Farmers in Canada aren’t completely ready for the future

Apr 30, 2015

Only 30% of people polled are actively drawing up succession plans

By Diego Flammini,

According to the 2015 Canadian Agricultural Outlook carried out by Ipsos Reid, 62% of people polled are expected to transfer their farm to family members or other parties, but only 30% of those farmers have actually drafted a formal succession plan.

The survey polled 455 farmers from December 3 – 22, 2014.

“We know that farmers are often so busy with their day-to-day work, it can be difficult to even think about the day when they won’t be farming,” said Gwen Paddock, National Director, Agriculture, RBC (Royal Bank of Canada). “But we also know that the future success of their farms depends upon having a well thought-out succession plan in place. Working with a qualified advisor, accountant and lawyer to formalize a succession plan can help ensure a seamless transition to the next generation of farmers and provide the means for today’s farmers to enjoy their retirement.”

Succession planning can be a sensitive, yet necessary step and Paddock provided some tips for farmers and their families to consider when those plans are on the horizon.

Farmers should give themselves lots of time
Paddock suggests starting the planning process five years before the farm might be sold so farmers can handle any unexpected bumps.

Use all available expert resources
Accountants and financial advisors can be a great tool for succession planning and should be part of the plan. Online resources like the Agri-Food Management Institute can give farmers a solid base to start their plans with.

Communicate the intentions
Whether its family or other people who will take over the farm, it’s important to include them in the succession planning early on in the process.

Join the conversation and share your experiences with succession planning and any of your own tips you can pass on to other farmers and their families.

RBC's Gwen Paddock provided some tips for succession planning
RBC's Gwen Paddock, National Director, Agriculture, provided some tips for succession planning.

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