To the members of any farming family, the arrangements described here will seem entirely normal and appropriate. They are of course both of those things, however such intentions and understandings are always influenced by time and relationships.
Farming families constantly grapple not only with the business issues of running a successful operation, they also deal with issues such as making the farm an attractive career prospect for future generations, how to equitably deal with the family assets between children that do not desire to or cannot continue the operation in the future.
In most cases, these matters are discussed in kitchens or similar family meetings. More often than not certain promises are made or ‘understandings’ are reached about what will happen to the farm when the current generation are deceased; and more particularly how things will be divided up among children that wish to continue working the farm and those that have already left to pursue other careers.