Farm handover: what the parents say about the external farm manager

In the course of the farm succession, Christina decided to hire a farm manager for the agricultural area of the Genholter Hof. In the interview, her parents reveal how they felt about the search for a suitable candidate.

Hello you hardworking court heroes,

After you received my view on the search for a farm manager in August and Yannik’s view in December, I would now like to share with you the view of my father and my mother, as the generation giving up the farm. For this purpose, I thought of a few questions that my parents were allowed to answer during their well-deserved January vacation.

Dear Dad, dear Mom, please introduce yourselves briefly in advance and tell us which areas of the Genholter Hof you manage.

G: I am Gertrud Ingenrieth, 61 years young, a trained dental assistant and primarily responsible for the farm store, guest rooms and the farm cafe/seasonal restaurant.

H: My name is Hermann Ingenrieth, I’m 63 years young, I trained as a wholesale and export merchant and then went on to become a farmer. At Genholter Hof I am responsible for the cultivation of our products edible potatoes, sweet potatoes, asparagus and strawberries as well as for their marketing (primarily via the food retail trade).

Until when do you want to hold the role of "final decision-makers" on the court?

G: The direct marketing on the Genholter Hof exists since 1989, the restaurant since 1999. Our common wish is to be able to live to the age of 30. June 2023 to fill the role of the "last decision maker" and then to step into the second row.

H: Exactly, because the goal of generational change is not to stop working completely, but to have less responsibility in its entirety. In particular, we would like to be available to the next generation also as an advisory function.

christina-and-yannik-with-asparagus-and-strawberries

Farm handover: When the employee is to replace the father

What were your ideas on how the search for a farm manager for the agricultural area, which is scheduled for fall 2020, should take place??

H: Actually, neither of us personally gave much thought to the nature of the search itself. Because we knew that we had to tackle it, no matter what it took. Classical advertisements in agricultural newspapers seemed to us to be the most logical first step.

G: The Chamber of Agriculture also gave us a few contacts where we could get in touch. We then also addressed them.

Father Hermann: "Yannik has taken away my uncertainty."

What thoughts went through your heads when Yannik turned out to be one of the first interested parties??

H: First of all, we were pleased that a few interested parties had contacted us at all. This gave us the feeling that the search was not hopeless. The fact that it was Yannik’s turn made me personally even happier, since we already knew each other briefly. It has taken some uncertainty away from the milestone of the "farm manager search", which is also a big step for me in particular.

How did you find the first conversations with Yannik?

H: The first conversation we had together was relatively low-key. But not only from Yannik, but of course also from me. What should I ask? What Yannik wanted to know? What would I definitely like to tell you to whet your appetite for this position? With each conversation the ice broke, so that you could notice more and more what a determined young man Yannik is.

He is clear in his questions and statements, which made it easier for me to learn the ropes later on. So far, I have rarely had employees whom I had to "take along" in such a way that they could succeed me in my position. In particular, I was then convinced that he was open to crops with which he had not worked before: asparagus and strawberries. And of course that he had carried out the cultivation and marketing of the sweet potato completely on his own and had thus already sniffed the air of the LEH.

portraet-yannik-meiners

Farm manager Yannik: That’s why I work as a salaried farmer

How do you like the increased public relations work we are doing and the openness towards our generational change, in which you, after all, do not play an insignificant role??

G: For us personally, one thing was always clear: we will not present ourselves operationally on the social media channels, because we do not use them ourselves, could not exploit the potential with it at all and it would simply not have been authentic in its entirety. Since we also see how important such communication is in today’s world, we are grateful that you, as the younger generation, are taking on this topic and are happy to go this exciting path with you. We are usually open to all ideas and are then also happy when a post on Instagram has received particularly many hearts.

H: I would say that the coverage of our generational transition at the beginning was a mix of excitement and uncertainty. We did not know this kind of communication until now. In the meantime, we are maybe a little bit proud to play an important part in this farm handover *mischievous smile*.

Challenges for the new generation

In conclusion: Where do you see challenges – also in relation to agriculture – coming up??

G: For example, the public relations work mentioned in the previous question will be a task that should not be underestimated. Because it will always be a balancing act to reach the desired target group at eye level without denouncing their non-agricultural expertise. However, we must not forget that this effort also generates revenue, and thus the cost-benefit question must be asked.

H: In the agricultural sector, I think the gap between large and small farms is getting wider and wider. Both will exist on the market, but with different goals. The large farms are on an equal footing with the food retailers and can meet their requirements, while the small ones can only survive if they look for their own niches and become really good at them.

G+H: We are therefore looking forward to the exciting years ahead with you and Yannik. To the – perhaps also one or the other heated – conversations, in which direction of the GeHo 2.0 is to be aligned and, of course, to the development. Where will the Genholter Hof, which started in the early 1990s with radishes and radish, be in the future??!

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