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Family business tool

Agriculture.com Staff 01/10/2006 @ 10:46am

After 30 years of consulting with family businesses and farms, Don Jonovic knows a thing or two about the challenges of succeeding in family-owned operations.

"Owners of family farms generally have purposes and objectives broader and deeper than simply making money," he says. "These personal commitments are a major strength, but they also often cause disagreement, conflict, and poor decisions because they're seldom discussed."

His new book, Ag-Planner/IV is designed to help family farm business members and advisers identify and answer key questions in planning for a successful operation.

"When I conducted a workshop for Farm Credit a few years ago, I was asked if I used a workbook with my clients," Jonovic says. "I did not, but my wife, Pamela, and I began looking for a way to write about the process I've used to work with families."

He adds, "I typically begin by spending time with individual members of the business to determine their values and goals -- where they agree and where they see the business going in the future. I began to build a book around these questions that farm families could use to get started on their own."

After 30 years of consulting with family businesses and farms, Don Jonovic knows a thing or two about the challenges of succeeding in family-owned operations.

Jonovic suggests beginning with regular family meetings. The first objective is to use Ag-Planner/IV to determine where individuals have shared -- or differing -- goals and objectives.

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