On Monday, I asked the readers of BEEF Daily about their agriculture heritage, their current involvement in food production and their views on what the future holds for the next generation. This mini-poll revealed some interesting facts and ideas from readers across the country. Today, I thought I would summarize the results of the reader poll and provide additional BEEF resources to address the various concerns discussed in the comments section. After all, at BEEF, we are dedicated to assisting you in all of your agriculture endeavors.
When asked where readers were tuning in from, I had responses from Nebraska, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, Missouri, South Dakota, North Carolina, Tennessee, California, Minnesota, Kansas, Colorado, Michigan and Wyoming. Of their agriculture involvement, of course, many readers are cattle ranchers, but I also received comments from students, researchers, exporters, retailers, salesmen, dairy producers, a timber farmer, a pecan farmer and an ag communications guru. Without a doubt, BEEF readers are an incredibly diversified group! Third on my list of questions was, "How many generations of agriculturalists are in your family?" This number ranged from one, to three, to five, to "since the beginning of time". It seems food production is in our blood, and that's something to be proud of!
Finally, I asked readers to discuss their plans for future generations. This question definitely ignited an interesting dialogue among the participants. Some were confident that their children or grandchildren would continue the ranching tradition, through careful estate planning. Others sadly admitted that they would probably be the last generation to work the land in their family. Many of the students were hopeful for the future and dreaming of a life in production agriculture. Yet, everyone expressed concerns for the upcoming generation of food producers.
It's clear to me that BEEF Daily readers from across the country are in need of important resources in learning more about succession planning and preparing for the future. BEEF has excellent online resources to address these concerns. I hope you will take some time to explore these items to assist you in your operation. As always, send any questions and comments my way as you navigate through the site.
Quick BEEF Daily Fact: “Only one-third of family businesses have a strategic plan, and only a third of those implement them," says R.L. “Dick” Wittman of Wittman Consulting at Culdesac, ID in Wes Ishmael's 2009 BEEF article, Stewardship demands risk.