Two questions that are asked in many of our Landowner Legacy Communication© workshops, is “how do I get my children involved in our land” and “how did the Nippers do it.” In reality, they are the same question. In my opinion, if the current generation will consider many of the items in the list below, it will improve their chances of a successfully involving the next generation.
- Do it now! Don’t wait. Waiting increases the probability that the details of your family’s transition will not be at your disposition, but at someone else’s.
- Do not assume the next generation is or is not interested. Ask them! Listen to what they say. Write down their suggestions.
- Do treat sons and daughters the same. Do not assume daughters are not interested because they may be the most important ones to be involved.
- Do establish goals for the family and the land with input from the next generation.
- Do not suppress any attempts the next generation makes to open the discussion on transitions.
- Do think globally and be very open to all suggestions.
- Do answer all questions about any transition plans and opportunities even if they are difficult to explain.
- Do take the responsibility of identifying assignments related to the land and its management to which the current generation can take meaningful ownership.
- Do expect the next generation to be responsible for any assignments made and accepted.
- Do not get hung up on the small details and not accomplish anything.
- Do encourage the next generation to participate in self-improvement and education related to the land.
- Do develop fun activities with the next generation on and about the land.
- Do encourage your family to share their “wealth” from the land with
others. Wealth does not have to mean financial wealth; it could be knowledge, experience, tours, stories, pictures, etc.
Remember the more the next generation is involved now, the more the future shape of the family Tree Farm is established.
Photos courtesy of clctrust.org and NMS.