Until your family can squeeze out an extra 10% profit, you aren't ready to have the succession conversation about where the farm is going to be in 10 years.
Everyone knows of farm succession disasters where awesome families walk into a room and walk out divided. Succession “experts” foolishly think that stubborn farmers who can’t make simple production decisions without stress, can magically have an afternoon conversation about everything that is important to everyone without a fight. This is broken!
Succession planning is simply a strategy. Until now, farmers rarely (if ever) sit down together to strategically plan and like playing the violin it sounds squeaky. We believe that until your family is able to squeeze out an extra ten percent profit out of your operation; you aren’t ready to have a conversation about where the farm will be in a decade. This is our niche.
Over a year, we fix the root issues of how your family problem solves together, so that when you do have that strategic conversation about succession planning…there aren’t any problems.
Why waste your lifetime farming if your farm will be owned by the neighbors in 2050?
We are in the business of improving the odds of your farm still going/growing in 2050!
Our unique succession philosophies:
Until the Day you Die
Modern health sciences are a game changer nobody gets. Back in the 60’s when Dad was sixty, he’d retire because his hips were shot. Nowadays he’s getting hip replacement surgery and farming into his 80’s. We believe that succession planners shouldn’t focus on a >$5,000 legal document that kicks Dad off the farm, but a one-page strategy for how multiple generations can work together. As farm kids work more hours, they OBJECTIVELY earn more shares in the family corporation (ex. Work $10,000 hours = earn 10% of shares) …only if they add value to family business. We enable farmers to farm until the day they die and create a culture whereby every day until then, farming with family is fun again.
Weekly we help successors challenge the conventional wisdom of what the farm has done in the past, which either results in new profitable ideas being generated or everyone learning a teachable moment of why the family has done things the way that they have done in the past. Farmers are doers, not teachers and we help them communicate key management lessons to their kids. Any fool can gift a tractor to their daughter, few are successful in teaching them HOW to make that tractor pay for itself. Subtly we fix this!
Good to Great
No matter how good of a successor you have, everyone has weaknesses. We groom successors from good to great. Our program encourages everyone to turn character weaknesses into strengths and become “the best they can be.” This ensures both the management competence and mindset required to be a successful business owner. We groom more CEO’s of multi-million-dollar empires than Harvard.
If siblings are involved, we make sure that they can make decisions together as a team without mom as the mediator…before becoming 50:50 partners (or whatever) on paper. This avoids feuds.
Despite the leaps in history, giving women more opportunities and larger horizons, they still have hundreds of years of chauvinism that they must continue to crush. Women in Agriculture should not be an exception but a norm. We believe the first step for any woman wanting to become a business partner in her family's operation is to carve out a regular seat at the family business meeting. If you are not part of the decision-making on the farm you walk on, then you will never be considered a real partner and will be walked over.
Succession nightmares happen when a one-time family business meeting turns into a decade long feud. Everyone expects that meeting to go “their way” and feelings quickly get hurt because families aren’t used to solving strategic problems together. It’s better for a family to learn to weigh the pros/cons on many $10,000 decisions before a multi-million one. By the family first getting used to making small strategic decisions together as a team, this one-time conversation goes smoothly.