Cedar Point farmer Peter Carlill believes that people need to plan for succession.
Cedar Point farmer Peter Carlill believes that people need to plan for succession. Cathy Adams

Farmer makes a case for hand-over

PLANNING what happens to your farm after you are gone is as crucial as planning the next season’s crop, advises Cedar Point farmer Peter Carlill.

“The sooner you start planning, the better,” Mr Carlill said.

“The keyword is communication.

"You need to have a family round-table discussion, and it will be an ongoing discussion as circumstances change.”

The former Chair of Casino Meatworks and pioneer soya bean farmer is urging local farmers to go along to a free succession/transition planning workshop run by the Rural Fin- ancial Counselling Service on August 23.

“People are often frightened to talk about it, but parents can’t rule from the grave,” Mr Carlill said.

“Once you’re gone, you’re gone. If there’s no plan in place there can be false expectations for your children,” he said.

“Farming’s tough. You need to be bullet-proof and astute and run the farm as a business,” he said.

“With farming you often have a large asset in dollar terms, but it’s not necessarily earning a lot of money.

“The farm may also owe a debt. Some farmers have no children to pass the farm onto; others may have a few children, some of whom want to keep the farm, others won’t.”

Mr Carlill, 70, is retired and has been through the succession-planning process himself with his 40-year-old son Tim, who studied at Emerald Agricultural College, now managing the family’s 650-acre property, Caralta, that has variously been used to run beef cattle, sow pigs and cropping.

“We were lucky that our son wanted to take over,” Mr Carlill said.

“My advice is don’t leave it until you get too old to run the farm yourself.

“It’s not much use for the son to not know where they are going when they are 45 or 50 years old. Give it to him when he’s 30, while he’s still got the incentive.”

WORKSHOP DETAILS

Up for discussion:

Creating and finalising a succession plan

Maintaining family harmony throughout the process and beyond

Keeping your costs to a minimum

Assistance available to farmers

The workshop will be held at the Casino RSM ClubCrown Room, from 10am-3pm.

RSVP by August 19 with the Rural Financial Counselling Service on 6662 6191.



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