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.
Not a Surprise to Me!
Jul 05, 2012
From Legacy Moment (06/29/2012).
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The title and subtitle of the article say it all. "The Triumph of the Family Farm: Farming is in the midst of a startling renaissance – one that holds lessons for America’s economic future" (The Atlantic, July/August 2012) is an excellent portrayal of your story. It’s a testament to our farming way of life, the resilience of the Ag community and a demonstration of the values we hold dear.
As the quintessential family business, and the sector of our economy that is working, American farmers represent all that is good in family enterprise. Not only are you responsible for providing a safe, plentiful and affordable food supply, you do it based on the virtues of self-reliance and independence. You accept the risk and focus your capabilities on results.
The author, Chrystia Freeland, briefly explains the changes in production agriculture over the past several decades. She writes positively about the "technological revolution and global integration" and compares those forces to some of the current challenges that plague the American economy today. To her credit, the author recognizes what so many don’t understand, when she writes, "One of the most surprising aspects of the farm story is that its heroes are self-employed entrepreneurs [agripreneurs]."
Not a surprise to me. In fact, your growing capabilities in the face of adversity are the stories that heroes are made of. Our challenge now is to pass on not just the land, not just an appreciation for the farming lifestyle, and not just the implements, but rather the intellect, the wisdom, the confidence and the ability to overcome the trials and tribulations of changing environments to continue providing a plentiful food supply.
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Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS.