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Reasons Family Farms Disappear

Reasons Family Farms Disappear

Not a complete or exhaustive list but here are my top 5 reasons why family farms disappear. For me, I reckon number 5 is the most common.

I'll also bet that 80% of all reasons are people made and not due to external factors.

  1. Poor management and financial pressures - lets start with one that isn’t always people driven. There are so many things out with your control - like the war in Ukraine - that makes the business of farming difficult. And unfortunately, some businesses don’t make it through
  2. Health - both physical and mental . If you don’t look after it then you’ve got nothing. When someone becomes ill the priorities change and the focus goes from the farm to caring for that individual
  3. Lack of succession planning - For some weird reason (and I've never understood it) farmers think they’re going to live forever. But no one does. Realise that sooner rather than later and sort it out
  4. Family conflict - this is a big one and it happens in every family. Wee Jimmy who’s poised to take over the farm marries Chantelle who has dreams of being a Kardashian. Dad thinks to himself, am I really going to take out a loan for £800k to invest in a new parlour for this pair? Nope, I don't think so!
  5. Failure to change - “we’ve always done it this way” are possibly the most dangerous words in farming. And that couldn’t be more true than it is today. Everyone must change and adapt to survive.

Those are my top reasons. Are there any I've missed off?

Elaine Froese is a family farm coach (@familyfarmcoach on TikTok) and offers a load of good advice (don't let the American accent put you off though!)


Until next week....