Jolene Brown, a West Branch, Iowa, farmer and family succession planning expert, says that if you want your farm or ranch to continue after you die, your No. 1 job now as the boss, leader and owner is to find someone who can take over and be successful.
"You have to find someone to replace yourself," says Brown, who spoke at the recent Central Plains Dairy Women's Conference in Sioux Falls, S.D.
If you are in your 50s, you need to be shifting now from being the manager to being a mentor, Brown says.
To track your progress, create a management chart, she suggests. List all the tasks on the farm or ranch in a column and all the names of family members, spouses and employees involved in the operation n rows. Identify who is responsible for each job, who does the work, who needs to be consulted on each job and who needs to be informed on each job.
If you want to pass on the farm, you need to be passing on the responsibility and the work for more and more jobs to other members of your team.
Check out the sample management chart and adapt it to your operation.