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A guide to farm succession

A guide to farm succession

Alberta Agriculture released a new program to help simplify the transition process

By Jennifer Jackson

When planning any type of farm management transition, some producers may find the process daunting. Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AAF) hopes to alleviate some of these stresses by releasing a new step-by-step guide to farm succession, according to their website

The Transition Planning Guide for Agribusiness is a handbook that caters to all agriculture business and farm owners at any stage of farm succession.

Whether you are a “farm family, agri-business or if you’re a business advisor (or consultant) that has been hired to help in the development of a transition plan – this guide is an excellent resource,” Dean Dyck, farm business management specialist, said in an AAF Call of the Land podcast on Jan 5.

The guide is broken into three phases – the Readiness Assessment, the Plan Development and the Plan Implementation.

The Readiness Assessment “is where you take a look at whether or not your business is ready for a transition plan … it’s a critical first step,” said Dyck.

This phase includes reviewing goals and assessing the values of those involved, according to the guide.

The Plan Development phase includes creating a plan foundation and building a plan structure. This section covers detailed steps such as identifying specific job descriptions and compensation arrangements.

The final phase – Plan Implementation – covers turning the plans into actions. Dyck says this would be the stage to consult a lawyer or financial planner for reviewing the taxation and legal perspectives of the plan.

Each chapter in the guide has checklists to help organize details and to ensure nothing is overlooked.

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“This (transition process) is a journey – there is a destination at the end. This guide (is there to) help you on your journey,” said Dyck.

The complete guide is available on the AAF website.