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August 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.

Agripreneur Anecdote

Aug 30, 2011

Paul Engler   University of Nebraska FoundationFrom Legacy Moment eNewsletter (08/26/2011)
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We don’t know when, where or why, but one event can often be the catalyst for a lifetime of achievement. For the founder of Cactus Feeders, Paul Engler, that “event” might have occurred when he was 13 years old.

While Paul’s dad was away on a business trip, Paul slipped away to the local cattle auction and purchased his first herd of cattle. As he tells the story, I think we can all learn from his experience.
“On Wednesday afternoons when the sale was going on, I’d take my horse and go up there to work. So, when my father was gone, I sat up in the ring and bought myself a hundred head of cattle, and I didn’t have a dime! After the sale, the sale barn operator, the owner, said, ‘Paul, you bought some cattle today.'
“And I said, ‘Yes, I did.’
“And he said, ‘You don’t have any money, either, do you?’
“I said, ‘I don’t have a cent.’
“And he said, ‘Well, how you gonna pay for these cattle?’
“I said, ‘I guess you’re gonna have to loan me the money.’
“And I guess I had a good enough reputation around there, that he said, ‘Okay, we’ll do it.’
“So I went home and told my mother. She had a fit. She said, ‘You’re gonna get the worst licking you ever had in your life when your dad gets home.’
“First of all, she thought I got cheated and didn’t know what I was doing. We had a neighbor who was a rancher. So she ran over to tell him and he said, ‘No, Paul did a good job buying his cattle.’
“I got the cattle home, branded 'em, put my brand on 'em, and just turned 'em out with his [his father’s]. When my father got home, he said, ‘Let’s go look at the cattle.’
“We drove over there. He said, ‘The herd got a little bit bigger while I was gone.’ But I was ready for it. I told him what I did and he said, ‘How’d you pay for them?’
“I told him and he said, ‘Let’s go down to the bank. I think we can do a little bit better.’
“And we got it all done, and instead of getting a licking—and this was a very touching thing to me—he stuck out his hand and shook my hand and said, ‘I’m proud of you, son.’
“So it was a nice deal and that’s how I got started in the cattle business.”
Cactus Feeders is now the largest cattle feeding operation in the world.
News & Resources for You:
 Are you following the stories of our case study families? The Dells, Esthers and Moeses have offered to share their families’ succession planning progress with Farm Journal readers.
Check out "I Want to Be a Rancher," a story about how a future agripreneur can prepare for a leadership role.
View the full episode of "Leave a Legacy TV" about Cactus Feeders and Paul Engler.
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Cultivating the Crop That Counts

Aug 24, 2011

iStock WheatFrom Legacy Moment eNewsletter (08/19/2011)
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As a farmer, you know that harvest doesn’t just happen. It comes after months of work, planning and preparation. It is often said you reap what you sow, and while many consumers might not understand the cultivation and care that produces a crop, a farmer surely does.
The same can be said about succession. If long-term success, multigenerational wealth and growing opportunities are your goal, a comprehensive succession plan is a "must have." The right plan creates a smooth ownership transition, ensures your family’s financial security, helps the next generation prepare for the responsibilities of leadership and minimizes your estate tax obligations.
The keys to planning success include:
1. Good communication
2. Common objectives
3. Readiness for succession
4. A defined planning process
5. Commitment
News & Resources for You:
You might wish to start by turning your broad intentions into specific and action-oriented goals.
Our "Frequently Asked Questions" may address some of your initial concerns.
Don't forget, you can always email or call for more information. All responses are handled with complete confidentiality. (Email: LegacyProject@FarmJournal.com. Phone: (877) 523-7411
Did you catch the latest episode of "Leave a Legacy TV"? The story of how the Rickert family has carried on the heritage of Prather Ranch is one you won’t want to miss. 
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Aug 16, 2011

Leavens FamilyFrom Legacy Moment eNewsletter (08/12/2011)
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As the family farm is passed to the “cousin” generation, it is critically important that family members have good communication and common bonds.

You may have seen my interview on “Leave a Legacy TV” with Leslie Leavens-Crowe of Leavens Ranches in Santa Paula, Calif. The Leavens family is not only committed to remaining a farming family, they also want to ensure that family bonds endure through the generations. As the farm passes from the sibling generations to the cousins (children/grandchildren), it becomes more difficult to communicate because of geographic separation, family interests and personal pursuits.
In the interview, Leslie explains how her family has bridged the gap and developed a “cousining” process.
“We are committed to remaining a family in farming,” Leslie says. “That’s what we’re trying to instill in the next generations. For the younger kids, say 12, 13 and down, we have something called Camp Mary. Every couple of years, we bring the kids out for a couple of days. During this time, we’ll teach them about the family and we’ll teach them a little bit of our history.”
Each of the participants plants a tree in the orchard. Leslie says they take the kids to go look at their trees—they each have an avocado tree with their name on it—and that is the importance of cousining.
She continues, “For the kids who are a little bit older, we have a program so they can come out for a couple of weeks to learn what it is to really work on the ranch. They work side by side, not only with their cousins, but also with the workers who live here, and on whom all of this depends.
“It is about succession. But it’s not just succession of the family business. It’s succession of the family.”
News & Resources for You:
Learn more about Leavens Ranches' cousin generation on a 2010 segment of "Leave a Legacy TV." Also, read more about the Leavenses in the Legacy Project 2011 Report.
A Family Employment Policy helps to instill a businesslike environment for all family members participating in the operation.
Like the Leavenses, are you working side-by-side with your cousins? Share your story, solutions and questions. 
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Quit Pushing Mud!

Aug 09, 2011

Ames, Iowa 02 2011From Legacy Moment eNewsletter (08/05/2011)
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Like many farm families, the Harrisons had tried to navigate the succession planning process alone. Along the way, they ended up confused and frustrated. When I met Jim he said, “It’s like pushing mud. We make a little progress here only to lose ground over there.”
He went on, “We almost gave up—until we attended the Legacy Project workshop. Now, with your guidance we’ve had a family meeting, and we’re focused on finding solutions that work for the whole family.”
The Farm Journal Legacy Project workshops will help begin the process of preserving your family's future on the farm. Attendees have told us:

  • "This was the best presentation on this topic we have been to. It was helpful, motivational and applicable."

  • "The atmosphere was friendly and encouraging."

  • “The workshop had a great, relevant program. I can’t wait to get started!”

  • “I don’t care what age you are—this is applicable to everyone.”

  • “The workshop was very informative. It gave me a lot of inspiration to move ahead with putting a plan into place.”

  • "It was a great starting point for our family!"

  • "Kevin was interesting, well-prepared and kept our interest."

  • "Thank you for providing the direction and encouragement."

  • "A very positive, constructive and reassuring presentation."

  • "If only my family had known of this and taken advantage!"

Even if you think you have a plan in place, are you certain it’s going to achieve your goals? Please join us at one of our upcoming workshops.
The Details

are scheduled for Rockford, Ill. (Aug. 23), and Bowling Green, Ohio (Aug. 25), with more to come in December. Tuition is $119 for the initial participant and $69 for each additional participant from the same farm or family.
Registration fee includes workshop, materials, lunch and refreshments. Register online or call (877) 482-7203.


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The Right Tools for the Job

Aug 02, 2011

iStock MaintenanceFrom Legacy Moment eNewsletter (07/29/2011)
Please join us for future issues, delivered via email each Friday. 

Since the Legacy Project was announced about three years ago, we’ve added seven new planning tools to an already full suite of succession planning resources. Our intent is to help farm families navigate the succession planning process with the greatest probability for success. Working together, we can achieve a better result from our succession planning efforts.

Most of the tools were designed to satisfy direct requests from our readers, or Legacy by Design customers and clients. You can download a full list of tools here

The right tool, especially in succession planning, will:

1.   Enhance communication
2.   Help to facilitate a smooth planning process
3.   Keep you, and the family, on track
4.   Increase the effectiveness of professional interactions
5.   Help you maintain a sense of control
6.   Provide a template for conversation
7.   Generate a list of completed and missing elements
8.   Ensure a comprehensive succession planning model
9.   Save money, time and energy
10. Confirm that you’re following a proven path to success
Please let us know if there’s something we’re missing. Contact me at LegacyProject@FarmJournal.com .


News & Resources for You

Catch all the latest updates by following the Legacy Project on Facebook.

Did you know that the Legacy Project 2011 Report is available online?

There’s still time! Sign up today for the Legacy Project Workshops.
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