Dairy farmer David Homer shared his advice on working with your family during his talk at the recent British Cattle Breeding Conference in Telford, Shropshire.
He runs a dairy business in Wiltshire with his wife Jane and three children Chris, Geoff and Anne. The family milks a total of 520 cows.
According to Mr Homer, his eight top tips are:
- Don’t expect your family to do labour for free. Always reward your children.
- Encourage your children to have an input into the business. Ask them about their aspirations and objectives. Just because you’ve done something for years, doesn’t mean you can’t change.
- Identify everyone’s roles and responsibilities on the farm so day-to-day tasks are clear.
- Meet regularly to monitor progress and identify new KPIs.
- Play to people’s strengths. If someone is good with people, get them interacting with the public.
- If family members want to leave the business farm for themselves, let them.
- Never make any assumptions or pressure them to farm. Let them follow the career paths they choose to take.
- Don’t whine about how difficult farming is – be positive.