Family ownership of more value

In a discussion on whether size matters for farms, Dr Jon Hauser  says:

. . . Family ownership and stewardship of the land has more value to our community and the long term health of the nation than is evident in the milk price and farm economics. Individual owners, and especially families, will invest for the long term and do more than just turn over the dollars. . .

A Rabobank survey in Australia found that $10 – $13 million dollar farms tended to be the most profitable. I’d be surprised if this wasn’t also the case here.

These are usually larger family owned businesses. They have economies of scale that smaller ones lack and don’t have problems of governance and management which often dog corporate farms.

However, while profitability is essential for the long-term health of any business, money isn’t all that matters.

From my observation family owned and run farms are more likely to take a longer term view and seek to balance economic, environmental and social factors in their businesses.

That’s good for the businesses, their communities and the country.

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