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Two major desires preoccupy most business-owning entrepreneurs. The first is to be able to take a happy, comfortable, well-deserved retirement.

The second is to see the business that they’ve built continue to prosper after they retire. The agricultural sector is no exception. Very often, we even have the chance for one or more of our own family members to take over!

During this time, many young people dream (whether they admit it or not) of becoming the owner of an agricultural business – often the business of their parents or a family member. These young people, who continued their education in agriculture or business, strive to build up a bank of knowledge that will allow them to achieve their dreams, if we give them the opportunity!

That’s why we must focus on them and give these desires a prominent place in our strategic planning and everyday decisions. It’s imperative for us and our businesses to be ready when that time comes. Retirement and business transfer require a long period of both financial and human preparation. For the financial part, we naturally want the transfer to be possible and our retirement to be comfortable without any need to go work in a factory or ration out pieces of bread in order to eat and live well.
A side that is often overlooked is the human side. What type of business do the successors want? 100 or 500 head? 2,000 or 5,000 hectares? How many hours of work are they prepared to put in each day? What will be the work/family balance? The dreams of one generation are not necessarily the same for the next! Then there’s everything involved in the transfer of power, a difficult period for some families. There are so many things to plan!

That’s why at Farm Management Canada, we make a variety of resources and advice available to you, and, along the same lines, in this edition of Canadian Farm Manager as well.
Happy reading and succession planning!

Richard Robert