At this year's Lay of the Land Conference, a panel of experts gave helpful tips to landowners. The panel was headed by Dean Saunders and included Bart Arrington of Mosaic Company, Mallory Lykes Dimmitt of Lykes Brothers, Inc., Bill Calton of Weyerhauser, and Erik Jacobsen of AgReserves. Speaking on the purpose of the panel, Saunders stated that he "tried to find a good panel of large landowners that have a presence in Florida with different land ownership structures."
The panel of experts had decades of land management experience including agriculture, cattle, mining, hunting, timber, water management and more. They worked from varying business structures from family-owned companies to corporations operating globally. This economically diverse panel highlighted efficient land management strategies.
Saunders was seeking to use the panel as an exploration of the ways that different corporate structures should approach land management. The panel took turns explaining the corporate structures of their respective organizations and the goals that those organizations were working towards. The panel also extensively discussed succession planning.
Here are some helpful quotes from our panel:
"If you're trying to grow your business, there's really only two limitations: there's either capital or people. If you've got capital to grow but you don't have people to manage things or vice versa than you really can't do anything."
"It's a challenge that each you go down to have the next generation be interested and involved in the family business in some way, so we're always trying to come up wit new ways to have greater engagement."
"We evaluate our talent every year. And based on that person's score, they are subject to additional education and leadership opportunities. We want our folks to advance and get the experience they want, and to grow and achieve the things that they want to achieve."
"I make sure that there is a redundancy so that when someone is gone, they have someone who can fill in so that's how I build in some succession planning."
"Each acre is in a local community. We have to be embedded in each of those local communities and understanding that county or region and how they may want a different use for that land then we do."
After the panel took turns speaking, they opened up to answer questions asked by the audience. The panel answered questions regarding current projects, conservation easements, Florida Forever funding, government regulation, and more.
To hear the panel's discussion and Q&A segment, listen to the podcast below: