Want to retire to the beach but not ready to sell the farm?

Many farmers feel that if they want to retire and there is not a ready family successor then they only option is to sell. Traditionally there is the herd owning share milking model, but that still requires a level of farm owner input and time.

There are two new models that I feel will grow rapidly in the next 10 years as many farm owners look towards retirement but are not ready to sell an asset that may have been in the family for many years, if not generations.

Farm Leases:

Leases are becoming increasingly more professional and balanced. This option allows the farm owner to completely remove themselves from the operation of the farm, secure in the knowledge they will receive a regular monthly income. The lease rate can be linked to milk price to allow the farm owner to maximize income in the good years, but keep the agreement sustainable in the low payout years. It is recommended the property is inspected by a third party on a 6 monthly basis to ensure it is maintained to the agreed standard.

Farm Supervision:

This option involves using a farm consultant to effectively act as the farm owner. A farm plan and budget is agreed at the start of the year with the owner and the consultant is then tasked with implementing the plan. The owner can remain as involved as they wish, or can be completely absent from the business depending on preference. This option allows use of more profitable management models such as contract milkers, yet puts no time burden on farm owners. This is a great way for absentee owners to keep the farm in the family and generating a good income.

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