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The Evolution of Succession and Governance on a Medium Size Dairy Farm. A Case Study from Canterbury, New Zealand

Alderbrook Farm Ltd. (AFL) was established as a 50-50 sharemilking partnership in 1987.
 Since the initiation of operations, the business has grown to be a self-contained business of
 two farms and support blocks milking 1,200 cows on a farming area of 550 hectares near 
Christchurch, New Zealand (NZ). Previous publications have described the growth in
 dairying in Canterbury (Pangborn et al. 2015) and the growth of this business (Pangborn
 2012).


The process through which the farm established a succession plan and further developed a
 governance structure to oversee the operation is explored. It was clear that involving a
 facilitator at the onset to improve communication and give all family members a ‘voice’ was
 critical. After establishment, it was equally important to establish a plan that developed a
purpose, mission and goals for the business. Further, a governance structure was adopted to
 oversee the plan. To date, the process has allowed the pursuit of the purpose of the plan;
 however, succession has come at a cost to the financial stability of the existing farm business.