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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.

Does Anyone Magically Become a Leader?

May 02, 2012

 

Rickert, James   on Legacy TVFrom Legacy Moment (04/27/2012).
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There’s no such thing as a "future" leader. A person doesn’t magically become a leader at some appointed time in the future, after attaining a certificate or earning a degree. There is no special potion or requisite level of achievement. Leadership is a skill/ability/trait that is exercised, practiced and developed over time.

Leadership skills can be learned, abilities will improve with practice and traits can be honed. The moniker of "leader" is demonstrated in action and tested in the pursuit of success. The more I learn about leadership development, and the more I take the time to watch some of our young agripreneurs grow, the more impressed I become.

James Rickert of the Prather Ranch is an excellent example. He is a budding agripreneur learning to assume a leadership role in an operation that has existed for most of 200 years. You may recall from "Leave a Legacy TV" that James, along with his parents, Jim and Mary, run a closed herd of cattle in the far reaches of Northern California.
 
Prather Ranch beef is natural and organic, and the byproducts from each carcass are used in the medical field. The following link is a presentation James made for a regional TED conference. In his presentation, this young leader explains the "Invisible Contract" which obligates each grower to consumers, and vice versa.
 
 
James, and many others like him, give me confidence in our future.
 
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Interested in learning more about the heritage of the Rickert family? Join Kevin on a virtual visit to Prather Ranch.
 
For more thoughts about transparency in agriculture, one of our strongest spokespersons is the legendary Temple Grandin. (Side note: The animal handling procedures at Prather Ranch are based on the guidelines of, and specific advice from, Dr. Grandin.)
 
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