Tracey Feist said it took about 15 years of talking, planning and adjusting for her father’s estate plan to settle in place, but when Gary Munro died last year, the established estate plan took one worry off his daughters. | Supplied photo

Farm estate planning needs a team

Lawyers, accountants, financial advisers, insurance specialists, estate planners and mediators can all help create a plan

It takes a community to raise a child and it takes a team to build an estate plan. Lawyers, accountants, financial advisers, insurance specialists, estate planners and mediators may all come into the mix to create a farm estate plan. Throw in farming children and non-farming children and mix in a divorce and post-farming income […] Read more

Rob and Kathryn Hettler pose for a photo with the Sexton family. | Supplied photo

Sale of B.C. farm took six years to complete

Relationship building was key as the older and younger generations took gradual steps toward passing on the farm


When Dan Sexton started work at a fruit and vegetable farm in southern British Columbia, he hoped he would like farming. Six years later, on March 31, Dan Sexton and his wife, Kat, purchased Pilgrims’ Produce, an organic farm outside Armstrong and know they love to farm. It took those six years of learning, discovery, […] Read more

Landowners who use the services of a farm management company often remember visiting their grandparents on the family farm and still have a strong connection to it and its memories, but memories can’t run a farm. | Getty Images

Management firms keep farms in the family

Families who have inherited land but don’t know anything about farming find it safer to put the professionals in charge

CAMROSE, Alta. — Brenda Sharp knows she knows nothing about farming. But the Texas resident knows she wants to keep the land she inherited in Saskatchewan, Nebraska and Kansas, as a way of staying connected to her family. For about 50 years, Sharp and her family have used farm management companies to manage the farms […] Read more


Darcy and Ken Davies normally spend November to February team roping in Arizona. Closed borders means the Irvine, Alta., couple will stay in Canada for the winter. | Mary MacArthur photo

Snowbird finds a way to head south

Many retired Canadians are staying at home this year, but some have figured out how to make the trip work for them

CAMROSE, Alta. — Despite COVID-19 and a closed border, Gord Johnsen still flew to Arizona for the winter without the rest of the Canadian snowbirds. The warm weather was a draw, but close friends in the community of Gilbert, Arizona, is the real draw. “I have great friends,” said Johnsen, who has travelled to the […] Read more

Don and Marie Ruzicka sold their farm and moved into Camrose. They don’t regret making the move.  | Mary MacArthur photo

When retired farmers leave the farm

A couple rented a house in a nearby community while looking for an acreage but discovered that they like living in town

CAMROSE, Alta. — It has been four months since Don and Marie Ruzicka moved off their Killam, Alta., farm to retire in nearby Camrose and there have been no regrets. What eased the transition was finding the right buyer for their organic farm and being mentally ready to make the transition from farming to retired. […] Read more


Joe and Virginia Liebl get toget her with friends weekly to play canasta.  |  Mary MacArthur photo

Women also retire when couples quit the farm

Some women find more time for canasta, sewing and painting, while others tackle new projects such as canning potatoes

CAMROSE, Alta. — It’s been more than a year since Virginia Liebl moved from the farm into Camrose and the transition has been smooth. “For me, I haven’t had trouble finding new things to do,” said Liebl. On the farm, Liebl spent hours in her large flower and vegetable garden, as well as doing daily […] Read more

Lorne Enright took up pickle ball when he retired from farming. He said he likes the fast pace of the game.  | Mary MacArthur photo

Retired producers find more time for physical activity

CAMROSE, Alta. — Lorne Enright doesn’t know if his son believes him, but sometimes he cancels a pickleball game to help out on the farm. If his body would allow, Enright said he would play pickleball every day. Instead, the retired farmer plays pickleball three times a week, golfs in the summer and walks on […] Read more

Myles Hammerschmidt, Nigel Cleland, Joe Hammerschmidt and Rick Hammerschmidt work on the harvest crew. Joe and Nigel are retired farmers who enjoy coming back to the farm at harvest.  |  Theresa Frey photo

Retired farmer enjoys helping out at harvest

Producers say it makes sense for them to hire ex-farmers at harvest because of their experience: ‘they just figure it out’

FAIRVIEW, Alta. — It’s been 14 years since Nigel Cleland sold his farm, but each fall he takes time away from his trucking company to help out other farmers harvest. “It still connects you back to the farm. I enjoy being part of a team and the camaraderie it brings,” said Cleland of Fairview. For […] Read more


A financial adviser says five years is the minimum amount of time people need to plan for retirement.  | Getty Images

Retirement planning must start now

Retired couple say they started working on a plan three years before retirement, and that probably wasn’t enough time

Retirement planning can be difficult for many farmers. Getting started on building up savings and talking about retirement goals often doesn’t start soon enough. For Reginald and Theresa Nelson knew they could not continue their Rockglen, Sask., seed cleaning and 2,000-acre grain and certified seed operation because of Reginald’s health. But selling their operation and […] Read more

Financial advisers say it can be difficult to convince farmers of the importance of investing outside their farm.  |  Getty Images

Income can continue after retirement

Different income streams can improve financial stability, whether it means an investment portfolio or continuing to work

When Reginald and Theresa Nelson started looking into their retirement plans, being financially stable was their biggest concern. No one wants to retire wondering where their money is going to come from, but retirement doesn’t have to mean that they stop working. While Reginald was not healthy enough to continue their Rockglen, Sask., seed cleaning […] Read more