Farm Progress

First, determine the main reason you’d like him to be more informed about the farm’s business.

Darren Frye, CEO

September 1, 2017

2 Min Read
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I’ve farmed with my brother for more than 10 years. He’s always wanted me to take care of the books and never showed an interest in them. He basically just likes to drive our machinery and work on it, and have me take care of the business end. I’d like him to be more informed and involved in the business side of the farm, but I don’t know how to make that happen. Any thoughts? — C.M., Missouri

I’d first want to ask you: What are your greatest concerns around him not currently being very involved on the business side? Would you like him to take more ownership of decisions? Make it so he can’t play “Monday morning quarterback” on decisions that you’ve already had to make? Or would you simply like him to know when the farm isn’t in the right financial position to go out and buy a new tractor?

Determine the main reason or reasons you’d like him to be more informed about the farm’s business. Consider how both he and the operation will benefit from him being in the know. He doesn’t need to become a business analyst or feel like he has to take care of the books — there are some simple ways to get him involved.

You might consider something like this: Ask if the two of you can take about 20 minutes on a quarterly basis to run through the highlights of the farm’s projections and where things are at from a financial standpoint.

Explain that doing so will help the two of you get on the same page. Tell him that you don’t want to be the only one who knows what’s going on in the business. That if anything were to happen to you, you want to make sure he knows what’s going on, too. Explain your desire for him to be fully informed as decisions are being made, so he can help with that process.

You’re not asking him to take on dealing with the books — just some time four occasions a year to get him up to speed, and more fully informed.

Frye is president and CEO of Water Street Solutions. [email protected]

 

About the Author(s)

Darren Frye

CEO, Water Street Solutions

Darren Frye grew up on an innovative, integrated Illinois farm. He began trading commodities in 1982 and started his first business in 1987, specializing in fertilizer distribution and crop consulting. In 1994 he started a consulting business, Water Street Solutions to help Midwest farmers become more successful through financial analysis, crop insurance, marketing consulting and legacy planning. The mission of Finance First is to get you to look at spreadsheets and see opportunity, to see your business for what it can be, and to help you build your agricultural legacy.

Visit Water Street Solutions

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