Farm Transition Appreciation Day 2022
The second annual Farm Transition Appreciation Day (FTADay) took place on January 11th across Canada. FTADay was created to celebrate our country’s abundance of multi-generational family farms, and although farm transition can be complex, we need to encourage continued progress. Over the next 10 years, it’s projected that 75% farms will change hands. To navigate this transition, farm families are using strategic planning, financial knowledge and collaborative communication to help ensure the next generation of Canadian farmers are set up for success.
On FTADay, Canadian agricultural came together to share stories, advice and encourage farmers in their farm transition journey through a national social media campaign and learning events across Canada. The press release garnered 5,000 views and was picked up by the Financial Post, CTV and Radio Canada among other media outlets. It also sparked interviews featuring farmers and advisors discussing farm transition. About 250 social media posts directly used the #FTADay2022 hashtag, including Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau. The social media campaign resulted in over 50,000 views and over 3,000 individual interactions. The virtual learning events on FTADay attracted live participants from across Canada, and many more continue to access the event recordings.
The Canadian Association of Farm Advisors (CAFA) Inc. kicked things off, inviting farmers across Canada to Ask the Expert in a farm transition discussion panel with banker Lorna McKercher (RBC), certified professional accountant Kagan Sirett (MNP), lawyer Kelli Potter (Paterson) and financial advisor Wendell Kerr (ITI Financial).
CAFA’s Executive Director, Liz Robertson observed, “The advisor panel reassured families contemplating farm transition that they have a lot of support available. There are hundreds of experienced farm advisors and transition specialists available to them who have helped guide many farm families, each with their own unique needs and circumstances, through transition,” CAFA’s Executive Director Liz Robertson observed.
Farm Credit Canada and BDO tackled the afternoon with Farm Transition: Turning Roadblocks into Building Blocks with Maggie Van Camp, BDO’s National Agricultural Development Leader and Patti Durand, FCC Business Advisor, sharing their own stories along with producers Lesley Kelly and Colin Penner.
“Many farm families are making efforts to work within their team and with advisors to develop plans. We want to encourage them to continue, to bring clarity and certainty to everyone involved,” says Durand. With generational transitions, farmers often run into roadblocks, such as communication, financial capacity and knowledge, or even losing a key farm team member. Some planning, pivoting and learning when it’s easy, and not waiting until stress is running high and decision-making becomes clouded, can really help. “By navigating around and through transition roadblocks together, your family farm can grow stronger, more resilient and the next generation develops skills they will need in the future,” says Van Camp.
On behalf of RBC, Justin Funk, Managing Partner of Agri Studies, Inc. shared insights gained from a Multi-Generational Farm Study conducted with Purdue University. The study focused on similarities and differences between farming generations on topics including roles and responsibilities, the future of the farm, success factors for farm transition, sources of conflict and retirement age. Financial security to all, fairness to siblings and open communication were cited as important to both generations. Most important to the older generation was sustainability for future generations and strong family values, while most important to the younger generation was understanding the plan.
FTADay 2022 provided an opportunity for farmers to reflect on the past year and celebrate achievements while identifying next steps in farm transition with the support of industry experts. On this day, businesses and organizations supporting Canadian agriculture acknowledged how important generational transition is to the continued success of the industry and shared their insights, expertise and encouragement.
The organizers are already starting to plan for next year’s Farm Transition Appreciation Day set to take place Tuesday January 10th, 2023. Anyone interested in becoming involved is encouraged to contact Maggie Van Camp at mvancamp(at)bdo.ca or Heather Watson at heather.watson(at)fmc-gac.com.
#FTADay2022 in the Media
- Castanet News: Fear for farming’s future – BC Fruit Growers Association vice-president fears for future food supply as next generation not as keen on farming
- CTV News Northern Ontario: Timmins dairy farmers discuss succession planning ahead of ‘Farm Transition Appreciation Day’
- Financial Post: Farm Transition Appreciation Day 2022
- Island Farmer: Farm Transition Appreciation Day planned for January 11
- Medicine Hat News: Farm Transition Appreciation Day aims to bridge gaps made during succession planning
Farm Transition Appreciation Day Media Kit
This media kit is filled with easy-to-use resources for promoting Farm Transition Appreciation Day. Click on an image below to download it.
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