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May 2011 Archive for 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.

The Outcome of Humane Treatment

May 31, 2011

Grandin at white board 05 27 2011From Legacy Moment eNewsletter (05/27/2011)
Please join us for future issues, delivered via email each Friday.

 It was a true honor to spend the day with Temple Grandin, in Denver, Colorado. As many of you are aware, Dr. Grandin is a well-respected expert in proper livestock handling techniques and the humane treatment of farm animals. She’s been instrumental in transforming the livestock industries in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.

While her methods rest on the morals of proper treatment, her techniques generate positive results for the farmer, the animal and the consumer. Dr. Grandin serves on the scientific committee for Humane Farm Animal Care, an organization that certifies operations ‘humane’ based on some strict guidelines, including:
  • Access to wholesome and nutritious feed
  • Appropriate environmental design
  • Caring and responsible planning and management
  • Skilled, knowledgeable and conscientious animal care
  • Considerate handling, transport and slaughter
Look for my ‘Legends of Leadership’ interview with Dr. Temple Grandin on a future episode of ‘Leave a Legacy.’
News & Resources for You
Grandin Encourages Youth to Tell Animal Agriculture Story
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What's On Your To-Do List?

May 24, 2011

iStock CropFrom Legacy Moment eNewsletter (05/20/2011)
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It may be one of the most underrated tools in your arsenal: the to-do list is commonplace, and decidedly unsexy. It’s simple to devise, doesn’t require technology and is easy to update. When you add motivation to the mix, a to-do list becomes a powerful tool for accomplishment.

Using a to-do list:

• allows a person to concentrate on the task at hand

• frees the mind to think about other things

• ensures that work is handled in an orderly manner

• provides a plan for work flow

• encourages a person to think through many facets of the job

In the workbook that accompanies the Legacy Project Workshop, we’ve included a to-do list (page 82). The Succession Planning Action Guide is designed as a step-by-step task list through the comprehensive succession planning process. Please take a few moments, review the guide and let us know how we may help you get started.

News & Resources for You

We need your help! Click here to answer a one question survey about the Farm Journal Legacy Project.

Questions? We’re here to help.

Or begin by browsing these FAQs.

The Legacy Project Workbook includes an abundance of helpful tools and information. 


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Perseverance and Self Reliance

May 17, 2011

Rockefeller 1885From Legacy Moment eNewsletter (05/13/2011)
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John D. Rockefeller. Nearly 75 years after his death, the name still generates images—both positive and negative. Most people recognize him as an icon of wealth from days gone by. Rockefeller founded Standard Oil; he was instrumental in creating an industry, developing the oil infrastructure and improving living conditions.

From Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr., by Ron Chernow, we learn that “Rockefeller prevailed at Standard Oil because he had mastered a method for solving problems that carried him far beyond his native endowment [ability]. He believed there was a time to think and then a time to act. He brooded over problems and quietly matured plans over extended periods. Once he had made up his mind, however, he was no longer troubled by doubts and pursued his vision with undeviating faith.
"Unfortunately, once in that state of mind, he was all but deaf to criticism. He was like a projectile that, once launched, could never be stopped, never recalled, never diverted.”
At 38 years old, this hardworking visionary controlled nearly 90% of the oil refined in the U.S. According to his biographer, Rockefeller was…
FEARLESS: “Always inner-directed and indifferent to the approval of others, he was therefore free of a certain boyish vanity.”
GOAL ORIENTED: “With the benefit of hindsight, we can see that there was something extraordinary about the way this stolid boy pinpointed goals and doggedly pursued them without any trace of childish impulsiveness.”
“Despite his slow, ponderous style, once he had thoroughly mulled over his plan of action, he had the power of quick decision.”
“John D. Rockefeller drew strength by simplifying reality and strongly believed that excessive reflection upon unpleasant but unalterable events only weakened one’s resolve in the face of enemies.”
PERSEVERING: “Rockefeller was the sort of stubborn person who only grew more determined with rejection.”
STRATEGIC: “Instead of just tending to his own business, he began to conceive of the industry as a gigantic, interrelated mechanism and thought in terms of strategic alliances and long-term planning.”
“One of Rockefeller’s strengths in bargaining situations was that he figured out what he wanted and what the other party wanted and then crafted mutually advantageous terms.”
“He had a great general’s ability to focus on his goals and brush aside obstacles as petty distractions.”
SELF-RELIANT: “He adamantly opposed any government program or private charity that sapped the frontier spirit of self-reliance.”
“… he hired talented people as found, not as needed.”
A GOOD MANAGER: “Every cost in the Standard Oil universe was computed to several decimal places.”
“…he created an atmosphere of ceaseless improvement.”

News & Resources for You
Keys to Planning Success (from Farm Journal, December 2010)
Have you made it to a Legacy Workshop? More are coming up in August and December.
Don’t miss any Legacy updates… follow us on Facebook. 


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 Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Helping Farm Families Take Action

May 12, 2011

Cornfield Farm   iStock CompressedKeeping the land in farming, ensuring a reliable food source and continuing America’s agricultural leadership depends on how we address this ‘farming crisis.’ We must devise ways to transition the farm to well-prepared next generations as a going concern. Though I applaud Missouri’s efforts, and agree with the intent, succession of the farm from one generation to the next will be based on the actions of our family farmers.

The decisions you make and the actions you take will impact the future of farming in America. The Farm Journal Legacy Project is dedicated to helping you take action. Check out the tools available on the web, attend a workshop or tune into ‘Leave a Legacy.’ 

The Greatest Entrepreneur Ever?

May 12, 2011

henry fordFrom Legacy Moment eNewsletter (05/06/2011)
Please join us for future issues, delivered via email each Friday.

Born on a family farm in Dearborn, Mich., in 1863, Henry Ford is often called the greatest entrepreneur in American history. He transformed lifestyles, created industries, facilitated commerce and ushered in the industrialized economy.

He assembled his first motorcar, from scratch, in 1892. In 1899, he quit his day job and went into the automobile business. When he started, there was no demand—yet, as he reinforced in his own words, “there never is for a new article.”
Ford was intrigued by process and dedicated to progress. He created an entire economy. The automobile industry was not only about building cars, assembly lines and factories. It was about transportation, mobility, information and infrastructure. The new contraption called the automobile both brought us together and allowed us to spread out.
To give you a quick glimpse into Ford’s philosophy, here are a few excerpts from My Life and Work: An Autobiography of Henry Ford (Halcyon Classics) by Henry Ford and Samuel Crowther.


“The natural thing to do is to work—to recognize that prosperity and happiness can be obtained only through honest effort.”


“Capitalists who become such because they provide better means of production are the foundation of society.”
“…money will become better adjusted to work when it is fully realized that through work and work alone may health, wealth, and happiness inevitably be secured.”
“Success is always hard. A man can fail in ease; he can succeed only by paying out all that he has and is.”


“The only harmonious organization that is worth anything is an organization in which all the members are bent on the one main purpose—to get along toward the objective. A common purpose, honestly believed in, sincerely desired—that is the great harmonizing principle.”
News & Resources for You
For more inspiration, view the Best of 2010 Legends feature from "Leave a Legacy TV" (January 2011).
To encourage and guide your own next-generation leaders, use our Leadership Skills Inventory tool.
Did you know? The complete Legacy Project Workbook is available online for free download.
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10 Truths about Leadership

May 03, 2011

Photo courtesy of USDA NRCSFrom Legacy Moment eNewsletter (04/29/2011)
Please join us for future issues, delivered via email each Friday.

I recently interviewed Barry Posner, co-author of The Truth about Leadership (and several other leadership-based books), for our "Leave a Legacy TV" show that airs on "AgDay." Barry and co-author James Kouzes have been researching, teaching and sharing their insights on leadership for the past 30 years. Their message is very clear, and the book is an excellent tutorial on the characteristics of good leadership.


In the book, the authors discuss these 10 truths about leadership:
1. You make a difference.
2. Credibility is the foundation of leadership.
3. Values drive commitment.
4. Focusing on the future sets leaders apart.
5. You can’t do it alone.
6. Trust rules.
7. Challenge is the crucible for greatness.
8. You either lead by example or you don’t lead at all.
9. The best leaders are the best learners.
10. Leadership is an affair of the heart.
The Truth about Leadership is packed with a powerful message of encouragement, with specific guidance about how to become a better leader. The book assures us that “Leadership can be learned. It is an observable pattern of practices and behaviors, and a definable set of skills and abilities.”
News & Resources for You
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 Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS


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