Avoiding Fireworks When Two Generations Manage an Ag Operation

Avoiding Fireworks When Two Generations Manage an Ag Operation

As I have traveled the state presenting farm and ranch succession/transition workshops, I’ve run into several family situations where the older generation is lucky enough to have the next generation come back to the farm.  The younger generation, in some instances, is not that young anymore and have formed knowledgeable opinions about how the farm or ranch should operate. I wrote this article to challenge both the younger and older generations as they move their operation forward as a family.

Long-term family cohesiveness can become challenging if there are control issues within the family. The younger generation often brings this issue to my attention. They have gained experience and education and have ideas about management to improve the farm or ranch. They take their ideas to their parent, and far too often, the ideas are shot down without even due consideration. The younger generation may not feel valued or in control, and even think, “Why did I even bother to come back here if I cannot contribute to the management, not just to the labor?” 

Continue Reading this week's Cornhusker Economics, published by the Department of Agricultural Economics.