Sep 17, 2014
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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. 




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