PR - DAIRY FARM SUCCESSION: RURAL PROFESSIONALS’ SKILLS REQUIREMENTS AND TRAINING NEEDS
Family farm business succession planning can be complex since every situation and family differs, and emotive issues can eventuate. Farm succession planning generally involves input from a range of rural professional from different fields, such as accountants, lawyers, bankers and farm consultants, who work as a team to provide knowledge and skills from their respective fields. A case study with six rural professionals was conducted to seek information on farm succession consultancy. This paper reports on the rural professionals’ views on knowledge and skills required for succession planning consultancy, gaps in skills and knowledge, and training opportunities.
Developing succession consulting process skills is more challenging than advancing the technical skills that RPs already have expertise in. Findings show that there are limited formal opportunities for succession advisors to learn the process skills required for succession consulting and these are largely acquired through experience. Those rural professionals who had been mentored found this was particularly helpful for developing these skills. In contrast, rural professionals identified that technical skills, and opportunities to develop and update these, are available from their professional organisations and other sources.
Skills requirements, and available opportunities and resources are identified, and opportunities for further training suggested.
Keywords: Family business, rural professional, farm advisor, succession planning, professional development, New Zealand