Brent VanParys from BDO (left), Margaret Hudson of Burnbrae Farms, and George Sinker, a lawyer specializing in agribusiness and family enterprise, detail their expertise and experience with transition planning during a panel session at CAFA’s Farm Transition Update in London.

The importance of meetings

Taking the step of getting together is a critical first move in happy succession

Reading Time: 3 minutes The need for better communication and holding proper meetings with advisers and family members were stressed as key factors to successful farm ownership transfers, at a recent farm transition meeting. Farm financial and legal experts gathered in London, Ont. recently for the Canadian Association of Farm Advisors’ Farm Transition Update. “I believe the business needs […] Read more

A professor emeritus says an effective management strategy is to put yourself in the situation of ‘what if’ and begin addressing difficult questions and situations that might arise from the uncertainties of farming.

Planning for “What if”

Succession planning questions to ask and steps to take to start the conversation

Reading Time: 4 minutes Many farms think an unexpected change will never happen in their family. The premise is: “our family operation has nothing to worry about.” Few family operations survive unexpected changes to the business, such as changes due to a death, sudden illness, family or legal disputes, divorce, financial stress or loss of a key employee. Why […] Read more

There can be a presumption of inheritance by the younger generation, or an assumption by the older generation that their children will continue with the family business.

Editorial: Putting the emphasis on family generational wealth

Reading Time: 3 minutes I’ve heard many speakers on farm succession. Most of them have good messages; some of them are exceptionally good at creating enthusiasm, and some have useful stories that make you squirm because you can see yourself in them. None have them have quite put things like Tom Deans, the keynote speaker on Day 1 of […] Read more

Farm acquisitions can be more challenging tax-wise than succession plans.

Accessing Ontario’s small business tax rate

Both passive and active income can change your tax rate, which can be a surprise for some farms

Reading Time: 3 minutes Farms are typically small businesses entitled to the small business tax rate each year. But farm finance experts say even relatively small farms can lose access to small business tax rates through several means. Why it matters: Under current rules, even small farms can lose access to small business tax rate in some circumstances. As […] Read more

Filmmaker Brina Romanek talks with Jim Giffen, the subject of her documentary.

Documentary explores subject of farm succession

Filmmaker focuses on the story of a retiring Ontario farmer who is passing on his operation to a non-family member

Reading Time: 3 minutes Filmmaker Brina Romanek was working on a project about food waste in Canada when one of her subjects showed her how many farms in the area were not being passed down to the next generation. It sparked an interest in her, and also anxiety about what it would mean for farming’s future. The feeling was […] Read more


Farm business transition columnist and facilitator Elaine Froese addressed a recent meeting of the Huron-Perth and Oxford County chapters of Women for the Support of Agriculture.

Rules of transition, and when to break them

Well-known coach and columnist addresses Women for the Support of Agriculture

Reading Time: 3 minutes Farmer and farm transition counsellor Elaine Froese has a list of truisms she shares in regularly published columns and at meetings with farm organizations. The expression, “where is it written that…” is one of them, such as: “where is it written that a farm woman must have a garden?” Another is, “comparison is a joy-stealer.” […] Read more

Ontario’s Land Transfer Tax is a significant added expense for farmers looking to expand.

Succession can be taxing if some land ownership isn’t considered

Does your succession strategy account for Land Transfer Tax? If not the repercussions could be costly

Reading Time: 4 minutes When it comes to transferring land, handing the farm to the next generation can be expensive. Ontario’s Land Transfer Tax (LTT), more specifically, can take a significant bite out of a family’s farm succession finances if an exemption can’t be achieved. Consequently, it’s important for farmers to know when LTT applies — and how to […] Read more

“Succession planning may not be as big a deal as some people think it might be. It’s definitely a long process … it’s important to know where each other’s mind is at.” – Angus MacLaughlin.

Three approaches to farm succession success

Frank discussion and a gradual approach have helped these families with their farm transitions

Reading Time: 3 minutes The reality of just how capital-intensive farming can be becomes apparent when it’s time to pass on the business — the next generation needs capital to get in and the retiring generation needs to take it out to fund retirement. Why it matters: The experiences of three families shows that the right risk-mitigating investment strategies […] Read more


Canadian Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay, centre, announced $70 million in funding for agriculture research at the Harrow Research Station.

Federal government invests in scientist “succession planning,” more inclusive research

The investment in agriculture research includes some new ways of involving partners

Reading Time: 2 minutes The federal government recently announced a $70 million investment into Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) network of research institutions, including what is being called the Living Laboratories Initiative. The investment is separate from the Canadian Agriculture Partnership — the latest rendition of federal-provincial agriculture investment — with large portions allocated to finding new hires and […] Read more

Quebec ag spending trimmed, tax credits boosted

Reading Time: 3 minutes Quebec’s farming sector can expect a noticeable cut in program spending and a handful of tax credits and tax relief coming out of Thursday’s provincial budget. Finance Minister Carlos Leitao on Thursday announced a cut of about 15 per cent in program spending for the agriculture, food and fisheries ministry through the province’s general fund, […] Read more