Having the tough talk
Rabobank research has found less than 20 percent of farmer respondents to a survey had a documented succession plan, 48 percent had an informal or “back of the envelope” plan, and a third had nothing in place at all.
This was despite two thirds of the respondents aiming to hand over the farm in the next 10 years as retirement looms. And it is looming faster than ever – census data shows the average age of cattle farmers in 2013 was 56, up from 53 only seven years earlier, while dairy farmers were almost spring chickens with an average age of 41.
But rather than walk awkwardly around the issue, talking about farm succession early in a family’s life stage can help prevent any misconceptions arising in the next generation about the farm’s value and worth.
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