Apr 21, 2014
Home| Tools| Events| Blogs| Discussions| Sign UpLogin

September 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.

Where To Start?

Sep 28, 2010

From Legacy Moment eNewsletter (09/24/2010)

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

One of the most frequently asked questions in the Farm Journal Legacy Project Workshops is "Where do we start?"

In the back (page 82) of the Workbook that is used in the Workshops, there is a Succession Planning Action Guide. It is basically a simplified action plan to help farmers and agribusiness owners initiate the succession planning process. The entire conversation rests on the decision to engage in the process and secure the family’s legacy. The decision to commit to a succession plan can be seen as Step 1. From there you schedule a family meeting… and check off each of the actions on the to-do list as you go.

The most critical element for achieving your succession planning goals is ACTION---supported by clear COMMUNICATION and common OBJECTIVES.

iStock Three Generations   low resolutionOn the Action Guide, the points under "Conduct research and define corrective actions" include:

- Business Planning

- Operating Agreement

- Employment Policy

- Leadership Development, Etc.

These items may require professional assistance, off-farm advisors or outside counsel. Don’t hesitate to ask for assistance. Planning for transition is not a do-it-yourself affair. You can oversee the process, but it will take professionals with specialized capabilities to help a family address the many facets of a comprehensive solution.

Resources & Links for You:

More info about workshops or reserve online now.  (You may also call 402-330-0289 to register.)

Download or browse the Legacy Project Workbook – tools, information, and encouragement to help you begin the succession planning conversation.

Review the Succession Planning Action Guide -  a step-by-step checklist.


Have you checked out the new and more robust AgWeb and Legacy Project Web sites? They offer easier navigation and more reasons to check back every day.





Opportunities and Obligations

Sep 21, 2010

From Legacy Moment eNewsletter (09/17/2010)

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

This reader’s email ended with… "So I guess my question for you is, can you help me make a decision? I want to take over the farm; my Dad is willing to let me rent all of the ground and the cattle working facilities. But I will have to purchase the cows and all of the equipment…  I want the opportunity; I just need someone to tell me it’ll work out."

iStock Cattle MountainsWith every opportunity there is an equal or greater obligation. In your case, the obligation comes in the form of risk. In coaching families through the many elements of the succession planning process, we often talk about the opportunity–obligation off–set.

Sir Isaac Newton taught us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. If we apply this simple law of motion to your situation, you can begin to imagine that the opportunity your dad is offering you comes with an equal and opposite obligation [risk].

You’ll be signing a lease, buying equipment and cattle, and quitting your corporate job and moving your family – all of which create financial, social, and physical obligations. If opportunity and obligation are equal and opposite, the only way to generate the results you desire is through actions. I use the following equation to demonstrate the concept:

 Opportunity / Obligation + Actions = Results.

Risk is a natural part of any agripreneurial venture. If you want the opportunity, you must accept the risk.

Resources & Links for You:

  • Write a business plan.
  • Enlist a team of advisors [read: mentors] who will evaluate your plan and then council you through the start-up phase. You can use the Selecting an Advisor Tool to help you identify the right advisor for you.
  • Jump in with both feet, and don’t look back; nothing is more motivating than no plan ‘B’. When faced with sink or swim, most people start flailing their arms and kicking their feet.
  • With a well-researched business plan, hard work, and persistence, you can succeed.


Have you checked out the new and more robust AgWeb and Legacy Project Web sites? They offer easier navigation and more reasons to check back every day.





Crucial Conversations

Sep 15, 2010
From Legacy Moment eNewsletter (09/10/2010)
Please join us for future issues, delivered via email each Friday.

In the succession planning process, nothing is more important than the family meeting. Achieving multigenerational success is based on good communication, common objectives, and appropriate relationships. In the latest episode of “Leave a Legacy” TV, I had the pleasure of visiting with McMillan   Crucial ConversationsRon McMillan, co-author of Crucial Conversations, Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High
In our round table discussion, Ron suggests how to prepare for the family meeting. He talks about creating a safe environment and listening for better understanding. You can watch the show; download the Family Meeting tool and Conversation Starters; and pick up a copy of Ron’s book.
If your family operation is the most important asset in the family---it provides your lifestyle, supports your standard of living, and sustains your traditions---then you must be diligent in your efforts to preserve it as a legacy for the next generation. Mastering crucial conversations is an important step on the road to success.
News & Resource Links:
See author Ron McMillan’s interview with Kevin Spafford on this week’s episode of Leave a Legacy TV.  (Watch archived Legacy TV episodes.)
Tools from the Legacy Project: Conversation Starters and The Family Meeting
Legacy Pioneer Badge 300px


Log In or Sign Up to comment


Legacy Newsletter
Ask Kevin

Follow Us

Facebook Twitter You Tube

Hot Links & Cool Tools


facebook twitter youtube View More>>
The Home Page of Agriculture
© 2014 Farm Journal, Inc. All Rights Reserved|Web site design and development by AmericanEagle.com|Site Map|Privacy Policy|Terms & Conditions