Succession planning

Planning how and when to hand over the farm to the next generation needs careful consideration.

Farm succession is a process of passing on traditions, skills, ownership and control of the farm business to the next generation. Steadily rising land prices, low and volatile farm profits, the need to provide for the retiring generation, and desire to treat all family members fairly while retaining a viable progressive business make the successful transfer of farm assets and management to the next generation more difficult than ever before.

Ashley Hart, while an applied management student at Otago Polytechnic, put together an information sheet for farmers on "getting the basics right".  Ashley worked with agribusiness firm Abacus Bio and accountants Harvie Green Wyatt and Ibbotson Cooney. "Succession is a complex and emotional subject for farming families," she says. "Navigating all the barriers takes time, patience, planning and communication."

The information sheet is a resource for people in the early stages of the succession planning process.  It provides some key recommendations to help improve the chances of farm businesses developing a plan that everyone can accept.


March 2017

Story credit: Abacus Bio, used with permission

Image credit: Michelle Prevost, used under Creative Commons licence CC By-NC 2.0