When the next generation comes home, Elaine Froese says families can set up some rules of engagement right away so everyone knows and can operate within that culture. When new people join the team, it can help to clarify expectations. “Culture is the invisible glue that holds the farm and the family together. It is […] Read more
In biz-speak, a bottleneck is a point of congestion that causes delays or inefficiencies, leading to higher costs. It’s a perfect metaphor for farm finances at a time of year when the bottle we’d rather be thinking about might have something cold in it, with us sitting on a dock. Yet summer is a too-good-to-miss […] Read more
Successful farms depend on having smart, strategic people, no matter what structure. However, being incorporated has forced farms to create accrual financial statements and operate under certain rules of engagement, which has jumpstarted more professional behaviour, such as having farm meetings.
In 1981, Jim Glenn wanted to supplement the farm’s income during the winter. So he fired up his new John Deere 3140 loader tractor and headed for town, doing snow removal for commercial properties in the village of Keene and the nearby city of Peterborough. Between jobs, Jim would grow the business by keeping his […] Read more
In her long career helping farm families, succession specialist Elaine Froese has found certain words and actions can help launch the succession process, while others can quickly distract or even permanently stop the process.
In 2010 David Gray, a development officer with the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA), did a small study of four farms that were consistently more profitable and better at dealing with climate change. He found six common characteristics within these resilient farms.
How could family farms improve the way they operate, and help integrate the next generation? These answers from our McGill students about their family farms might be exactly what your children are thinking too, but are too shy and respectful to say to your face.
Commodity marketing can be like dancing a two-step with work boots on. Your timing is often off, you’re dragging your feet, and you trip way too often. With volatility making our commodity markets more erratic, and with more information spewing out of our smartphones night and day, marketing is getting ever more complicated. Dancing with […] Read more
In 2009, total Canadian net farm income was $2.8 billion. Four years later, it was $10 billion more, with Statistics Canada’s saying a $5.6-billion rise in the total value of farm-owned inventories from the year before accounted for almost all of the increase in total net income in 2013 That inventory increase came from a […] Read more
What do you get when you mix milk and eggs with a looming election? A “free” trade deal that gained major market access in Asia for Canada, but managed to keeps the tariffs for Canada’s supply-managed commodities. After all the barking from New Zealand, cows parading on Parliament Hill, tweets, heart-wrenching videos on Facebook, election […] Read more