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.
Is Succession Planning Really Worth the Effort?
Jun 18, 2013
From Legacy Moment (06/14/2013).
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Through comprehensive long-term planning, your family has much to gain....
- A complete ownership transition strategy. Passing management and, if applicable, ownership of the operation to a well-prepared next generation.
- Financial security for each family member who is dependent on the operation.
- Leadership development plan for each family member involved in managing the operation. This is a constant theme in the succession process. Grandparents and parents alike should acknowledge that the roles and responsibilities for a young farmer are very different from what they were "back in the day."
- Better communication.
- More clear understanding of the situation and the decisions needed to ensure the farming operation continues.
- Preservation of the family legacy—not as a museum piece, but as growing tribute to a proud heritage.
- Continuing career opportunities, intrinsic security and mentor-protégé relationships.
- A path to the future.
Comparable costs for failing to plan...
- Transition by luck and by golly...maybe it'll happen, and then again, maybe it won't.
- Financial resources will be available for at least as long as you're able to work.
- The operation continues based on the true grit of the current and next generation. Do they have what it takes?
- Deteriorating accord and weakened aplomb, as lack of communication breeds jealousy.
- Dissension in the family as the situation becomes more hopeless and each individual focuses on their own needs.
- A wedge of discontent divides the family into factions of haves and have-nots.
- The family fragments as each person pursues a career off the farm.
- Another American family whose common denominator is little more than a last name.
Weigh the differences. It's really a simple choice. Put it off and hope for the best. Or, grit your teeth, engage in the process, commit to success and work through a plan to achieve goals that make your family proud and stand as a lasting legacy, a testament to your life's work.
News & Resources for You:
When you're ready, check out eLegacyConnect. It contains an action plan, tools to help you plan for succession and a library of planning resources.
Or, attend Legacy Project Workshop.
Or, Ask Kevin.