If you’re following along in the series about consolidation in the row crop industry, last week we posted about farmer age as the first factor contributing to consolidation. Moving on to the second factor, I believe consolidation taking place in the row crop industry today is being fueled, at least partially, by resistance to adopting technology. Missing out on efficiencies, knowledge and strategic decisions made possible through effective use of technology results in many producers falling farther and farther behind.
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I hope you had the opportunity to read my introductory article on consolidation in the row crop industry. Entitled “Why Would We Focus on Keeping Families on the Farm?”, it set the stage for this series of articles on the major factors in consolidation. The five factors we will explore include: 1) farmer age, 2) rapid integration of technology, 3) capital access, 4) staff and organization structure and 5) inability to envision the future of crop ag.
Topics: Ag Consulting
After 51 years of dedicating my life to agriculture, I’ve developed a unique perspective and a wide network of information sources, and I have witnessed some interesting trends that have shaped my vision for the future of row crop agriculture. Because of my love for agriculture and ag producers, I want to share what I’ve learned and what I see coming. This is the first blog article I have ever written—the first, I hope, of many. This first series of articles will deal with consolidation in row crop agriculture, and the second series will tackle issues faced by dads, especially those challenged by the transition of their farm business—both ownership and management—to their children. I hope dads and the next generation will read and learn from those articles when they appear on our blog.
FamilyFarms Group is a strong proponent of benchmarking, and we encourage our members to benchmark many aspects of their family farm business. Harold Birch, Executive Vice-President and a founder of FamilyFarms Group, explains the value of benchmarking this way: “Information is knowledge that brings about the decisions for change.”
The Wallendal family shares practical advice that's helped their family farm transition into organic.
Topics: Ag Consulting
Working with your family all day every day is not an easy task. The key to running a successful business while maintaining family harmony is finding the right balance between business needs and family needs. The most important thing to remember is to keep business issues at the office and family issues at home.
Like every industry in the United States, farming is growing and changing. With those changes came small farms that decided to go in a new direction—like my family’s farm. When my dad was discharged from the Air Force, he took over farming the family farm while beginning a career in airplane electrical systems. Because doing both proved not to be feasible, he decided to take a step back from the row crop aspect of the farm and began leasing out the tillable ground.
When setting up a business, whether it's a farm, a restaurant, or even a doctor’s office, the entity structure you choose is very important. While there are only a few types of entities (partnerships, corporations, limited liability companies, etc.), there are dozens of ways these entities can be utilized to set up a business. As a result, it’s important that you, as the business owner, define the goals of your entity structure and seek professional assistance from your attorney, accountant, and other advisors to ensure you select a structure meets your goals.
The 2017 FamilyFarms Group Summer Conference, themed "The Farming Show Starring Jimmy O'Fallon," held in O'Fallon, Illinois on July 10-13 was a huge success! The conference is open to members of FamilyFarms Group. FamilyFarms Group members are some of North America's top farming operations representing over 700,000 acres of row crop production.
Building a successful family farm business that lasts multiple generations involves distinct challenges. Less than one third of family businesses survive the transition from the first generation to the second, and another 50% don’t survive the transition from the second generation to the third. This means less than 17% of all family businesses make it to the third generation. So, how do you overcome the odds and successfully transfer your family farm to the next generation?