My name is Cynthia Wesselingh and I am a 2nd generation Canadian farmer (4th generation or more if you count my family’s farming roots back in Holland). Our family’s farm is Sask Valley Farm Ltd. located near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. You can see my family in the picture below.
I wanted to learn more about the process of succession planning because our family was beginning to have that conversation. I felt nervous about what that process would look like and wanted to learn more. Even though I have my B.Comm in accounting, succession planning was still intimidating. Stumbling upon this website led me to the Succession Planning course and the opportunity to learn more.
The biggest take away from the course was that succession planning is a process, not an event. It cannot be decided in one meeting. It must be a long term plan that is fluid and adaptable. This means considering all options and having the contingencies in place to anticipate and react to unexpected events. Lastly communication is the key to succession planning. As difficult as it can be, one has to be sure of their personal and business goals, and be ready to communicate those with others. Understanding other family members’ goals and communicating your own are crucial to developing a plan for success.
The tools & worksheets were very straightforward and simple to work through. They aided in solidifying the information presented in the course, as well a beginning the planning process for our farm.
The online platform allowed me to work through it when it is convenient. A workshop may be good for those who don’t like online learning, but some may not feel comfortable talking about their personal succession planning within a group setting. The online platform allowed me the opportunity to really think out loud, and work through challenges in the comfort of my home.