Local Business Professional Recognized for Outstanding Achievement

Leading Global Family Enterprise Membership Association Awards Distinguished Certificate 

Joe Kluender of FarmFamilyDynamics, LLC was honored as a Fellow of the Family Firm Institute at the 2016 FFI Global Conference, October 26-29 in Miami, Florida with the additional designation of ACFBA – Advanced Certificate in Family Business Advising. FFI Fellow status signifies that Joe Kluender has completed an advanced program of study as part of the Family Firm Institute’s Global Education Network, presented at FFI annual conferences, and has been a member of FFI for more than 10 years.

The certificate is presented to individuals who have achieved comprehensive professional knowledge and ensures that the highest standards in professional best practices will be implemented. 

The Family Firm Institute (www.ffi.org), an international professional membership organization of over 1800 individuals and organizations across 88 countries, is dedicated to providing interdisciplinary education and networking opportunities for family business and family wealth advisors, consultants, educators and researchers.  “Through obtaining Fellow status, Joe Kluender has gained a deeper understanding of the needs of family-owned enterprises and the many roles family business and non-family members play, “said Judy Green, President of the Family Firm Institute.


Mind Your Management Hours

Why farm leaders should spend their time strategically

You have more demands on your time than ever. On any given day, you balance production, management, human resources, marketing and family life. 

“As in any business, time on the farm is of the essence,” says Chuck Schwartau, University of Minnesota Extension regional director. “A couple of days or even a few hours can make a big difference.”

Most farmers are tuned into major priorities such as planting or managing a livestock herd. Yet Schwartau says they might not be dedicating time each day to managing their business. As you shift from being a doer to a manager, focus on accomplishing tasks that will propel your operation forward.

Know Your Role. To understand how you are spending your time, write a list of your duties and responsibilities. Have your team do the same so you can define roles and job descriptions, suggests Joe Kluender, president of Farm Family Dynamics in Mankato, Minn.

“One of the biggest mistakes I see on farms is a duplication of management,” Kluender says. “You have one, two or three people all making the same decision. This confuses employees and reduces efficiency.” 

Once you have your list, determine where your energy is best spent or where you still have strong passion, Kluender advises. 

Also identify which duties you can transition to other family members or employees. “Each year at your annual family or business meeting, choose which role or responsibility you will give up,” he says. “Challenge the next generation to pinpoint duties they can take over.”

As you spend more time thinking long term about your business, you might need to change your daily definition of success. 

“You don’t tend to have the same sense of accomplishment in the office as finishing a field or filling a bin,” Kluender acknowledges. 

“But not shifting leadership duties may create a glass ceiling for the next generation.” 

Prioritize Tasks With A Time Diary

You can’t improve the way you manage your time unless you comprehensively understand how you are spending it. To get a handle on what fills your hours, keep a detailed time diary, suggests Chuck Schwartau, University of Minnesota Extension regional director.

“Record as much detail as possible for a week on a pocket notebook or by making a few notes on your smartphone,” Schwartau says. “Make brief notes of what you have been doing and approximately how much time you spent on the task.” 

After you have several days or weeks of entries, Schwartau says, you should ask yourself these questions: 

  • Are there routine and frequently repeated tasks in my day?
  • Could someone else on the farm perform some of these tasks?
  • How long did I spend on tasks someone else could have done?
  • Which of my tasks are a high priority? Which might be dropped?
  • Of the tasks that cannot or should not be passed to someone else, what are implications to the farm business if I don’t get them done?

A second part of the exercise is to list tasks that need to be done each day. Close out the end of the day with an evaluation: 

  • What didn’t I get done, and why? Does it need to be done at all?
  • Did low-priority items get in the way?
  • How can I change for tomorrow?

“Congratulate yourself for what you did get done rather than beat yourself up for what you didn’t get done,” Schwartau advises. “Your day isn’t any longer than anyone else’s on the farm—use the information to plan and execute a more productive day tomorrow with priority items getting more attention.”

Alliance Partner, Terry Betker Receives Wilson Loree Award

Terry Betker, farm management instructor in the School of Agriculture, received the Wilson Loree Award at the Agricultural Excellence Conference in Regina on November 26 in recognition of his visionary and leading-edge contribution to farm business management.

The award, presented by Farm Management Canada, was established to honour those that have made an extraordinary contribution to developing and promoting new and positive change in agricultural business management practices and expertise in Canada.

Terry, who is also the president and CEO of Backswath Management Inc., has an interest and passion in providing consulting expertise to farmers, focusing primarily on strategic business and succession planning, financial analysis, and risk management... Read the full article here.

Joe Speaks at Elite Producer's Business Conference

Nearly 400 dairy farmers converged at the Bellagio Hotel for the 14th Annual Elite Producers Business Conference. The producers at the meeting represented many of the large herds in the U.S.Dairy producers and industry representatives had the opportunity to network and exchange ideas throughout the conference.

Farm Family Dynamics Founder, Joe Kluender, was an invited panelist at the event. He spoke about last month's blog post content, "The Marathon is Over." 



The Marathon is Over

After six years of planning, the Moes sign farm transition documents 

It’s done. And it’s just beginning.

The “it” is Greg and Jim Moes’ farm business transition plan. After six long, grueling years, the two brothers signed documents in October that officially inks their plan to transition the operation to Greg’s sons, Jacob and Scott, and Jim’s son, Matthew. 

If all goes well, Jacob, Scott and Matthew will each own a third of the operation by 2029. 

“Oct. 15 was a very fulfilling day at the MoDak Dairy,” says Joe Kluender, a farm transition expert with Farm Family Dynamics under contract with Farm Journal’s Legacy Project. He’s worked with the Moes for the past year. “We finalized, signed the transition plan and transferred 28% of the company to the fifth generation.” Read the full article here.

Approaching the Finish Line

After six long years of debate, soul searching and stops and starts, the Moes family is hoping to sign final transition plans this summer. The hang-ups have been many, and there are still some knotty details to work out. But Greg and Jim Moes, along with Greg’s sons, Scott and Jacob, and Jim’s son, Matt, have reached consensus on how the 2,000-cow dairy operation that sits 10 miles east of Watertown, S.D. will be transferred.

The transition will be phased in over 10 years, at which time Scott, Jacob and Matt will each own 25% of the business, and Greg and Jim will retain just 12.5% each. Greg and Jim will also still retain ownership of 1,000 acres of land, which they will continue to lease to the operation.  

Read the full article here

Joe is Featured in ASAC Article

Joe Kluender was featured in the Fall 2012 newsletter for the American Society of Agricultural Consultants. The American Society of Agricultural Consultants. Founded in 1963, the American Society of Agricultural Consultants (ASAC) is a non-profit organization oriented around raising the standards and image of professional agricultural consultants. ASAC is the only association representing the full range of agricultural consultants.

Read the article here.