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Middle Farm

Background

Middle farm is is a family-run 480ha modern mixed farm in Cheriton, Hampshire.  Their herd of over 450 Cows plus followers and young stock is milked twice a day through a herringbone parlour producing on average 13500 litres per day.  They rent land locally in addition to their owned land to produce sufficient grass for their herd.

The situation

Mark Cheyney, the Farm Owner approached REAL Success looking for some recruitment into his current team. After completing this recruitment, Mark asked for some further help with his working relationship with his son Charlie and the rest of the team.  One of our Senior Partners,  Andy Gubb and our CEO, Paul Harris met with Mark and Charlie to discussion some of the challenges they were facing with succession.  This needed to include Charlie’s partner, his sister, and also Mark’s partner.

The task

After the initial meeting, a family meeting was arranged where the issue of succession was discussed along with working practices, responsibilities and accountabilities and the long term future of the farm. All of the family had the opportunity to express any concerns and to outline their desired outcome for the short and medium term.  The conversations were frank, open and at times, challenging but with facilitation and guidance from Andy and Paul, significant progress was made towards an agreed future strategy.

Actions

  • The needs of the family members were openly discussed and the potential for shaping the farm in the future.
  • Accountabilities and responsibilities between Mark and Charlie were agreed with Mark accepting that he needed to step back to allow Charlie to grow his confidence, experience and knowledge.
  • Team structure across the farm was agreed.
  • Long term objectives for Mark and his partner, beyond working full time on the farm were explored and encouraged.
  • Investment plans, inheritance issues and the future distribution of assets were discussed with further discussion encouraged to include all family members.

Results

  • Improved communication and understanding between Mark, Charlie and other family members.
  • Open conversations about concerns ensured that issues were discussed, enabling all parties to appreciate and understand their individual positions.
  • A clear plan moving forward to tackle sensitive and important financial and business related issues.
  • Strengthening of critical family relationships though deeper understanding of the needs of all parties.

“We made more progress in 4 hours than we have in the last 4 years. Thank you.”

Mark and Charlie Cheyney

For support and advice on Succession planning, please contact our Succession planning specialist – Becky Miles at REAL Success Ltd.

Email: becky@real-success.co.uk
Phone: 07984 293847