Leave a Legacy
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.
Family, Farm and Future
Sep 21, 2011
From Legacy Moment eNewsletter (09/09/2011)
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If you’ve been watching “Leave a Legacy TV,” you’ve seen the Mooney family of Chico, Calif. Their story is about trial and triumph, proving the old adage: ”It’s not how many times you get knocked down, it’s how many times you get back up.”
They had a dream of farming, but shortly after buying their place, dad passed away, leaving mom to climb the steep learning curve of farming, finish raising the kids and handle an increasing debt load.
With the wolf at the door, this family banded together, saved the farm and created an agribusiness that ranks among the top in the United States. Today, Mooney Farms may be the largest producer of sun-dried tomatoes in the nation.
In my interview with Mary Mooney, the spokesperson for the family, she shared her enthusiasm for family, farming and the future:
On decision-making in the family operation:
“I don’t think I can say I’m in charge or Steve’s in charge [Steve is Mary’s brother and a co-owner in the business]. Neither one of us really is. Everything has always been a balanced, family decision.”
“For me, success is happiness--you know, really, if you’re happy with what you’ve achieved, and the way you get to live your life every day. For me, I get to come to this beautiful facility. I get to be surrounded by my family, who I love. I get to sell and talk to people, which I love. Those things together, for me, that’s success.”
Her advice to agripreneurs:
“Never forget: If you have land, you have wealth. Never give up the land. As long as you can grow something, you can make something. And that something will allow you to create an income.”
News & Resources for You:
The Legacy Project 2011 Report is chock-full of information and resources, and the entire issue is available online.