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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.

The Benefits of a Plan

Aug 15, 2012

Harvesting hay   contour strips   WI   USDA NRCSFrom Legacy Moment (08/10/2012).
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Accomplishing goals requires some structure. Planning for ownership transition and the future of your family farm is no different. A comprehensive succession plan will allow you to maintain your financial security while the operation provides for the income needs of a new owner/manager and each family working in and dependent on the operation.
Beyond the financial considerations, a comprehensive plan also ensures the next generation is well-prepared for a leadership role. Let's not forget about the estate tax; a complete plan always includes provisions to satisfy, eliminate or mitigate the tax.
Additional benefits of a comprehensive plan for succession include:
  • Ensuring a smooth management/ownership transition, so that all owners who are active in the operation are well-informed and the next generation is prepared for the opportunity.
  • Fortifying operational strength by encouraging each member of the management team, regardless of generational order, to participate in a professional development program.
  • Making certain that no matter what happens, including premature death, disability or dissolution, the operation can continue and there's adequate capital to weather the challenges of adversity.
  • Providing a lasting legacy, a testament to your efforts and an example for future generations to follow.
A comprehensive succession plan is merely a binder full of information until you bring it to life. The process of planning combined with implementing the various elements along the way is a big step toward peace of mind, control through growth and a legacy of success.
News & Resources for You:

The Legacy Project FAQs will address some of your questions about how to begin.
Our tool may help you to clarify your goals.
"Obstacles or Opportunities?" An Arizona dairyman shares his hope for future generations. 

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