Farm succession planning

The farm transition journey

When I ask farm families their main desire for coaching it is often “communication, communication, communication”.

They are stuck!

Farm succession or transition planning is a journey of understanding.

Courageous and clear communication involves seeing things from another person’s perspective, uncovering their intentions, fears, hopes, and dreams for their future. It’s about embracing conflict resolution as a business risk management strategy and not being afraid of talking respectfully about tough issues. Attacking the issues, not the person.

What are your expectations? When will we get certainty of agreements and timelines? Who is committed to getting this plan put into action?

My unique approach to helping farm families is empowering them to find harmony through understanding. Get to know my TLC model here:

TLC model

The TLC model stands for farm Transition, Legacy Preservation and Conflict Resolution.

Get individual coaching for your family to open up discussions about the topics that need attention – and less tension. After coaching over 1000 clients, this is Elaine’s tried and proven process that provides the following value:

Transition:

  • Facilitate each family members’ needs and wants
  • Outline a farm transition plan for the Management Circle and Ownership Circle
  • Gain harmony through clear communication and understanding
  • Develop a strong foundation to handle future bumps along the transition journey

Legacy Preservation:

  • Increase profitability when running regular family business meetings
  • Empower your family by creating rich conversations and relationships
  • Set the next generation up for success
  • Keep the farm and legacy intact

Conflict Resolution:

  • Create a safe space to address and resolve conflict
  • Feel heard and value every voice
  • Create an accountability structure to execute the transition plan with timelines
  • Clarify expectations and agreements of roles
  • Gain greater ROE (Return On Energy) to run the family farm business better than ever before

7-step process flow:

  1. Family Dynamic Map: During the discovery call, we will map out your family genogram in order to identify needs and age tasks, conflict points for farm and non-farm family members, list current advisors, and understand the urgency of coaching timelines.
  2. Key Challenges Audit: Identifying the areas that your business needs coaching attention (such as: fairness, residence needs, income stream, viability, dealing with difficult feedback, having better family meetings) and decreasing the anxiety of uncertainty for the future.
  3. Personal Profile: Providing contact information, identifying your current stage in farming career, outlining long and short term goals, clarifying expectations about your ideal inheritance, and the degree of risk and changes you’re willing to take.
  4. Discuss the UndiscussabullTM: Private personal or couple coaching calls in order to gain perspective on key issues to be discussed at the next family business meeting. Voicing the concerns you have not voiced before, stepping into having more courageous conversations, gaining new skills for better communication and conflict resolution, and accessing specific tools from Elaine’s Toolbox for your unique situation.
  5. Family Meeting: Being clear about the goals and outcomes desired. Using Elaine’s facilitation methods to share expectations, timelines, expectations, and roles. In this family meeting, we share ideas, frustrations and concerns and identify the next action steps.
  6. Building the Advisory Team: Communicating with existing advisors (ie: accountants and lawyers) and referring to financial planners and other appropriate professionals (ie: physicians and counsellors). Start executing pieces of the plan where we have to seek more in-depth advice (ie: family income streams, real estate, division of property, etc).
  7. On-going Support: Regular check-ins with your coach and further facilitated meetings, as necessary. This is a crucial step in order to keep things moving in the right direction and not get sidelined or stuck by procrastination, lack of commitment to get things done, or going back to old habits. Talk does not cook rice. You’ve got this!

A Virginia Tech study showed that families that can communicate well regularly are 21% more profitable.

Finding Fairness in
Farm Transition

High land values are keeping farm families stuck. Do you want your farm business to remain intact for the next generation? Most do. Do you want the family to get along and come home for gatherings? Most do. What most farms don’t do is break down assumptions, have robust respectful family meetings, and discover the expectations of ALL family members.

This video highlights Elaine’s acronym F.A.I.R. (Financial transparency, Attitude towards money, Intentions, and Roles and rebels). Learn how to help everyone in the family be successful.

Discuss the UndiscussabullTM

In many farm kitchens there’s a bull in the middle of the room – what I’ve termed as the “Undiscussabull” – the thing no one is willing to talk about it. That stops now!

Most families know they need to talk about tough issues; they just don’t know HOW or where to get started.

If you’re stuck and wanting to bring your family to the table to start the conversation, find out about my unique process called “Discuss the UndiscussabullTM.

Farm Succession Planning Testimonial

“Elaine Froese truly is the Farm Whisperer. With her big heart and stern resolve, she guides families through uncharted waters and helps them arrive safely at their desired destination. She has been there, done that, and has helped hundreds of families come out on the other side. With your family and your farm legacy on the line, you owe it to yourself to start this conversation. You do not need to do it alone. Let Elaine Froese guide you through. Your legacy is being written day by day. How will you be remembered?”

Tracy Brunet , Host of The Impact Farming Show & CEO of Farm Marketer

Procrastination and conflict avoidance stops now!

I deal with the family circle of business. I don’t do tax, cashflows, or legal footwork. I do uncover the key challenges that are keeping people stuck. I do know a lot of great legal, accounting, and financial advisors that I will embrace on the journey. I’ll also talk professionally with your advisor team as we work out the communication plan.

The conversations that I facilitate with families help them see which emotional factors are  affecting planning. We uncover the key challenges and create solutions. We share emotions to help understand what people are thinking, feeling, needing, and wanting.

Transparency is safe and respectful as expectations are addressed.

Succession planning is not an event. It’s the family circle coming together. It’s a transition of roles, management, and ownership. In order to navigate the unfolding changes, it’s really key that the family exhibits strong communication and conflict resolution skills.

I help families talk effectively with each other by confidentially exploring their personal reality first and then bringing the members of the farm family together for robust family meetings via zoom.

Let me help you all get to the conversation table. It’s time.

Fixing Your Time Stress Mess

60 minutes

Workaholics will discover helpful strategies for managing their time stress. Gain understanding for the tensions of your age and stage on the farm. Learn why some problems are not solvable, but just need to be managed as polarities. Self-renewing people are joyful and productive producers.

$15

Rave reviews

“A joy to work with, heard loud and clear. When the farmers laughed or asked a great question, I knew they were listening and really wanted to learn from her. Her tips were easy to understand. It was just about understanding that conflict happens, and to have the confidence in yourself to ask for what you want. In the glowing review from farmers after her presentation, I knew they had heard that loud and clear.”
Maddy Berner, Event Planner & Communications Coordinator, National Milk Producers Federation National Milk Producers Federation
“I wanted to say a HUGE thank you for your virtual kitchen table chat with Arlan Academy. My wife and I signed up as it was exceptionally relevant to our current journey with potentially transitioning to her parents’ farm. The session was able to cover so many aspects of these crucial conversations and hearing you speak to both sides of the conversation was eye opening for my own perspective on this topic. It seemed to be very well attended and sounded like there were many other people who would echo my thoughts and feelings on it.”
N. Oakley, Farmer, Ontario
“Elaine helped me allocate $1 Million of assets the night I listened to her. Elaine’s presentation brings value to the use of my services in my office.”
Don Forbes, Forbes Wealth Management
“I recently joined in and listened to your Healthy Farmer Agriwebinar for FMC. I truly enjoyed hearing your perspective and even went and grabbed my Mom, away from her work, to come and listen in on some of your main points as well! One area that really stood out for me, both personally with our own succession plans and with our clients, was your discussion involving "Instant Influence" and how ready are you to change? I loved this concept!”
Annessa Good, FCC Transition Specialist, Alberta
“Elaine Froese truly is the Farm Whisperer. With her big heart and stern resolve, she guides families through uncharted waters and helps them arrive safely at their desired destination. She has been there, done that, and has helped hundreds of families come out on the other side. With your family and your farm legacy on the line, you owe it to yourself to start this conversation. You do not need to do it alone. Let Elaine Froese guide you through. Your legacy is being written day by day. How will you be remembered?”
Tracy Brunet, Host of The Impact Farming Show & CEO of Farm Marketer
“You speak like you’ve been sitting at our kitchen table! You know our family issues well. I am feeling more comfortable understanding what we now need to do. Elaine Froese is real.”
Audience Member,
“I attended the meeting you spoke at in Stratford Ontario recently. We held an emergency family/farm meeting today because of issues that I had enough of. We used a 'talking stick' like you recommended and wrote a chart of rules. The rest of the family thought the idea that we needed a meeting was worth rolling their eyes over, until we got started. The younger ones were quick to clue in that they now have an opportunity to be bluntly honest. The older ones took a bit longer to believe they could truly say what they think. In the end, the meeting needed two sessions because there was so much to talk about… and so many things people didn't realize were a big deal to the others. Your lessons and encouragement have given us the tools we need to get to a better place in our relationships and our business. Truly thankful.”
Kim Martin, Dairy Farmer, Ontario
“Helped me develop my framework to start having constructive and meaningful conversations around the farm.”
Tennille Wakefield, Farm Partner
“Some great lessons, Elaine! You continue to do some remarkable and potentially life-changing work.”
James Mitchell, Principal, Conversations Consulting
“Our family had a good farm meeting yesterday afternoon. Your Fairness video was a great topic of discussion. One of the action items after the meeting was to have my two non-farming siblings watch the video before the next big meeting they are involved with on the farm. It will be a great conversation starter as we catch them up on our current plan. As they are younger, we also hope it will help them to ask new questions that may not have been on their mind.”
G.G., Farm Family Legacy Coach, Alberta
“Elaine gives me excellent tools that help me work with my clients!”
Laurianne Osmack, Financial Planner / Partner, Doell Osmak Wealth Management
“She has a sense of “knowing” quickly what is happening in the family dynamic. Her messages to her audiences drive home what needs to be done next to solve the complex issues of farm transition and conflict resolution.”
Audience Member,
“Eye-opening. Excited to open the door of communication with my spouse and farm family.”
Ashley Hoppe, Farm Partner
“The Strong Farms, Strong Families session gave farm families an opportunity to meet face to face with Elaine Froese... hear her own story, experiences and skill set. From this information packed session and related materials, families could identify areas of success in their journey and other places they need assistance. The greatest take away was that participants could see that Elaine Froese is someone they can trust with the things that they hold most precious.... their family and their farm.”
Nancy Atkinson, Nobleford Ag Society, Alberta
“Elaine’s real-life scenarios help her audiences know they are not alone, knowing there are creative solutions to help them get the life on the farm they have always wanted.”
Audience Member,
“A long time female client who had refined the art of procrastination was so moved by the end of your presentation that she accepted your permission to “drop the bananas.” She contacted me soon after for an appointment to do some planning which included the selling of the family “Century Farm.” A very, very emotional decision on her part that was not likely to have occurred without your presentation.”
Don Forbes, Forbes Wealthy Management
“I just have to say… that your work is amazing and I have never forgotten your teachings from our session in Williams Lake at TRU. It is super important work. I know so many people going through the trauma of succession. I hate to use that word, but I was an “out-law” and know it can get terrible. I continue to forward your emails on to others. Keep doing what you do! You are amazing. You kind of walk into the fire regularly… and with a smile. Proud to have met you.”
Megan, BC Rancher
“As my husband and I eagerly started the course we were optimistic and excited to be taking this next step in our Farm Transition. We were starting to question ourselves and whether or not we were just being selfish and greedy, and if this Farm Transition was still an option for us. We barely got through the first Module and were already having such a huge relief. As we moved through the modulus there were so many times that we just sat back with our hands in the air and thought YES. My husband and I would smile with relief because all of the concerns that we have been struggling with were relevant and came up in the modules. We really enjoyed the course and are excited to move on to the next stages to find our farm resolution.”
Shannon Gilchrist, “Get Farm Transition Unstuck” online course participant
“My hubby farms with 2 brothers and parents, and it’s become a really toxic place. No communication, no respect, etc. Twelve months ago, my husband’s brothers told him they don’t want to work with him anymore and offered him a pay out. His parents did nothing to stop it! He had no choice but to leave. Three months later, we moved off the farm and into town. He has been offered heaps of jobs and is now truck driving and carting hay and grain. We have tried communicating with his parents about what happened but they are not interested. So basically my hubby has lost his family. Very sad but we as husband and wife are overall in a good place and moving on to create our own life. Please continue on with all your wonderful work in helping families on the farm. I continue to tell any farmers I know about you, that they must ‘google’ you, and read your books.”
Donna, Farmer, Australia

Book Elaine
for your next event

Contact Elaine to start the conversation.

+1-204-534-7466 | elaine(at)elainefroese.com

Contact Elaine