Making multigenerational farm management work – RealAgriculture


It seems no one has ever told the Jochums that “too many cooks spoil the broth”.

Günter, Crystal and their daughter Fiona Jochum together operate a farm just west of Winnipeg, Manitoba. But they don’t just cultivate as a family, they also cultivate with Gunter’s brother-in-law. All in all, there are a number of managers, and Günter says they wouldn’t want it any other way.

According to Günter and Crystal, the key to the collaboration between this multigenerational, multi-family farm is communication.

“If you don’t speak, nothing will work,” says Günter. Crystal says a lot of their conversations about the farm and the farming business take place at the dinner table.

It may be somewhat contrary to what some professional counselors may tell you to do, but Crystal says their families eat, breathe, and sleep while cultivating – it is an integral part of their daily lives. The key, however, is to make sure everyone has a voice, she says.

Fiona, for her part, has been a manger on the farm for three years. Unlike the way some farms pass on responsibility, Fiona started out by managing farm books and grain inventory, planning grain movement, and helping with marketing. A spreadsheet lover, the role was a natural place for her.

“We all seem to have our place on the farm and it kind of happened,” says Günter. “If anyone needs time off, there are now enough people to cover (the work),” which gives the Jochum family valuable downtime.

Listen to the full chat with the Jochums below:

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