Archive for the ‘kids’ Category

Crop Week – Elaine Froese Discusses Family Farm Transistions

January 14, 2009

If you really examine the issues that family farms face you might conclude that they are set up to fail. I am not talking about challenges like low commodity prices or high input costs. What I mean by this is that families that farm together really face tough battles that are different than regular corporate issues. I have a friend that works for a large company and it is a policy that you cannot date or be married to another co-worker in the same department. Well on a family farm you may have three brothers, three wives and the parents all working within the same corporate department. On top of this is the challenge of when the parents pass away and the siblings are left to find there own definition of family without the parents. Other factors are dealing with non-operating siblings and how they fit into this very complicated story.

Family farms are the root of agriculture but no matter where you go in North America the same systemic succession / family planning issues exist. At the Crop Production Show, I met with Elaine Froese, a professional author, speaker and certified coach on family planning issues. Elaine is great at getting farm families to follow all the proper steps to ensure a proper plan is executed and the family can be a family. As Elaine told me, “the most important thing is at the end of the day the family can have turkey dinner together.”

By talking to Elaine I can tell that step one is talking and asking questions of one another. That’s it….talking. What is everyone feeling? Who will be taking over the farm and more importantly when? I recommend that you go to http://www.elainefroese.com/ to find out more about Elaine’s process and possibly get in touch with her so that she can help your farm succession.

If the embedded video does not work please click here to load the video of Elaine

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Being Successul is a Team Effort

September 26, 2008

Due to the fact that my Trish my wife is traveling in the US all week I have been acting as a single parent. I made the comment to my mom tonight who was watching the kids for me while I was at a meeting that “I have a new appreciation for single parents.” This has made me realize that whether it is managing a company or a family, it truly is a team effort in order to succeed. Between trying to finish harvest and trying to make sure that the kids get to school I feel like I am frantically trying to hold it together. Inside of a family every person is relied upon to fulfill their role in order to make the whole team better. The kids make their beds and empty the dishwasher while the parents work and provide guidance and mentorship to the children. A farm operation runs no differently in the sense that we all must execute on our reponsibilities to make sure that the company succeeds. Many times our culture has made the CEO the celebrity, the person that makes the orgnization who it is. This is really not reality in the sense, that it is everyone pulling in the same direction that makes both families and businesses successful in the short and long term, during good times and bad.