The Nuances of Preserving Land-Intensive Family Businesses
As family business advisors, we’re very familiar with the coming crisis of family business succession as the Baby Boomer generation transitions out. Family farms, agritainment (or agrotourism) operations, and family forests face the same challenges and one of the largest family farm and forest transitions in history is only a handful of years away. These land-based operations are a unique combination of business, land ownership, and, often, the family homestead.
80 percent of farmers surveyed by Farm Journal plan to transfer control of their operation to the next generation, while only 20 percent were confident their succession plan would achieve their transition goal. According to a study conducted by Iowa State University, 50% of farmers did not have an estate plan and a full 71% of retiring farmers had not identified a successor. (Source: Michigan State University Extension)
Family Forest expert, Jennifer Jones, reports that “80% of all family forest owned land is owned by someone over the age of 55 or approximately 2.5 million owners. And one-third of the landowners in the northeast will decide what to do with their land in the next 5 years. That’s millions of acres!”
And one thing we know for sure about land – there isn’t any more of it being made. So how can we work with family farm and forest owners to preserve their land-based operations?
Check out this panel discussion to:
- Understand how land-based family enterprises are alike and different from other types of family-owned businesses
- Discover what else is at risk for this group
- Learn who often gets left out of these conversations
- Hear about solutions you can offer to your family farm, forest, and agritainment clients
Dave Specht is the National Development Manager for Family Dynamics for Wells Fargo Wealth Management. Mr. Specht is responsible for the development of training, education and ongoing culture development of the Family Dynamics offering. Specht is a two-time author and oft-quoted subject matter expert on issues related to family business continuity, leadership and management transitions and family dynamics during wealth transitions.
Jennifer Jones is a GFBAI member and Founder of GROUND™, a family coaching service. She is an advisor to the Virginia Department of Forestry. Jennifer has also been a consultant to the Sustainable Forest Initiative and has held leadership roles at American Forest Foundation and National Wildlife Federation. Certified in Organizational Systems and Development, and in Group Process from the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, she brings her 25 years of experience to help family forest owners achieve their forest legacy and protect their family ground.
Tim Schaefer, GFBAI member, was raised on a successful multi-generational family farm. Tim founded Encore Consultants and the Executive Farmer Network (EFN) with the goal of providing specialized Succession Planning, Peer Groups, Strategic Planning and Executive & Management Coaching. He uses his years of practical management, experience as a Certified Financial Planner, a Certified Family Business Advisor with the Galliard Institute, a Certified Business Coach and a lifetime of experience as an entrepreneur to help successful agribusinesses and families.
Members can view the recording below.