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May 2010 Archive for Leave a Legacy

RSS By: Kevin Spafford, Legacy Project

Kevin Spafford is Farm Journal’s succession planning expert for the Farm Journal Legacy Project.  He hosts the nationally-televised ‘Leave a Legacy’ TV, facilitates an ongoing series of workshops for farm families across the U.S., and is the author of Legacy by Design: Succession Planning for Agribusiness Owners.

Lessons from an Agricultural Leader

May 25, 2010
From Legacy Moment eNewsletter (May 21, 2010)
Please join us for future issues, delivered via email each Friday.

Recently, I met with Jim Ostrom of Milk Source in Freedom, Wis. We talked about a variety of topics, including his view of the future, the steps to achievement and how to overcome obstacles. Here are a few excerpts from that conversation.

Kevin: Jim, what are the keys to your success?

Jim: The key to our success is the team. I’ve got two partners. We all three focus on different areas of the operation. I focus on the business side, including risk management, negotiations, planning and the next new projects. Todd focuses on construction, facilities and operations. John handles herd management, health and production.

If you could change one thing, one mistake you’ve made in the past, what would that be?

Jim: Several years ago we decided to vertically integrate into bottled milk to sell directly to the consumer. We bought a very expensive home delivery milk-processing plant in a faraway city. And it easily cost our business a couple years, and possibly more... We underestimated the complexities, and misjudged how difficult it is to compete in a world where your competitors are multibillion-dollar companies.

Kevin: What tips would you pass along to the next generation who is interested in a career in farming?

Jim: Our world is changing; I’d encourage my own children to go beyond agricultural education, focus on business and the fundamentals of business management.

News & Resources for You
Did you miss Jim Ostrom’s profile on this week’s episode of ‘Leave a Legacy’ TV? Catch it online now.

Leading the Change – Legacy Project Workshops: The next series of Legacy Project workshops are scheduled for Lincoln, Neb., on July 20, Des Moines, Iowa, on July 21 and Champaign, Ill., on July 23. Sign up online
, or call the Farm Journal Events Hotline for more information: (800) 909-3681.

Follow the Legacy Project (and see photo albums of our case study families) on Facebook.

How to Know When It's Time
: Your questions about succession are answered. 

Leading the Change – Legacy Project Workshops: The next series of Legacy Project workshops are scheduled for Lincoln(July 20th), Des Moines (July 21st), and Champaign (July 23). Sign-up online, or call the Farm Journal Events Hot Line for more information: (800) 909-3681. 




When It's Time to Hang Up Your Spurs

May 19, 2010
From Legacy Moment eNewsletter (May 14, 2010).
Please join us for future issues, delivered to your Inbox each Friday.

For hard-charging, successful agripreneurs, the life-altering change of sudden retirement is hard. Nothing is more disheartening than the thought of giving up a lifetime on the farm and the image of letting go.
How do you know when it’s time to hang up your spurs?

Check out our Ready for Retirement assessment. It will help you gauge whether you are ready to pass the baton to the next generation.
News & Resources for You

Legacy Project Workshops:  Join us for the workshop series, developed by Farm Journal and supported by Pioneer. Next workshops are July 20 in Lincoln NE, July 21 in Des Moines IA, and July 23 in Champaign IL.   
For more information on the workshops, call the Farm Journal Events Hotline at (800) 909-3681.

Coming up on Leave a Legacy TV (Thursday, May 20): 

                                                  To begin, we meet the ‘first family’ of one of the world’s largest cheese producers.  Next, host Kevin Spafford invites John Hohenberger (farm operator in Leland, Illinois) and Josh Sylvester (of Legacy by Design) to join the roundtable discussion about what families may expect from the succession planning process.  Finally, Jim Ostrom shares the keys to success for the innovative Rosendale Dairy in Wisconsin.



Step Up as a Leader

May 11, 2010
From Legacy Moment eNewsletter (May 07, 2010)
Please join us for future issues, delivered via email each Friday.

Given today’s razor-thin margins, environmental pressures and capital requirements, leadership development is often the least concern for farm managers. Yet leadership development is key to continuing success.

Our Leadership Skills Inventory 
will help focus your limited resources on developmental needs.
After filling in the inventory, write a plan for development utilizing:

  • Formal educational opportunities -- seminars, workshops, college courses and TEPAP
  • Defined experiences -- nothing teaches quite like hands-on doing. What kinds of experience should you have to better serve in a leadership capacity?
  • Enlist the help of mentors -- the advice, counsel and guidance of experienced voices can be very reassuring in the face of risk and the unknown.
  • Adopt a networking mentality -- we can always learn from the experiences of others.
  • And never miss the opportunity to learn through firsthand experience and exposure to the methods of others -- even outside of agriculture.
News & Resources for You

A Call to Action:
I realize that families don’t talk about succession as they should, but how can we if the outcome is always displeasure?

We are American Farmers
: It is our privilege to share with you, “We are American Farmers” – from Farm Journal, February 1952.



Take This Business Plan Assessment

May 04, 2010

From Legacy Moment eNewsletter (April 30, 2010)
Please join us for future issues, delivered via email each Friday.

If you’re going to build a barn, you begin with a plan. If you’re going to assemble a piece of equipment, you rely on instructions. If you’re going on a trip, you may use a map.

Watch "Leave a Legacy" Episode #4!

Building an operation that is bigger-than-self is no less daunting, and far more important. A business plan is critical for long-term success, clearly defining the objectives of your operation and enlisting a team to achieve business goals.

If you don’t have a plan, now is the time to create one. If you do have a plan, use our Business Plan Self Assessment to review it---you may note the depth of your plan and notice areas for improvement.

 News & Resources for You

How to Know When It’s Time: How do we know when it’s time to seriously consider succession planning?  




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