One way to improve the communication between family members and keep everyone on the same page is to schedule regular meetings, says Ron Hanson, professor of agribusiness at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Follow these guidelines for success:

  • Set a specific meeting date and time, like the first Monday of the month for breakfast or coffee.
  • Meet on neutral ground, not at the kitchen table.
  • Establish an agenda for each meeting.
  • Establish ground rules. For example, determine who will chair the meeting or how disagreements will be settled.
  • Keep minutes of all decisions made at the meeting.
  • Set aside one meeting a year to discuss and review goals for both the family and the farm business.