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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.

Back to School

Sep 11, 2012

 Apples, straight from orchard   USDA NRCSFrom Legacy Moment (09/07/2012).

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As summer comes to a close and kids return to school, their minds turn to homework and class projects, new teachers and fall sports. Farmers are in the fields, harvesting—what, for some, might be the remnants of a difficult season and a reminder of the trials inherent to farming. For my team and me, it's time to evaluate the year's business results and renew our commitment for the year to come.

A not-so-small part of this annual ritual is a review of the textbook materials I started with 13 years ago, to learn the art and science of succession planning. The introduction in the first volume of the text explains the concept of precise planning. It reads:
Business succession planning includes developing an exit strategy for the owner and the business. Whether the strategy involves transferring ownership and management responsibility to family members, fellow shareholders, partners or to a third party, it should address the following issues:
  • Providing financial security to the owner after retirement.
  • Providing financial security for the owner's family in case of untimely death or disability.
  • Ensuring the business' continued success in the owner's absence.
  • Dealing equitably with children working in the business and those who are not.
  • Limiting ownership in the business to persons acceptable to all owners.
News & Resources for You:
"What are the benefits of a succession plan?" Find the answer and other FAQs right here.
How ready is the next generation to lead? Continue to guide potential successors through their growth and gauge their progress.
Remember that the Legacy Project 2012 Report is chock-full of information and resources to help you get started. 


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Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS.
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