Helping solve the problems of farm succession in New Zealand

“The hardest part of leadership is judging how far to stray from what is ideal for the sake of what is necessary”

Farm succession is a major challenge for many New Zealand families. When succession is handled well, it often leads to the development of successful multi-generational farming businesses that support the existing owners, the incoming children and provide help to non-farming children. A well-handled process also preserves the health of family relationships.

When succession is handled poorly, previously productive family businesses can be totally disrupted, divided up and sold. Poorly handled succession also frequently leads to irreparable damage to family relationships.

MyMilk is committed to the success of New Zealand’s hard working farming families. So in 2015, we committed to drive a program of knowledge sharing between rural professionals and farmers about family farm succession best practice. The first step in this project was to pull together farm succession experts from around New Zealand for a very open and detailed roundtable discussion on all aspects of the farm succession challenge. This event was attended by leading rural lawyers, farm advisors, rural bankers and farm accountants. This was a very “warts and all” discussion, where the professionals drew on their real world experiences of where farm succession can go right and where it can go wrong. To enable that open discussion, MyMilk agreed not to share the comments made by the participants. However, we came away from the event with a wealth of new knowledge on succession and great ideas on how to make it a more successful aspect of farming.

This website has been built to make available the knowledge and guidance gathered at that event in the form of a downloadable guide to managing farm succession. Please feel free to download this guide and share it.

Farming remains the backbone of the New Zealand export economy. The family farm is the basic building block of rural life. Even New Zealand’s largest corporate farming organisations source many of their people from family farm backgrounds. MyMilk are proud to be contributing to the success of New Zealand agriculture and it is our intention to build on the knowledge gained during 2015 with future roundtables with rural professionals and farmers.

We value all New Zealand’s farmers and rural professional’s knowledge and input to the succession discussion. If you would like to provide feedback on any aspect of our efforts so far, if you would like to participate as an expert at one of our upcoming successions, or if you would like to suggest topics that we should explore, please fill out our feedback form and let us know.