Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned. It certainly didn’t for the Dell family of Maryland. A succession plan must be flexible to accommodate for the unthinkable. A situation that Greg Dell, the patriarch of the family, never thought he’d have to experience.
"I had in my head the plan, how I thought it was going to go and now it’s…," Greg says referring to the snag they hit in the planning process after the death of Tommy in an accident during last year’s harvest. Together the family continues to farm and with the leader ship of parents, Greg and Della, the siblings continue to plan for succession despite the loss of Tommy, a brother and integral part of the day to day farm operation.
"After the accident was shock, and then we went to survival mode and now we’re through spring and through the shock and hopefully there will be more progress," says Shannon Dell, Tommy’s widow.
Tommy’s younger brother Doug has begun spending more time on the farm, learning from his dad Greg, and Shannon still plays a large role in the day to day operation doing the accounting and helping with the seed business.
"Life’s chaotic, but life goes on, and we’re going on just as I think Tommy would have wanted us to go on," Shannon says.