2. Promoter Profile
|Education||Master of Agricultural Sciences; Beekeeper training; Free agricultural school|
|Children||7 years old and 4 years old|
3. Farm Profile
|Farm Area in ha||130ha|
|Date since when the family owns the farm||Several Generations|
|Nº of workers on the farm (Family members)||2 (Full time) 1 (Part time)|
|Nº of workers on the farm (Other than family members)||1 (Full time)|
Farm description BEFORE succession
The company was greatly improved and expanded by the predecessor. After enormous growth steps, land purchases and leased area, the farm stabilized to about 120ha current land area and a dairy cattle herd of about 45 cows. The female offspring were kept to increase the herd, and male offspring were prepared for slaughter at an additional fattening operation on the farm. Even before the succession, many changes were made: - hay-fed milk production - organic production - innovative grazing - beekeeping (20 bee colonies) - agricultural tourism - agriculturally related events on the farm The son-in-law and the father were able to work together to improve on details that were not adequately considered during the period of farm expansion and development .
Farm description AFTER succession
After the succession in 2016, which had cost a great amount of energy, everyone involved is glad about the state of the situation, and they are recharged for new tasks. The predecessor is still active on the farm. The entrepreneurs are now planning the next development steps towards agro-tourism, in order to broaden the income base further. The successors want to go their own way, and appreciate the performance of the predecessor generation.
4. Succession Process
- Communication: You have to talk to each other, and also to clearly communicate your position. Non-verbal communication is also very important. The fact that we have shown ourselves to be consistent, and indeed have planned to leave the farm, in the end brought movement from the predecessor. It is a challenge to talk and to remain at the table when it becomes emotional and prejudices come up.
- Expectations / fears: different or in some cases excessively high expectations are very difficult to reconcile. Mediation and advice helps. However, in the end, the solution must ultimately be desired by the participants themselves. Clarity in the discussions is important. Instead of constantly focusing on one's own expectations, one should also recognize that one can be a good person, despites one’s faults.
- A stronger belief in himself would have been helpful for the successor in the situation with the succession and the disputes with the predecessor. Here he would have liked to have been more self-assured.
- This also had to do with the fact that in some places the clarity of knowing what you are standing for and what you want is perhaps missing.
- Knowing what you stand for and where you want to go, coupled with the necessity of having faith in yourself then leads to an adequate level of assertiveness.
5. Considerations, skills/competences and queries/questions
Skills/Competences especially relevant for the succession process
- The successor did not let go of his convictions and self-confidently stood up for them which ultimately led to success. Do you have a clear vision and do you follow it?
- Professional advice was the key to the moderated conversation between the two parties and finally led to success. Can advice help you with the succession process?