GFM Network News


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

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


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

Alison Anderson, the director of Succession Matching.

How to find a successor for your farm

If you don’t have anyone interested in taking over the farm 
Succession Matching may be able to help

It often happens at my succession communication seminars that a weary farmer approaches me with a problem. “Elaine, we don’t have a successor for our farm.” The look of worry and wear on their face makes me want to just sit and listen to their story. When I spoke in Biggar, Saskatchewan a few years […] Read more


Which shade of control is blocking your farm transition?

Which shade of control is blocking your farm transition?

One lawyer suggests there are four different types of control that need to transfer

Elaine, Dad just won’t give up control!” is a common frustration with the next generation trying to navigate into management and ownership. Ottawa-based lawyer Denis Sicotte presents an interesting concept; he calls it “shades of control,” meaning there are four different types of control that need to transfer: 1. Operational Control: The operations, daily decision-making, […] Read more

two farmers walking together

Five habits for a successful farm succession

Unresolved conflicts destroy family businesses. Plan ahead to help your family through the farm succession minefield


Dr. John Fast, a business planning consultant, bills himself as “The Family Business Doctor.” Judging from the size of the crowd at his talk at this year’s FarmTech Exhibition in Edmonton, lots of farmers are seeking his prescriptions. His presentation, “The Ultimate Management Challenge: Succeeding At Succession,” addressed one of the most difficult parts of running a family […] Read more


Men watching a sunset

A look back and a step up

When the next generation moves home to the farm, it’s a time for change and role re-evaluation

I am somewhat late for the season of “year in reviews,” so I thought I’d do one better and review, briefly, my last three years on the farm. In May 2015 it will be four years since I moved back to the farm, so I’ve been through four crop seasons. When I moved back to […] Read more

Good communication is key to a successful farm transition

Good communication is key to a successful farm transition

Finding common ground is a good way to move things along as long as both parties buy in

This is the final part of our series on succession. We’ve looked back over the last 10 years identifying successes and messes that we’ve witnessed in business transitions. From here we developed an extensive list of reasons why those transitions were successful or what caused them to go off the rails. We grouped this list […] Read more


Too frosted to forgive?

Forgiveness is an issue that farm families need to take a look at

Man, I can’t believe that guy, every time I make a mistake, he just can’t accept my apology, and he keeps really good track… for years!” Does your farm team have the ability to apologize, and accept mistakes? I was saddened to hear a young farmer confide with me that in all his years, he […] Read more

Success or mess?

In the third part of a series on succession planning, Management Minute focuses in on the family

In our introductory article to this series we looked back over our last 10 years identifying successes and messes we’ve seen in business transitions. We developed an extensive list of reasons why those transitions were successful or what caused them to go off the rails. We grouped this list into five key areas that captured […] Read more