Is your family holding you hostage? Part one

Farming with your family can be a wonderful thing - unlike any other, but unfortunately there's a flip side to that great experience. Anyone who works on a family farm can tell you it also presents challenges you simply won't find anywhere else in the professional world. Chief among them ranks communication issues.

Open communication from leadership to the younger generation is vital to not only run the present-day business, but also to see that it's guided correctly into the future. Everyone should have a clear idea of the farm leaders' vision for where the operation is headed, what its future looks like and how that future is being shaped. When that communication is insufficient or even purposefully avoided, one generation can begin to feel resentment or hostility toward the other.

This week on Finance First, Darren Frye shares the story of one such farm, where the young man who should one day have taken over his family's operation could not persuade the older generation to talk with him about the plans for their farm's future. This created a real strain on their relationships that eventually drove the young man to work full-time at another farm - one which had a very well defined future vision.