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Manage dairy employees, establish farm protocols, take on milk marketing, and become more confident in your farm financials.


One of the tricks of a great farm succession is the ability of the founder to let go of management and, ultimately, ownership.

There are many 60-something and 70-something farm dads on the bald prairie that just don’t know how to change from being the main manager to “the hired man.”

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Have you experienced a situation where having many communication tools at your disposal has actually made it more difficult to effectively and efficiently communicate? We can’t deny that things like email, voicemail, texting, Facebook and smart phones have increased our ways to connect with one another.

But are we truly communicating with each other to get things accomplished and avoid mistakes?

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Dairy producers are always asking me to describe what I do. I am often contacted after a peer or trusted adviser has referred them.

More times than not, one of the first topics they want to discuss is: “Tell me what you do.” And also more times than not, my first reply will be: “I help people answer the question: ‘What next?’”

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Many of my clients have heard me say how fascinated I am with families who can work and operate a business together. It’s hard enough to just be family, let alone with the added stress of working side by side for another 40 to 80 hours each week.

Families who operate businesses also often have a particular challenge in planning for managerial succession. How and when do parents, aunts, uncles and other senior-generation members stop being directors and become coaches to children and other junior-generation members?

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The family has grown its roots deep into the soil at their Abbotsford, British Columbia, area dairy farm.

Allan Mulder was just a boy in 1969 when his father purchased the farm where Allan and his wife, Dianne, raised their three daughters.

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Farmers love carrots, don’t you know? They dangle one for years in front of the next generation, so to keep the young folks guessing when they will become part-owners and have their dreams turn into reality.

“The proverbial carrot that Dad is holding out is really getting me down,” says the young dairy farmer.

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