Sensitive subject of succession discussed at Morayshire Monitor Farm

Laura, Iain & Jemma Green - Morayshire

The sometimes thorny subject of succession planning will be the focus of the next Morayshire Monitor Farm meeting on Tuesday 4 December.

As well as tackling his own farm’s succession, Monitor Farmer Iain Green will take the group through how he plans to manage feedstocks over the winter.

He says: “At the last meeting we calculated that we had a 410 tonnes dry matter shortfall, however I’m happy to say that we have now gone some way to making that up.

“At the meeting I’ll discuss changes we’ve made to improve the situation, such as keeping cattle outside for longer, and I’ve also sown more forage crops. It’s still likely to be a challenging winter but I think we should be able to manage.”

The rest of the meeting will be run by Heather Wildman from Saviour Associates who will cover future planning. She will emphasize the importance of dreams and goals, having a vision for your future and solving succession issues early.

“Succession planning is seen by many as a sensitive subject and many farmers are reluctant to start the process in case it causes conflict amongst their family members,” said Heather. “But in reality the sooner families start the conversation the more options become available.

“Farmers are also incredibly busy people so it can be difficult to find the time to consider long term succession planning. However, it makes sense to have a plan in place well in advance to help secure the success of your business for the next generation.”

Heather, who has published a guide to succession aimed at farmers, acknowledges that every farm business and situation is different, and it’s important that each business develops a succession plan which works for them.

The meeting will focus on helping people identify what it is they want to achieve, or even what they would like to avoid. There will also be discussion on some of the reasons why farmers often postpone planning for succession and suggest some questions farmers should ask themselves at that start of the process.

Heather said: “By the end of the meeting I hope that attendees will understand how the process works and be able to create an action plan for the succession of their own businesses as well as feeling more confident in starting the conversation with their families.”

The Morayshire Monitor is one of nine monitor farms established in Scotland as part of a joint initiative by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds with funding from the Scottish Government. The aim of the monitor farm programme is to help improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Scottish farm businesses.

The Monitor Farm meeting will take place at Fochabers Public Institute, High Street, Fochabers, IV32 7EP, on Tuesday 4 December from 12pm – 4.30pm and lunch will be provided.  The event is free of charge but to assist with catering it would be appreciated if you can book a place by contacting Samantha Stewart by phone (01343 548 787 / 07788 568 691) or email (samantha.stewart@sac.co.uk).