COLUMN: Ranch succession workshop well worth attending

Ranching industry is having difficulty attracting and retaining the next generation on our places in a gainful (living wage) manner.

It is well known that the ranching industry is having  difficulty attracting and retaining the next generation on our places in a gainful (living wage) manner.

This is why I devote this week’s article to this subject: Succession Planning

Tuesday, April 4 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. is the date of this year’s visit by Elaine Froese from Manitoba, a very well respected coach for ranch families who would like to put their succession planning on the right track.

Here is the catch, it will be in 100 Mile House at the Creekside Seniors Activity Centre, 501 Cedar Avenue South, 100 Mile House (vicinity of the Hospital, Horse lake Road).

100 Mile you say, that is an extra hour’s drive. That is exactly what people from that area say about travelling to Williams Lake.

Similarly people from Quesnel or the Chilcotin say they have travelled far enough by the time they get to Williams Lake.

There is no easy answer to this dilemma of distance in our region. We are spread out, the 1100 ranches and farms in the Cariboo are, over an area 300 kilometre by 400 kilometre, along narrow valleys cutting through the Interior Plateau.

So we all have to travel once in a while. There are so few ranches and farms that we have to spread the locations   of events around the region.

That said, 200 kms or so of travel is a lot closer than going to another region of B.C. and/or another province or the US to take in great speakers who are industry experts.

Intra-regional travel to our sub-regions creates the glue that allows us a greater capacity to have some control over  the what and where of knowledge transfer and education opportunities.

I am hopeful some of our family members can free themselves up to attend, although mum and dad have attended Elaine’s talks in Williams Lake twice in years gone by.  Elaine is never dull. She is a great speaker.

This time the South Cariboo Cattlemen’s association received funding and support from Growing Forward 2 (federal/provincial governments), BC Cattlemen’s Association, Interlakes Cattle Belles, The Agriculture Enterprise Centre in 100 Mile and Thompson Rivers University Applied Sustainable Ranching Program.

This co-operation between TRU and agriculture associations is very much in the spirit of the Applied Ranching Program: mix up industry families and students for a real world learning experience.

Government and others will only support these activities if they are supported by your attendance. This is extension of knowledge. More and more ranchers and farmers have to take charge of this themselves. Here we are, avail yourself of this wonderful opportunity.

Succession planning is process designed to achieve a smooth transfer between generations to benefit the business and strengthen family relationships.

To achieve this there needs to be agreement on the process before the start. And this process can’t be rushed!

This process will require family goals and needs to be identified. In-laws need to be involved.  Individual, family and business goals must be identified. These are not always obvious.

And, there needs to be discussion of how everyone can help the goals be achieved.

If this sounds like your family, call and register today: Gillian Watt (TRU) 250-319-2367.

There are limited private opportunities with Elaine before and after the seminar in 100 Mile House, all for the cost of $89-plus GST.

Lunch and a Beef and Brew after are included.

If the fee to register is a barrier, please call the number above as some funding might be available.

Take advantage of this opportunity. We are!