Posts Tagged ‘farm conflict’

19 Things to do if You want to take over the Farm

Posted on: September 23rd, 2017 by Richard Cressman

 (Taken from a presentation to a group of Junior Farmers.)


  1. Learn to love the numbers. Managing a business requires an absolute thorough understanding of all income and expenses.
  2. Make certain your children get to spend time with your parents.  Never withhold the grandchildren from spending time with their grandparents if you are having disagreements with your parents. Never stay away from family events either.
  3. Take responsibility for Everything.   Leaders do not make excuses and point fingers when things go wrong. They accept full responsibility and look for solutions to ensure different results in the future regardless of who made the mistake.
  4. Learn to say Please.  Saying please conveys humbleness.
  5. Learn to say Thank you.  This is so important, especially when directed towards your relatives.
  6. Write down your goals.  Knowing where you want to go is the first step to having a successful journey.
  7. At the end of each day ask yourself these two questions, “how did my day go, and what could I have done differently?
  8. Pick your friends wisely.Friends who are not farmers are also important.
  9. Ask yourself periodically if you would like to have yourself as a friend or boss?   Critical self -reflection can be sobering and very enlightening.
  10. Get up early!Being the first on the job in the morning sends a clear message you are the leader.
  11.  Learn to forgive and let go.  Holding grudges – particularly when working with family drags you down and makes reaching your goals much more difficult.
  12.  Create a list of the people you admire.  Think about why you admire each person?
  13. Learn and practice patience.  Patience eliminates regrets later.
  14. Teach yourself to listen and then ask questions It is difficult to find out what others are thinking when your mouth is open.
  15. Spend time learning about your personality style.  Take courses, read, and go to workshops to reaveal your strengths and weaknesses.
  16. Shake hands when meeting people and look them in the eye.  A handshake conveys respect regardless of your age.
  17. Occasionally ask yourself, “Does the way I am living my life make a difference in the lives of others?
  18. Gratitude is the foundation for success. Happiness is contagious.
  19.  Make  sure you tell your parents how grateful you are for what they are doing for you. You are privileged to be the next generation to carrying on your family farm business. Your parents could sell the farm and retire in luxury instead of giving you this special opportunity to make your dreams come true.

Dad won’t let go

Posted on: July 7th, 2012 by Richard Cressman

My question for Richard

I have been working with my parents full time for 12 years. I have been married for three years and my wife works off the farm full-time.

The farm business is financially successful and we have gone through a significant expansion in the past three years. Over the past five to six years I have taken on full responsibility for making sure all the work gets completed, but my father will not let go of the control and because he has to be involved in all of the decisions.

He is almost 65 years old and in declining health but when it comes to talking about my future in the business he just refuses to talk. I love farming but I am not sure how much longer I can tolerate not knowing what the future is.


Richard’s Reply

For what it’s worth, you are not alone. Letting go of control can sometimes be the most difficult thing particularly for fathers to do. You mentioned that your father is almost 65 years old.

This indicates that he is probably been farming for close to 45 years and there is an excellent chance that he was making serious management decisions at a very young age. If your father and possibly mother will not sit down to discuss the future, you ultimately will have to make a decision.

Do you confront them with an ultimatum (and this is a very extreme undertaking) that things need to be addressed and that you cannot continue on the way things are going. If you do elect to take this route, there can be serious ramifications.

Father might take it as if you are challenging his authority and digging his heels even further. On the other hand it is possible that he is waiting for you to really challenge him. While this sounds ridiculous, it is a real possibility.

Another option that may work for you is to sit down with father and asked him about what it was like when he was getting ready to start farming and how he and your grandfather worked out the transition. What you are trying to do here is turn the tables and find out from father how things transpired when he was in your possession.

You may find that he went through a struggle to get control and has a belief system that supports a young person needing to stand up to the older generation and give that ultimatum so that he will have proof that you have what it takes to make the financial and management decisions.