Dudley Peverill

Farm Diversification & Generational Relationships Within the Family Farm

The Agricultural Transition Plan mentions intended support to new entrants through the lump sum exit scheme and funding for new land access channels. However, this support for new entrants is largely unclarified at this stage. Therefore, many young people interested in rural business will look towards there family farm.

As the agricultural industry evolves, it seems to be increasingly difficult for farming businesses to support growing families, due to tightening margins in many cases. Farm diversification is becoming a popular and seemingly logical solution to providing additional income generation within a farming business, that could support younger generations wishing to remain part of the family farm.

Often, we see a conflict between generations and stakeholders regarding farm diversification. This manifests itself as opposing views on whether an idea is worthwhile, financially viable or even if farm diversification should be a focus of the farming business at all.

Undeniably, there are differing values, views and attitudes between the generations. If you have opposing views on progressing the business to that of the main decision maker, disputes may be unavoidable! Younger generations are vital to advancing innovation of the UK agricultural industry, due to the rapid evolution of technology, social media and opportunities.

Does this sound like an issue you deal with? Read on for some helpful tips on how to navigate the matter! Alternatively, contact us today and we’ll gladly offer our advice and assistance.

Firstly, it’s important that discussions surrounding your farming business do not create further conflict, or have a negative impact on your relationship with those around you. Effective communication is key in any business, as is mutual respect for one another. 

Analyse and present how the farm now performs, versus how it might perform with the inclusion of a farm diversification. This will help others see your point of view as being in the family farm’s best interests.

Create a business plan - show them the numbers!

A well thought out business plan is a must before beginning any business project. Show your business plan to your family or stakeholders to help them make an informed decision based on the fundamentals. Luckily… we’ve put together a useful guide on business plans! Find it here.

Use examples from other farming businesses

In most situations, the farm diversification you’re proposing has already been implemented on another farm. Make use of the internet, farm visits, forums, events, and other individuals. You can not only learn about important considerations by looking at other people’s farm diversifications, but you can also obtain a tangible example to present to your family or stakeholders. You can even use examples to inform and support your business plan!

Seek professional advice

Approach your preferred rural professionals to help with understanding the feasibility of the farm diversification, with regards to things like finances and planning permission. This may come later in the process, as their will likely be a cost associated to the involvement of professionals. Why not contact us as a good place to start?!

To conclude, introducing a farm diversification can have a large impact on a business. Some may be wary of straying from what they already know. Clear and effective communication can pay off!

Is your farming business performing well enough? Farm diversification may be the way to turn things around. 

Unsure how to go about farm diversification within your business? Contact us  today for a free, no obligations initial consultation.

Unsure of what farm diversification enterprise is for you? Use our free diversification discovery assistant. Simply fill out the short questionnaire and receive a brief,  free review of what farm diversifications may suit you and your family business,