Teagasc publishes guide to address thorny issue of family farm transfers

Starting the conversation about farm ownership is an important step for Irish agriculture, says the author of Teagasc’s new ‘Farm Succession & Transfer Guide’.

Tomás Russell wrote the book as part of his PhD study in the Teagasc/UCD Agricultural Innovation Support Programme.

It was formally launched by Teagasc director Prof Gerry Boyle at the Knowledge Transfer Conference in UCD.

Russell said: “Starting the conversation on succession and farm transfer with the family can be one of the most difficult tasks and keeping the lines of communication open can help farm families to go through the process while minimising conflict and anger.”

The book addresses key issues such as the potential of the farm, the role and implicationsfor other family members, communication, management responsibilities and farm transfer.

Farming families can be slow to discuss farm transfers due to their often complex and often emotional nature.

This reluctance often sees the process begin late in life.

The book advises on how best to involve the next generation in farm management decisions.

Russell said: “This book provides farm families with a step by step guide through the processes of succession, helping them to deal with the emotional and complex issues involved in identifying a successor and discussing the future of the farm.”

Mr Russell’s studies were funded through the Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme.

The guide was produced with collaboration from farmer representative organisations, as well as the banking sector and legal sector and a number of farmers and successors who are currently confronting this challenge.


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