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April 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.

The Most Important Document You May Ever Sign

Apr 27, 2010
From Legacy Moment eNewsletter  (April 23, 2010)
Please join us for future issues, delivered via email each Friday.

The unsung hero of many a successful generational transition is the buy-sell agreement. It is one of the most important documents in the succession planning arsenal. It protects the operation from the whims of inactive owners and off-farm interests. A well-written and properly executed agreement can ensure the operation remains in the family and is protected from death, disability, divorce and dissolution.

A formal agreement is based on multiple triggering events, and provisions of a buy/sell agreement may include: valuation, applicable discounts, terms, conditions and restrictions.

Take a few moments and use our Buy/Sell Agreement Review
to make sure you’ve got your bases covered.

Please don’t hesitate to ask Kevin if you have any questions.
News & Resources for You



On Legacy TV: Mentors and More

Apr 23, 2010
Have you caught the April Episode
of Leave a Legacy TV?

In this episode we catch up with Dave Minich – the 2008 Top Producer of the year – about how Minich May Family Farms efficiently manage growth and succession.  Next, along with Tommy Dell, a third generation farmer from Maryland, we visit with Texas A&M’s Danny Klinefelter who shares advice for creating a strong leadership development plan, and developing mentor relationships.  And finally, we meet a true western legend.  John Harris, founder of Harris Ranch Beef, talks with us about the future of agriculture, and about offsetting its opponents.





 What is the Farm Journal Legacy Project?


3 Critical Succession Planning Goals

Apr 20, 2010
From Legacy Moment eNewsletter (April 16, 2010)
Please join us for future issues, delivered via email each Friday.

Planning for a family business transition is based on clearly defined objectives of the family.

Most succession planning goals fall into three basic categories:

a) Improving the integrity of the operation – ensuring that management control remains with active family members.

b) Enhancing the financial security of each family member dependent on the operation.

c) Ensuring that the next generation is prepared to lead.
The Goals Clarification Worksheet will help a family to define their succession planning goals.

Most succession intentions get lost in the options of “what should we do about ownership transition, the estate tax or retirement income?” If there are too many options, everything sounds plausible without a clearly defined objective.

By clearly defining goals, you eliminate the unproductive possibilities and focus on the constructive solutions to a situation. You won’t waste time researching alternatives that don’t address your specific objectives; rather, you’ll marshal your resources on the most likely alternatives. 
News & Resources for You

Overcoming Obstacles
Whenever a challenge seems insurmountable, I refer to James Allen’s "As a Man Thinketh."

How to Know When It's Time
Your questions about succession are answered.



Conversation Starters for Family Meetings

Apr 13, 2010
From Legacy Moment eNewsletter (April 09, 2010)
Please join us for future issues, delivered via email each Friday.

One way to drop all preconceived ideas at a meeting is to ask (in a welcoming manner) what each person’s interests or intentions are regarding involvement in the family operation.

For a list of questions to get the ball rolling, go to the Conversation Starters Worksheet at www.FarmJournalLegacyProject.com

Then follow these steps:
  • Make copies of the form
  • Ask each person to complete the form
  • Schedule a meeting to discuss the form
  • Invite open feedback
  • Reflect on each response
  • Plan a follow-up discussion

News & Resources for You

Staring Down Succession
Wayne and Cindy Windmann are a rare breed in today’s agriculture. They are what you might call “self-made.” Read how this family got started with the succession process.

Learn How to Talk to Dad: It's about family -- first, foremost and always

Listen in as Kevin Spafford, Farm Journal succession planning expert, leads a breakout session entitled "How to Talk to Dad" with Ben Hudye of Hudye Farms.  




Successful Family Meetings

Apr 06, 2010

From Legacy Moment eNewsletter (April 02, 2010)

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

Don’t let the formality of a ‘family meeting’ stop you from reaching your succession planning goals. Given the slim probability of success without good communication - and the high cost of failure - family meetings are essential to generate results.

Use The Family Meeting guide to plan for the initial gathering, and then use it throughout the process to keep everybody informed and engaged. 

Be mindful to:

  • Listen and understand
  • Drop all preconceived ideas
  • Define a decision-making process
  • Agree on a method for dispute resolution
  • Create meeting agendas
  • Always end with a scheduled follow-up/next step

Learning how to manage a meeting as a family, business associates or as a team is a very useful skill to develop. No one likes a wasteful meeting. We all welcome the time to share ideas, take action, debrief results or solve something. Meetings provide the perfect forum for communication across a group.
News & Resources for You

Communication: Your Survival Depends on It
Communication is to a family business what water is to agriculture—the lifeblood of success.

A Call to Action

Learn how to successfully involve your children in succession planning.

We Are American Farmers

Apr 02, 2010

A few years back, while browsing around a small town antique store, my wife Anne-Marie stumbled upon a certificate from a magazine - preserved in a simple wooden frame. If the well-worn frame was any indication, this piece had adorned the wall of some farm family’s kitchen for decades. 

We’ll never know how many may have paused to reflect upon these thoughts – the neighbors’ children, the parents’ friends, the family themselves. Nor do we know who penned the words.  Now, however, almost 60 years later, the values of the American farmer still ring true. 

It is our privilege to share with you, “We are American Farmers” – from Farm Journal, February 1952.

"We are American farmers. We are Americans. We are farmers. 
Our grandsires freed this virgin continent, plowed it from East to West, and gave it to us. This land for us and for our children to make richer and more fruitful. 
We grow foods, fibers – fifteen times as much as we use. 
We grow men and women – farmers, Presidents and Senators, generals of industry, captain of commerce, missionaries, builders. 
Communists would call us capitalists, because we own land and we own tools. 
Capitalists might choose to call us laborers, because we work with our hands. 
Others may call us managers, because we direct men and manage materials. 
Our children call us “Dad.” 
We are also deacons, stockholders, mechanics, veterinarians, electricians, school board members, Rotarians, voters, scientists, neighbors, men of good will. 
Our rules are Nature’s rules, the laws of God. 
We command the magic of the seasons and the miracles of science, because we obey Nature’s rules. 
Our raw materials are soil and seed, animals, the atmosphere and the rain,and the mighty sun. 
We work with brains. We toil with muscles of steel, fed by the fires of lightning and by oils from the inner earth.  

We are partners with the laboratory, with the factory, and with all the people. 
We provide industry with ever-renewable raw materials from the inexhaustible world of plants. We buy products from the labor of every fellow-citizen. 
Our efficiencies have raised great cities and happy towns, and have given all the people meat and bread. 
We believe in work and in honor.

We believe in freedom. 
We are grateful for the American freedom that has let us earn so many blessings. 
We know that liberty is our most precious possession. At the ballot-boxes and on the battlefield we shall defend it.
We have proven a new pattern of abundance. We pray that we may also help to make a pattern for peace."
Photo courtesy of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service



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