Prepare the next generation for farm leadership

In talking with members of the younger generation who have recently returned to the family farm, Water Street Solutions Senior Director Dean Heffta has noticed a pattern in what sort of concerns they tend to share regarding their role on the farm. A frequently repeated theme is, "How do I become more of a leader on the farm?" Or, "How can I get a chance to show my abilities and prove I can take on more responsibility here?"

Heffta says it's quite common for young adults to return to the farm and have trouble "proving themselves" to the current farm leader. He believes that shaping farm leaders is the responsibility of not only the younger generation itself but also of the older generation. They must work and decide together what the right amount of preparation and grooming is before there's a handoff of responsibility. Expectations should be very clear and attainable.

Heffta recently spoke with ag broadcaster Dewey Nelson on this topic, and he revealed four questions to ask yourself when working to prepare the younger generation for more leadership roles on the farm. Listen to the whole interview below.