Press Release – February 12, 2024
[Guelph, Ontario] The current statistics are foreboding: Over 40% of Canadian farms will change hands before 2033 and 2/3 of farms do not have plans on how to make this happen. Farmers’ Bridge helps farms with this transition between generations, more efficiently and professionally, with a people-centric approach.
“Succession is the greatest labour, leadership and ownership challenge rural Canada has ever faced. We built Farmers’ Bridge, so the process is easier, faster and less painful for everyone involved,” says Maggie Van Camp, a 7th generation farmer, Loft32’s director of Strategic Change and founder of the company’s newest service, Farmers’ Bridge. “If done well, this massive generational shift is an opportunity for the future of Canadian agriculture.”
Farmers’ Bridge was built to provide Canadian farmers what they need to navigate this change as efficiently as possible and for future success. Communication and decision-making skills, farm-smart resources, people they can trust, and the motivation to get the planning done.
“Change is difficult for everyone, and farm transition is particularly loaded with emotion, history and expectations,” says Van Camp. “A people-first approach helps make change easier and more effective.”
Farmers’ Bridge starts with helping farmers get clarity about what they need and the basics about what’s involved, using on-line training, assessments, and connections to help for all sectors, all places and stages of farming.
Available on the learning platform, www.Utensil.ca., Farmers’ Bridge on-demand video training is a convenient way for farmers and their families to learn. Currently, two courses are available with plans for more. Transition Foundations is a series of 2-4 minute videos of farm-smart experts clearly answering common succession questions such as “What is the farm rollover rule” and “What’s the difference between conflict and fighting.” Another course is on transition communication, giving farm families practical tools on how to make decisions together, understand conflict and create clarity with aligned goals.
“By establishing practical, effective ways to communicate and a basic knowledge, you are creating a bridge to your farm and your family’s future,” says Van Camp.
One of the most efficient ways to create a transition solution is to use a multidisciplinary team of advisors, bringing in the right people at the right time. Farmers’ Bridge helps you create a cost-effective approach to sourcing professional advisors, based on your needs. Whether it’s conflict mediation, counseling, transition planning, compensation, tax or legal advice or coaching, the Farmers’ Bridge stable of experts can help.
Farmers’ Bridge worked with Loft32 to create a stable of succession-passionate speakers for agricultural events around the world. Based on your event’s budget, location and topics, Farmers’ Bridge has speakers to inspire and motivate farm transition planning.
For more information, visit www.loft32.ca/farmersbridge. The Farmers’ Bridge website offers free online resources to start conversations about succession and transition, including the Transition Plain Language Guide, which has 50 terms explained in layman’s terms and The Because I Love You list, a practical downloadable list available in (French and English,) list of things your farm will need to know if the key decision-maker(s) are suddenly not there.