A farming community can be a useful way for farmers to keep their farms fit for the future. The farms that unite become competitive. They might produce (e. g. through better utilization of farming equipment) synergetic effects. The workload can be better shared. But such a union has a lot of potential for conflicts. These sometimes occur after years of harmonious collaboration.
Turf wars on a farm:
If two farms join to establish a farming community this may easily lead to tensions. Every farm owner was used to make all decisions concerning his farm on his own. Arrangements were only necessary with family and employees. Suddenly there is a shareholder that brought his farm into the farming community. And he has ideas he wants to implement as well. If those ideas collide this leads to trouble. To minimize the risk for this kind of conflicts it is helpful to structure the operational planning to the effect that the responsibilities for each field of work are clearly defined, to clarify who will be the decision maker in which operating range. Shareholders should be aware that the other shareholders will propose their own ideas. The readiness to discuss those ideas and to develop common solutions is a basic prerequisite for the sustainable success of the common work on the farm. If difficulties occur to find a common solution a mediator might be helpful.
Change of a shareholder:
If a shareholder leaves and his successor follows or another farm joins the farming community the dynamic of the community changes. Many responsibilities have to be negotiated again. The new shareholder is a new character that behaves in a different way and brings new strengths, weaknesses and knowledge to the table. Therefore, it is not easy for the other shareholders to define his new position at once. A carefully planned transition period would be helpful. If the strengths and weaknesses of the new shareholder are already known, because it is the daughter or son of an established shareholder, the shareholders are able to discuss in advance, which fields of activity could be suitable and where the new shareholder might work with special enthusiasm to advance the farm. If there should occur problems with the integration of the new shareholder a mediator could assist in solving them.
Interference of family members:
Up to now the shareholders got along with each other pretty well, but suddenly one of them has a new life partner that does not get along with somebody else on the farm. Or the child of a shareholder has finished the education and wants to participate in the decision making on the farm. This provides a lot of potential for conflict that can be solved by a mediator.
Markets change. Consumers, Environmental conservators, animal rights activists and policy constantly produce new ideas, that aggravate the life of a farmer and provide new challenges for the farm. These can make impossible the upkeep of proven working practices or even cause an existential crisis on the farm. Under pressure the nerves are tense. Small negligence that were never attracted attention on the farm before suddenly cause severe problems. Little annoyances that were never mentioned before suddenly escalate into conflict. To release pressure from the boiler and to rearrange yourself and the farm to meet the challenge well a mediation is helpful as it helps to reorganize things.
Different working concepts:
Every farmer has a unique personality. Different farmers put value on different things. There are different opinions which tasks on a farm are of special importance and how they should be done. If these opinions collide or the shareholders even disagree about the future direction of the farm this may have severe long-lasting consequences for the survival of the farm. If these conflicts are not solved timely, they have the potential for severe escalation. Therefore, you should find your way to a trustworthy mediator as early as possible, to reduce the tensions and figure out how the future of your farm should look like.
To make your farming community functional again I would love to help solving your conflict in a mediation.
Make an appointment for a first free preliminary, now to get to know each other and figure out, if a mediation is a useful option in your case under the phone number 0049 – 160 – 76 25 61 8