to talk

Knowing some of the reasons why people shut down is good start to communication

The winter is cruising by and you are wondering if you are ever going to get a communication breakthrough to figure out “The Plan” for the future of your family and your farm. You might be the aging founder, the frustrated successor or the curious non-farm sibling. Whatever role you play, this scenario is impacting […] Read more

Froese: Letting go of the anger of failed succession plans

Froese: Letting go of the anger of failed succession plans

Despite the failed plan you have to get around the disappointment and see other opportunities

I can’t imagine what it feels like to think you are getting married and then find out at the rehearsal that the wedding is called off. Who do you go to, to ask for help to process that hurt, disappointment and embarrassment? There seems to be a parallel type of anger that follows a failed […] Read more


Intend to pass on your farm? There’s still time to plan and avoid large taxes

Intend to pass on your farm? There’s still time to plan and avoid large taxes

A farmer discovers a huge tax liability as he plans to transfer the farm to his nephew

In central Manitoba, a man we’ll call Harry, 81, has retired from a former life actively farming what was four quarters of grain. As Harry’s end of life comes into view, he wants to ensure that his sole heir, a nephew we’ll call Sam, does not wind up with a farm reduced or impoverished by […] Read more

Get clear first on the expectations of your family circle BEFORE you start listing your needs and wants with your advisers.

Froese: Hiding behind your advisers

Don’t expect your team of advisers to create a transition plan before you engage with the family

I just heard an estate planning lawyer, Chris Delaney mention that he is seeing farmers “sheltering in the tactics” rather than embracing what I call the “emotional factors affecting planning.” Delaney is the author of The Naked Opus, a novel approach to estate planning. It’s a very good read. Please understand, the foundation for great […] Read more