Marv Vassberg of Bawlf, Alta., stands in his shed with some of the dozens of tractors, cars and trucks he has rebuilt.  |  Mary MacArthur photo

Keeping busy called key to happy retirement

Retirement didn’t mean idleness for Marv Vassberg, who has rebuilt dozens of old vehicles since he stopped farming


BAWLF, Alta. — The key to enjoying retirement is having something to do, said Marv Vassberg. The retired farmer has spent thousands of hours rebuilding old cars, trucks and tractors, and designing and building blades and scrapers. Years of tinkering and time in the air force, as an electronics technician, gave him the skills to […] Read more

Farmers might have mainly survived this crisis so far, but many are more aware of how a lack of preparedness can leave them more exposed.  | Getty Images

Planning habit worth keeping

The pandemic might have grounded most airplanes, but it has been like jet fuel for some, feeding many trends throughout the economy. An agricultural banker hopes one trend that keeps flying high post-pandemic is farmers’ embrace of strategic thinking. “I hope we come out of this pandemic with more emphasis being put on the importance […] Read more

An open conversation while planning a will is key to avoiding problems and fighting between beneficiaries.  |  Getty Images

Weigh options when writing a will

Any person can be named as a beneficiary but there are obligations to spouses and financial dependents to consider

Planning a will is not something to take lightly, especially when deciding how to allocate assets. Many options must be weighed, like which child gets what and how assets and land should be divided, but for some testators who don’t have large families or children to give their assets to, what are some other options? […] Read more


People can save time, hardship and money by choosing their power of attorney before they are unable to make the decision.  |  Getty Images

Power of attorney provides peace of mind

People may reach a point in their life when they are unable to make important decisions. While this can be devastating, it is possible for people to choose who will make those decisions on their behalf before that time comes. Appointing a power of attorney ensures that someone trusted and knowledgeable is making decisions about […] Read more

A Saskatchewan lawyer says probate fees and land transfers are comparable in price, but there are still issues that farmers need to keep an eye on.  |  File photo

Probate not something to avoid at all costs

However, a tax lawyer says avoiding probate fees by transferring titles away from the testator before they die is not hard


As the old saying goes, the only things certain in life are death and taxes. But professional help and planning ahead can go a long way in dealing with taxes that must be paid following a death. For Nikki Rudachyk, partner at McKercher LLP in Saskatoon and a member of the Canadian Association of Farm […] Read more


Understanding family property law is key to succession

Farm succession planning is complex. The transition of the family farm to the next generation raises several questions, including how you ensure the farm remains in the family. The legacy within a family farm may span several generations. But what happens if along the way a separation or divorce occurs and the family farm is […] Read more

The future is a vital component of farm succession planning

The future is a vital component of farm succession planning

I read some statistics on farm succession planning the other day. It caused me to think about a conference on succession planning I attended in 1999. People and presenters quoted statistics about the average age of the Canadian farmer being about 57, if I remember correctly — something close to that anyway. There was also […] Read more

Clear communication eases farm transition

Clear communication eases farm transition

Many farm families deal with difficult issues by not dealing with them, which means avoiding them until somebody dies

Farm succession plans are sometimes never written because farmers are coping with false ideas and deep emotions. But those factors can be handled with open communication and the right advisers, says farm family dynamics expert Elaine Froese. “We’re not just dealing with numbers and balance sheets,” said the Boissevain, Man., farmer, who has long coached […] Read more


Bob Tosh of MNP’s Farm Management Consulting Group says formalizing a process for farm transition will help families deal with the “fair versus equal” dilemma.  |  File photo

Farm transition needs tough conversations

A farm management specialist says succession planning must be emotional but it also requires a formal process

Satisfying all the members of the family tree during a farm transition will take an emotional investment by the farm owners, but it will also take discerning decision-making that requires formal planning, says Bob Tosh. “You’re not going to go through any kind of intergenerational transition without actually getting emotional about it. And if you […] Read more

Stacey Wiebe, left, and Dale Maier are taking over the farm from Hélène Tremblay-Boyko and Al Boyko.  |  Supplied photo

Unique farm succession plan moves forward

A Saskatchewan couple hand-picks their successors, ensuring the operation is farmed the way they would prefer

While all succession plans are unique, one playing out on the farm of Al Boyko and Hélène Tremblay-Boyko near Canora, Sask., could be described as more than a little outside the box. Readers met the couple in The Western Producer two years ago. At that time they were looking for a young couple who would […] Read more