Estate planning is not a one-man operation. Instead, farmers should make sure that the entire family is involved.  |  File photo

How a model canoe is like family farm succession plan

My wife gave me my 54th birthday present back in February. It was a long cardboard box not quite 1.5 metres long, 25 centimetres wide and 10 cm deep. As I took off the wrapping paper she watched for my reaction and, as it wasn’t immediately obvious what she had got me, I took my […] Read more

Reasonability and the law of unforeseen consequences

One of my strict rules when dealing with the transition process of a family farm is to include all the family members and to speak to them on a one-on-one basis. I do this so that I have a full understanding of the views and issues faced by them all. This includes inactive children, and […] Read more

Benchmarking can be broken down into three main areas: profit, trend and focus.  |  Getty images

Farmers should not shy away from benchmarking

Whenever I bring up benchmarking with grain-farming clients, I generally get two reactions. The first is from producers who immediately buy into the idea and want to know how they compare to other farms. The other group either think they are already equal to their neighbours or they don’t want to find out. Most farmers […] Read more

Effective recruitment strategies not to be overlooked

Primary agriculture production has grown exponentially over the last decade. Farm business is no longer family-run enterprises. Instead, it is being replaced by complicated financial structures with numerous moving and living parts. This has required owners of family farm businesses to look externally for additional hired work. However, issues have arisen as the search for […] Read more

Perfection isn’t the name of the game when handing over tasks to the next generation.  |  File photo

Avoid fixating on transition details that don’t matter

When transferring a business, especially a farm business, management transition is often the most challenging part between incoming and outgoing generations. Families often struggle with the change in roles and responsibilities and the giving up of control. The claim that tasks are often “not done the right way” is a common cry from those with […] Read more

Farming and the risk of insolvency: why cash is king

Grain farmers are in a time of unprecedented wealth. Increased land valuations and strong commodity prices have created a decade of compounding equity that has led many small enterprises to returns not usual in the farming industry. This being said, one factor that has not improved in the past decade is working capital. An industry […] Read more

There are many things to consider from a tax perspective when retiring, and all of them have different tax implications.  |  File photo

Consider these tax issues when retiring from farming

Retiring from farming may sound like a term rarely heard but it does happen, often in many ways. Whether it’s transitioning the farm to the next generation, selling the assets of the farm slowly over time or getting out all at once, there are many things to consider from a tax perspective — all of […] Read more

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Preserve your farm legacy with sound succession advice

The people and events in this column are based on real MNP clients. Chuck Addison was chilling out at the cottage by Green Lake, Sask., celebrating with his two brothers, Randy and Max. He kidded them about their bickering and how, despite themselves, they could make a good go running the family farm. After two […] Read more

A belt and suspenders: managing risk strategically

When it comes to managing risk, many producers take a belt and suspenders approach, buying multiple risk management products and hoping to ensure they’ll be all right in the future. Others forgo risk management products altogether, counting on the good times to keep coming. Astute producers land somewhere in the middle, taking a strategic approach […] Read more

Feds abandon plan to eliminate deferral option for farmers

The federal government has backed away from its proposal to eliminate the ability for Canadian farm families to manage their tax bill using deferred cash purchase tickets. Given the significant media attention that the federal government’s July 18 tax reform white paper has received, many Canadians may have forgotten the government also proposed eliminating this […] Read more