The Agriculture Scene and the Human Dimension

NZLS Seminar - George Collier

Type: Conference Paper
Knowledge level: Intermediate

Farm Table says:

Summarises key research out of NZ and provides a framework for consultants to use during the succession planning process.

George Collier is a Chartered Accountant and Farm Consultant. His paper concentrates on:

  • Previous research studies on farm succession
  • State of NZ agriculture today
  • Trends in agriculture
  • Succession processes and the human dimension

The audience is primarily for other consultants.

The key reasons George sees for farm businesses not being passed to the next generation are:

  • Children not interested in farm or better off-farm careers opportunities
  • Higher retirement expectations for parents
  • Inability to create a sense of fairness for all children
  • Inability to remain viable post-succession

He states that when all these factors are taken into account:

For up to 50% of today’s farming businesses (particularly sheep and beef properties) viable farm succession is a financial impossibility.

George states that there are three key areas involved in the human dimension of developing a succession plan. These include:

  • Discovery process (D)

This is about discovering where our clients have come from, where they are at now, and what their aspirations and dreams for the future are. It also involves having a clear understanding of all the facts involved. This will require developing a clear understanding of the current farm business performance and future farm business viability.

  • Planning process (P)

The Plan will involve trying to meet the common successional goals which could include:

  • Preservation of family relationships
  • Financial security for the parents
  • Ensuring all children are treated fairly (not necessarily equally)
  • Transparency and certainty for the incoming successors
  • Viable farm succession
  • Protecting the family wealth
  • Actions and accountability (A)

This is the implementation of the overall succession plan. It is broken into two main areas:

  • Business and family decisions
  • Legal and Accounting Actions
New Zealand - NZLS Seminar - George Collier
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