Building a farm management team

Working with a farm adviser is more than a one-on-one conversation. Multiple interests, backgrounds and expertise can combine to help move a farm forward.

Family and farm operation go hand in hand

Shawn Deyell is a tax partner at RLB Chartered Professional Accountants in Guelph, Ont.

He says it’s important for farm advisers to realize how integral the family is to the growth of the farm business.

As Deyell puts it, the integration of family and farm business is intense in many scenarios, making communication paramount.

“There is just a lot of integration that creates a lot of great opportunities, as well as a lot of potential pitfalls,” Deyell says.

He adds regular conversations are important on issues like transition planning and the roles between operators within the farm.

Deyell says when it comes to helping families set goals for their farm, an adviser’s responsibility may be as a facilitator between family members.

“Helping families understand their roles is very important,” Deyell says, adding understanding intentions is part of that conversation. “I think there are a lot of surprises and a lot of conversations.” 

Greg Stamp is the seed sales manager of Stamp Seeds, a family-owned operation.

Stamp operates the business alongside his brothers, and each manages specific areas of the farm.

He explains that along with meeting business goals with his siblings, farm families usually work to meet personal business and professional goals, consulting with spouses. Personal goals are brought to the table during a farm management meeting, with everyone working to find balance for the overall good of the farm.

Power of collaboration

Building a strong farmer/adviser relationship will help an operation, however, having advisers work as a team can be a game-changer.

Farmers should think of what power will come from introducing advisers to one another.

Patti Durand is an agriculture transition specialist based out of Humboldt, Sask. with FCC.

She says farmers should think of what power will come from introducing advisers to one another.

“If you could have your advisers collaborating on your behalf, if they just have a side-conversation from time to time, it can be fruitful and take your business to the next level,” Durand says.

Bottom line

Working with a farm adviser doesn’t happen in a silo. Experts say multiple family farm interests, backgrounds and experience combine to set business goals. At the same time, they suggest farmers build a team of farm advisers to create a power atmosphere of strength and growth for a farm business.

Article by: Craig Lester