Mother's Day

You are never too old to need your mom.  

For our Farm Femme Mom who spent countless hours, modeling, coaching, listening, advising, guiding, prompting, supporting, working behind the scenes, driving, financing, and providing a much needed kick in the rear... THANK YOU!  Thanks for teaching us how to raise our kids.  Thanks for helping us to learn when to hang on and when to let go.  Thanks for teaching us to be kind to ourselves.  And, for so many other lessons... Thanks for being the best mom you could be every day.

Love you Mom!

Click through the gallery to see how our Mom taught us to be Moms... and how to spoil grandkids in just the right ways.

Revisiting Connected, Protected, Respected

Connected, Protected, Respected was a motto I heard a while ago, and have posted about several times.  It resonates with me each time I go back to it – for different reasons and in different ways.  As seeding time arrives, it is a good reminder that we are striving to be a farm family that is Connected, Protected and Respected.

Connected

To me, this means that I recognize that we are all one unit, working together for our collective good.

Protected

To me, this means that I have a responsibility for the safety and wellbeing (physical and mental) of all of the members of my farm family.

Respected

To me, this means that I know that we all have a role to play.  I know my role and my strengths and try to use those strengths to the betterment of our family and of our farm.  I also know my weaknesses and I hope that I can use the strengths of others to help navigate through the areas where I need help.  I expect that our family farm relationships hinge on give-and-take that changes with the seasons, but that everyone is respected for what they can contribute.

Connected, Protected, Respected also means that we all succeed together.  Deer Creek Farms and Vallotton Farms operations are both rooting for each other; both as operations and as individuals in those operations.  Family farms are why #farmlifeisthebestlife

Click here for the full-length, original Connected, Protected, Respected post (March 2017)

Canadian Federal Tax Changes

On July 18th, the Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, announced significant proposed changes to the Canadian tax structure.  During the months that followed there were a number of farm groups actively lobbying for revisions to the proposal.  It seems that the lobbying paid off, as Minister Morneau announced a set of updates to the proposed changes in mid-October.  Many of the proposed changes reflect revised thinking about some of the hot button topics for farmers and farm families.  

Income Sprinkling

In the original proposal family members who received and “unreasonable” amount of income relative to their business contributions would be taxed at the highest personal income tax rate.  The revised proposal promises to continue to address these concerns, but the details are unclear.  This issue is very significant for many farm extenders who often struggle to quantify their business contributions.

Passive Investments

Originally the government announced that they wanted to limit this tax deferral strategy, however they are now allowing passive investment income of up to $50 000 inside an incorporated business before a much higher tax rate kicks in.  The intention of this passive investment is to allow people to develop their own personal safety net for changes in business circumstances (unanticipated slow down in business) or personal circumstances (retirement).  While there are still many questions about the details of the revised proposal, the recognition of the importance of passive investments was a welcome change for farmers.  

Converting income to capital gains

The original proposal would have discouraged the inter-generational transfer of businesses.  The government has since decided not to move forward with this measure.  

In following through on previous promises, the original federal tax change proposal included allowing incorporated small businesses a lower tax rate on their first $500 000 of income.  The current rate of 10.5% will be reduced to 10% (Jan 1, 2018) and then to 9% (Jan 1 2019).  This election promise affects many farm families, as well as many other agriculturally oriented small businesses.

As agvocates and farm extenders it is our responsibility to educate ourselves about potential changes so that we can lobby effectively for the farming industry.  Here are 3 ways to start:

  1. Work with your tax planner to determine the impacts the changes could have to your farm

  2. Lend your voice in your constituency to support what’s best for your farm

  3. Explain the impact - your personal story and/or pictures of your intergenerational farm, or as a farm extender our voice matters and it needs to be heard by non-farmers

Comment below or send us your story at teresa@farmfemmes.com or karen@farmfemmes.com and we will put together a series of posts of what this means to farmfemmes readers