Farm Ownership and Transition Workshop Resource Book

Beef + Lamb NZ

Type: PDF
Knowledge level: Intermediate

Farm Table says:

Really fantastic document that is comprehensive and insightful. Complete the family business meeting checklist on Page 6 to see how your family is performing. There is also a family business transition readiness assessment on Page 15 that may be helpful to get you started and an exercise to calculate “sweat for equity”.

—————Please note this resource is no longer available—————–

This is a 48-page resource book compiled by Beef+Lamb NZ. It considers farm succession as a process, not an event or an action. It states that successful farm ownership and transition starts with planning.

“I don’t have time” is the grownup version of “the dog ate my homework”.

It begins with a section discussing the nature of family businesses. The paper states that “Family businesses are largely misunderstood in New Zealand; we try and fit them into the corporate or non-family business category by negating the impact family and family relationships have on and in the business, both good and bad.”

The potential strengths and weaknesses of a family business are outlined:


  • Commitment and loyalty
  • Continuity of knowledge
  • Reliability
  • Community involvement
  • Shared values


  • Governance
  • Accountability
  • HR
  • Communication
  • Poor use of professionals
  • Decision making

The authors state that regular family business meetings are essentials to ensure there is a continual alignment of individual need, the family, and the business. A family business meeting framework/guidelines are provided.

The booklet provides a new perspective on the transition process. Some recent statistics from Grant Thorton are provided:

  • 75% of businesses across the world are family controlled or owner-operated.
  • Of these, less than 50% will survive the first 100 months (8+ years)
  • Less than 30% of these family businesses will succeed to the second generation.
  • In other words, 70% will be gone.

They suggest that an alternative view is to look at succession as “the transition or continuance of the family farm business – with or without family members at the helm”.

A case study is presented of the Miller family, of which the only one of their three children is interested in farmers. It looks at how to value the child’s
contribution to the farm.

There is a section on conflict and dispute resolution as well as an understanding of the different options available to farm ownership (leasing, equity partnerships, share farming) and operating structures (trusts, partnerships, companies). The advantages and disadvantages of each are explored.

2014 - Australia - Beef + Lamb NZ
Read ArticleSave For Later

Related Resources