Do you remember the old adage, “The family that prays together stays together”? The same sentiment of strength and togetherness can be expressed in farming, too, if we say, “The family that farms together stays together.” And while it may not rhyme or be as spiritually significant, it really DOES matter that families stay together to farm and are kept on the farm – together.
Of course, this can prove to be difficult, especially when family dynamics come into play. Not every family can cooperate and live in peace. Some families even split permanently and don’t keep in communication for several years. And, of course, some children are interested in occupations other than farming, and while that’s acceptable as everyone has different tastes and interests, it can be detrimental to split up the family farms and grow separately. But if a family can stay together and stay on the farm through many generations, they will have a competitive advantage to be reckoned with.
Unfortunately, the dramatic expansion of corporate farming has made it more and more difficult for small family farms in the United States to stay in business for themselves for many generations.
It’s exceedingly important to keep families on the farm for many reasons. Farming families benefit the communities at large and the world itself. They are responsible stewards of the land and, unlike industrial farms, don’t pollute their communities with chemical pesticides or noxious fumes. Farming families also live on or very near their farms and always aim to preserve and protect their surroundings and the land and livestock they tend for the present and for future generations.
Additionally, keeping families on the farm will practically guarantee the preservation of green space within the community. While they’re around, no large company can take the land and turn into an industrial playground. These farming families will also give back to their communities by supporting small businesses with their purchases for goods and services.
Farming families that stay together on the farm through several generations have a huge competitive advantage. According to Joe Kluender, agribusiness consultant for LarsonAllen, these families put themselves in a better position to buy land, invest in larger and more modern facilities for their business, and diversify simply because they have grown together.
According to Kluender, building successful transition plans through the many generations starts with a common goal. “If each generation has the goal of ensuring that the farm is there for future generations to farm, transition planning is much easier,” he explains.
Of course, every family circle is different and will have different issues and challenges to overcome, but the key to success is establishing and maintaining open communication within the family.
Farming families are the unsung heroes and the pillars of their communities; they produce high quality food and are essential to the economic liveliness of both their hometowns and the nation at large. If you’re a member of a farming family or want to find a way to assist a local farming family, check out our website at www.familyfarmsgroup.com for more information or give us a call at 1-877-221-FARM. Let us help you keep your family on the farm!