Originally posted in March 2017 with a follow up post in May 2018
A family business has a unique set of dynamics – everyone is trying to balance their roles as both a family member and as a business partner. I recently heard the motto “Connected, Protected, Respected” and it really spoke to me. In order to have a happy family and a sustainable farming operation I need to make sure that I am attending to each of those things. Each of those words can mean many different things, so here is what they mean to me, for my farm and my family:
To me, this means that I recognize that we are all one unit, working together for our collective good.
I facilitate communication between employer and employee.
I facilitate communication between the generations.
I facilitate communication between the trainees and their family and friends.
I make sure that my kids feel connected to farm life.
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.
I am a protector of our farm’s good reputation in the way that I choose to do business and make operational choices.
I am the protector of family time.
I am the chief safety officer.
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.
I say please and thank you for the jobs that I need help with.
I recognize jobs well done.
I respect time, curiosity and effort.
Connected, Protected, Respected – that is how I would like to view our family and our farming operation.