A transition plan is critical for any business, but when it comes to Canadian farm owners, most are unprepared to hand over operations.
According to Statistics Canada, the average Canadian farmers is 55 years old — an age where many are looking ahead to retirement. However, close to 92 percent of farms have no written plan for transitioning the business once the farm operator retires.
“We’re seeing a wave of farm transitions across the country, with farms changing hands from older to younger generations,” says Liz Robertson, Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Farm Advisors (CAFA). “However, only about 8 percent of farmers actually have a succession plan in place.”
While there are some resources available, finding accurate and reliable information for a successful transition plan isn’t easy.
“The process can often seem overwhelming, and it can put a huge strain on the business and the family,” says Robertson. “They need help navigating this increasingly complex transition.”
Manitoba-based CAFA is a multi-disciplinary, non-profit organization of Canadian farm advisors, with a mission to improve the quality of advice being given to farm businesses and farm families. The organization has more than 650 certified members across Canada, from accountants and tax lawyers to agricultural economists and family coaches.
“We ensure our members are always improving their skills, knowledge, and expertise by arming them with continuous learning opportunities like seminars, conferences, and networking sessions,” says Robertson.
Members of CAFA also bring passion and credibility to their clients — close to 95 percent of advisors have a direct, personal connection to farming, whether they come from a farming family or own their own agricultural business.