Part of the family conversation should include a discussion of goals for the farm transition. Different family members are going to have different needs and desires. Whether your family makes decisions by consensus, or by a vote with input from all members, or by a decision of the senior generation, it is still important to understand the varying goals that family members may have.
Also see the Getting Started Diagram for more ideas about farm transition starting points.
Some possible farm transition goals:
- Gain maximum dollar value from the property
- Gain sufficient dollar value from the property
- Provide for needs of retiring farmers & heirs
- Help a family member get started farming
- Help a non-related beginning farmer get started
- Conservation and sustainable practices on the land
- Keep the farm property in the family
- Benefit a cause you believe in
Family goal-setting activity:
It can be hard to start up a family conversation about goals and have everyone comfortable about being honest. One fun and painless method to get started is to have people vote anonymously, using colored dot stickers.
At a family gathering —perhaps over the holidays — print out these goals on sheets of paper. Put them someplace where people can get to them easily, perhaps on a bathroom wall, and give everyone a set of dot stickers. Ask your family members to "vote" by putting stickers on the goals of their choice.