A series of Farm Succession workshops in the province have been attracting some fairly large crowds with about 150 people taking part in the event Thursday in Swift Current.
It’s an issue that can be challenging to talk about but needs to be addressed. Jolene Brown was the featured speaker. She said, “You have to have a business worthy of transitioning, to begin with, and this means we have to make sure it is financially viable enough that the senior generation, if they built the business that they can financially take care of themselves because, the kids don’t have to start with where the parents are at, cause they sure the heck didn’t start there, but neither can they start where they started. So it takes some good financial analysis to make sure we have a viable business.”
She says it’s a tough process to go thru alone so it’s important to have a team in place. She notes that team should include a financial planner, an accountant, and lawyer. She said, “Because if it’s not in writing it does not exist and a conversation is not a contract and I told them that farmers lie. When I say farmers lie, they do, they say things like, work hard and someday all this will be yours, or I’m going to retire, you don’t have to worry about your brothers and sisters they have their jobs and are not interested in the business and that’s what causes fighting to the funeral home that they will never talk to one another again and you were the one that split them up.”
She says asset holders need to focus on what needs to be done and have clear communication with everyone involved so they know what to expect.