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March 2010 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.

5 Points of Consideration for Talking with Dad...

Mar 30, 2010
From Legacy Moment eNewsletter (February 05, 2010)
Please join us for future issues, delivered via email each Friday.

Recently at the Young Farmers Program in Chicago, I had the privilege of presenting a breakout session entitled “How to Talk to Dad.” Since Ben Hudye of Hudye Farms was planning to attend my session, I asked him to join in and share his story.

I had met Ben at his farm in Burlington, Colo., on a chilly day in early December. During the visit we had a candid conversation regarding his leadership philosophy, and about his start in the family agribusiness. The size and scope of his operation -- from the eastern plains of Colorado to the prairie of Saskatchewan -- serve as a testament to achievement. The experience of growing the operation with his dad and brother became a model for the approach he uses today with his own family. Ben provides an excellent example of "what can be," if you align your objectives and work to create something bigger than self.

Listen in as Ben shares insights from his perspective as both a father and a son:

For More...



The Workshop Tour...

Mar 27, 2010
The Legacy Project Workshops are in full swing, and what a week it was! We were in three states over as many days. Starting in Madison, WI, we traveled to Owatonna, MN and then Sioux Falls, SD. Though the content of each presentation is similar, the outcome can vary greatly as the event takes on a life of its own. 
This first round of workshops was a great experience. Participants demonstrated a desire to learn. They were engaged in the process, took part in the exercises and we all benefited from the dialogue. 

Please consider participating in future workshops… You’ll learn:
  1. Succession planning is necessary to create a lasting legacy. With the right information and appropriate tools it will be a very gratifying process, and we can help.
  2. If you have questions or concerns regarding your own situation---how succession may help you, the family and your operation. The Legacy Workshop is an excellent opportunity to address your most pressing issues.
  3. These workshops will help you to commit to action with the knowledge that you’re not going-it-alone. The Farm Journal Legacy Project is designed to create a community of family farm owners’ intent on cultivating multigenerational success. 
  4. The workshop agenda will cover the first steps in the succession planning process. We’ll talk about the family meeting, and introduce tools that will help you achieve results

Please watch for additional information soon about the Legacy Project Workshops. The next round is scheduled for the week of July 19th, and we’ll see participants in Lincoln NE, Des Moines IA and Champaign IL.
For more information, don't hesitate to contact us at  LegacyProject@FarmJournal.com.

Legacy Project Workshops - Cultivate Multigenerational Success

Mar 23, 2010

From Legacy Moment eNewsletter (March 19, 2010)

Please join us for future issues, delivered via email each Friday.

Feel stuck, stymied, or a bit confused when it comes to succession?

If your farm or agribusiness is the most valuable asset you own, representing multiple generations, countless seasons of commitment, your family’s heritage and a promising future, what would it be worth to ensure it remains a viable family operation for the next generation?
If you commit some dollars and a few hours, I’ll help you to:  
Better understand the succession planning process
Define your objectives, and the goals that will guide your effort

Plan for communication, to improve communication and constructive conversation 

Explore the most common obstacles every family facesMake a commitment to take the ‘next step’ toward fulfilling your dreams

Plan to attend a Legacy Project Workshop.  The agenda is based on years of experience working with farm families from coast to coast. The tools and material are derived from research and practical application. And, best of all, the workshop is offered in a very interactive format to ensure that your questions are answered and your concerns are addressed.

It was great to share succession planning information today at our inaugural workshop in Middleton, Wisconsin.  I hope to see you tomorrow in Owatonna or on Thursday in Sioux Falls.

Please watch for details of additional events in the months ahead:
      Week of July 19th:
      Lincoln, Nebraska
      Des Moines, Iowa 
      Champaign, Illinois
      Week of August 23rd:
      Wichita, Kansas
      Columbia, Missouri
      Week of December 6th:
      Lansing, Michigan
      Indianapolis, Indiana
      Columbus, Ohio

Be sure to catch this Thursday's episode of 'Leave a Legacy' TV,
a special presentation of AgDay.  
This week's guests are Ryan Esther and Rafael Ruano.  The Leavens are our featured family - a 'cousins generation' in Ventura County, California.  And on 'Legends of Leadership' we'll meet Chad Olsen, an impressive young agripreneur from Minnesota.

Where Do We Start?

Mar 16, 2010
From Legacy Moment eNewsletter (March 12, 2010)
Please join us for future issues, delivered via email each Friday.

One of the most frequently asked questions I receive following a succession planning presentation is:

“Where do we start the process?”

How about beginning with the action steps outlined below? 

  1. Schedule a Family Meeting.
  2. Distribute Conversation Starters to all family members and ask each of them to be prepared to discuss their interest.
  3. Use the Goals Clarification Worksheet to define the succession planning objectives for the family.
  4. In the meeting, distribute and have each attendee complete the Succession Planning Self-Assessment.

Conclude the meeting by making a Commitment Agreement and scheduling a follow-up -- either another family meeting or a facilitated consultation with a succession planning professional.

Roll Up Your Sleeves:

Don't miss the March 25, 2010 episode of Leave a Legacy TV




Register Now for Legacy Project Events

Mar 15, 2010
Creating a lasting legacy, preparing the operation for generational transfer, developing leaders for long-term growth, or planning for an unanticipated contingency - a comprehensive succession strategy is fundamental to every agribusiness.
Legacy Project workshops offer hands-on training with succession planning expert Kevin Spafford.
The workshops cover a step-by-step process for succession planning beginning with readiness and commencing with implementation.  The workshops address:
  • Why Plan for Succession?
  • Succession Planning Objectives - from Intentions to Goals
  • Communicate for Results
  • Obstacles to Constructive Progress
  • Your Team: Accomplishing Your Goals
  • Making the Commitment 
Take the first step.  Mark your calendars for these upcoming hands-on events.

Click on the event date and location of your choice to register. 
Marriott (Middleton)
Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites,
Sioux Falls Convention Center

10 Questions for Your Succession Adviser

Mar 09, 2010

From Legacy Moment eNewsletter (March 05, 2010)

Please join us for future issues, delivered via email each Friday.

Most succession planning advisers come from one of four professions – financial, accounting, legal or business consulting. Each discipline has its own characteristics that are necessary to the overall process. However, facilitating an agribusiness family’s succession planning process is an entirely different skill. Most professionals are wholly unprepared for the business/emotional tug-of-war that ensues with the mere mention of “a long-term plan for your operation."

What to Ask
Here’s a brief interview guide to help you identify an adviser who can facilitate your family’s succession planning process.
  1. What is your experience facilitating the succession planning process?
  2. What qualifies you as a specialist in succession planning?
  3. How long have you been providing succession planning advice?
  4. For how many families have you provided a succession planning service?
  5. Do you understand the specific succession planning needs and concerns of farmers and agribusiness owners?
  6. Do you utilize defined planning models and a specific planning process?
  7. Can you assemble a multidisciplinary team of professionals and ensure that the family's planning objectives are met?
  8. What other services do you offer?
  9. How do you get paid for services?
  10. Do you offer a money-back guarantee?
News & Resources for You

Meet the Farmers in the Dell
– Farm Journal’s Pam Smith shares the Dell family’s succession planning journey.

Bring on Brother – Top Producer’s Jeanne Bernick continues to follow the Esthers, as younger brother Chad joins the family operation.

Still need help? As always, you can ask Kevin… 




Defining 'Agripreneur'

Mar 05, 2010
From Legacy Moment eNewsletter (February 12, 2010)
Please join us for future issues, delivered via email each Friday.

If ‘agripreneur’ were listed in the dictionary, the definition would read like a page out of Chad Olsen’s biography. Chad is an extraordinary agribusiness owner, and an aspiring agripreneur would be hard-pressed to find a better mentor.

Chad and his wife, Pam, own Olsen Custom Farms, LLC. They custom harvest from Texas to Alberta, have a cattle/grain operation in southwest Minnesota and rent a convoy of combines. Chad started out, right after high school, with 16 cows in a rented barn. (More on Chad’s story.)

He has clearly defined his
objectives, does not quit in the face of adversity and respects the contributions of others. In a recent visit, he shared a few keys to his continuing success:
  1. Everybody starts from zero. (63 sec)
  2. Never give up. (95 sec)
  3. Do whatever it takes. (33 sec)
  4. Teamwork is the key to success. (19 sec)
  5. Take good care of your employees. (36 sec)
  6. Farming is a business. (28 sec)
  7. Keep an eye on the future. (27 sec)

If the keys to succession and creating a
lasting legacy are a solid business plan, supported by good leadership and clearly defined objectives, Chad and Pam are well on their way. You can follow them through the harvest season at www.olsencustomfarms.com.
To watch the February episode of Leave a Legacy TV,
click on the image below



Why You Need a Buy/Sell Agreement

Mar 02, 2010

From Legacy Moment eNewsletter (February 19, 2010)

Please join us for future issues, delivered via email each Friday.

The buy/sell agreement is one of the most important tools for maintaining the integrity of a business entity. A properly written and executed buy/sell agreement will: 

  • Prevent inactive owners from gaining an ownership interest
  • Ensure ownership continuity in case of death, disabilty, dissolution and divorce
  • Provide a ready market for business interests
  • Possibly establish a business value for estate settlement purposes

A buy/sell agreement should be in place for every business entity held by multiple-owners. At the most basic level, it provides a ready market for selling an ownership interest, establishes a valuation method and spells out the terms and conditions of purchase without placing a fractional owner in an unfair bargaining position.

A buy/sell agreement also restricts an owner’s ability to transfer a business interest. The typical agreement spells out the terms, conditions, triggering events and valuation methods under which owner’s interests may be sold.

All owners of a business agree to the triggering events and provisions that a buy/sell agreement will cover---including death, disability, retirement, dissolution, withdrawal prior to retirement, and other circumstances (divorce, bankruptcy, legal judgment, etc.).

Owners must be mindful that the provisions of a buy/sell agreement can be written as an option or as an obligation. In other words, each triggering event will either create an option to purchase or an obligation to purchase.

 More on Buy-Sell Agreements:

     • Buy/Sell Review
Ready for Succession?
IsThat a Good Idea?
 To watch premier episode of Leave a Legacy TV,
click on image below and select Thursday, February 25th.









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