If people were perfect, greed and tension on the farm would not be a topic of discussion. Unfortunately, we are people, flawed, and have a tendency to be a bit selfish. Working on or owning a family farm is beautiful and offers many benefits, yet it can also be very difficult relationally. At AgriLegacy, we believe in helping family farms stay afloat and thrive.
1. Create Clear Lines of Communication
This is a life-long process, but if you are working closely with family members learning how one another communicates is essential. Are you more volatile or do you run from conflict? How does your family experience you in tense situations? What is everyone’s job description? Sitting down and figuring out how to communicate clearly, having clear roles, and valuing one another is critical to a great family farm dynamic.
2. Bring in a Mediator
If you’re having issues, bring in a third party. Countless families have split because of issues with deeds, titles, and misunderstandings surrounding the family business. It is not worth it. If you are having issues with your partner(s), bring in a mediator to help sort through disagreements and bring clarity to each side and ultimately a solution.
3. Have Accountability
Greed is an ugly issue, especially when it applies to a family inheritance. No one is perfect and unfortunately, there is no way to control people. Because of this, it is so important to create accountability on your farm. This means no one person has all the power. You create a system of checks and balances to safeguard yourself and the family farm. This may seem unnecessary right now, but remind yourself you are planning for the unfathomable. You are creating a safety net for your family.
Thinking about greed and tension in the family business is never a pleasant thing. But these things don’t need to destroy an inheritance and legacy. Creating a clear communication plan, bringing in a third party when necessary, and having a system of accountability built into your business plan can all ensure an anchor when things get hard or family tensions are heightened. We want you to thrive, but we also want you prepared for tough times. The family farm is not going anywhere!