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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.

Planning Secret #4: Fortify the Operation

Jan 18, 2011

From Legacy Moment eNewsletter (01/14/2011)
Please join us for future issues, delivered via email each Friday

Cornfield Farm   iStock CompressedEach person who attends our Farm Journal Legacy Project workshops brings his or her personal story and a unique view of succession. Questions, comments and constructive critiques offer me insight I might not otherwise have the opportunity to learn. Sometimes participants will share their own personal experience as it relates to a family meeting, professional consultation or planning result. From these experiences, I may take away ideas that will help others.
It has helped me develop what I consider the fourth secret to success:
Fortify the operation.
Previously, I talked about giving voice to the operation. If each person speaks for his or her own self-interest, who speaks for the operation? If the operation is going to survive and continue to endow the family with financial security, future opportunities, family values and a lasting heritage, it must have a voice in the discussion.
The strength, health and resources of the business must be the first priority. Like the goose who laid the golden eggs, from Aesop, if not careful we can tear it apart.
  • Each decision must be measured against what is good for the operation.
  • Family members must realize the physical, financial and intrinsic value of continuing farm ownership.
  • Personal goals must not compromise or unduly burden the integrity of the operation.

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