Transitions, Succession and Retirement: Finding Solutions as a Modern Farmer

Phil SzucsFarmland

a healthy farm at sunset

Navigating Life’s Changes

Some changes are planned and some changes are unexpected. Growing a business or entrusting it to the next generation —usually planned. Facing a divorce, an untimely death, or unforeseen financial stress —usually (and hopefully) unplanned. Tack any major shift in your personal or work life onto your other mounting responsibilities as a farmer, and you may feel lost and overwhelmed.

“It’s not about making the right choice. It’s about making a choice and making it right.” 

? J.R. Rim

How you maneuver through these changes is a testament to your character, as both a farmer and business owner. Be flexible to pivot with life’s challenges, with grace and practicality.

Car keys

Delegating doesn’t mean giving up control of your farming business

Shifting gears and changing goals

Although finding a viable long term solution may seem daunting, there are ample resources at your fingertips. Research and communication are vital. Don’t grapple with creating a new strategy on your own. Accepting change and reassessing goals is always easier when turning to others. Use the internet to read up and reach out; it’s a great tool for asking questions and getting opinions related to the task at hand. Consider how your farm’s future will unfold, and who will be a part of that future. 

Thinking about Retirement and Succession

As a retiree, you don’t want to look back on your final business choices with regret. Feeling stressed, tired or desperate at the end of your career may influence you to rush the process. It’s a shame if an option that can benefit you long term goes overlooked.

The age you want to retire is also an important factor to consider. Here’s an article that poses some great points about why Canadian farmers choose to retire at different ages.

It’s hard to imagine what 5 or 10 years from now will look like when you aren’t in the centre of the picture. Do you have a successor? If so, how do they feel about taking the reins? Are they ready?


Despite the increase in agricultural technology, it is the next generation of Ontario farmers that will drive our future and carry on our values.

If you feel like you’re ready to examine the finer details of succession planning, the OMAFRA (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs) website has a good step-by-step guide on Succession Planning Steps and Checklist.

Upholding your Legacy

What is the role of your family in your farming operation? Does the next generation of your family plan to fill your shoes when you decide to put your feet up?

Passing the torch on your life’s work is never easy. Running a farm is an especially complex responsibility. Farmers wear many hats; they are mechanics, scientists, builders, caretakers, purchasers, merchants, the list goes on, and the hats can shift radically from season to season. How do you step away from it all? 


Family farms are dwindling in Canada. This is why you should look into succession and transition planning if you hope to keep the farm in your family.

Transitioning from your farming career doesn’t mean your farm business must undergo a drastic changing-of-hands. You can loosen your grip on your farming operation without sacrificing control of your land or how it’s used. There are options that won’t leave you feeling like decades of work and achievements are being dismantled.

Your name, your family, and your integrity are tied to your farm, and we feel it should stay that way.

AGinvest provides solutions in combinations you may have never considered. There is flexibility for successors and several choices of shares, liquid cash, land, and continued farming. View the AGinvest land share exchange guide.

Think it Through

Business changes need thoughtful planning. Weigh out all your options with clarity; your personal and emotional reflections have just as much merit as your financial concerns. You can transition to the next phase of your life comfortably. You can stay informed, you can keep your legacy, and you can finally relax. AGinvest can help and wants to make the process smooth and flexible to suit your unique needs.