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June 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.

Do You Have a Job Description?

Jun 28, 2011

iStock Famer with LaptopFrom Legacy Moment eNewsletter (06/24/2011)
Please join us for future issues, delivered via email each Friday.

It’s a natural ‘next question’ when responding to disappointment or confusion on the part of any employee—regardless of whether they are a family member.

Many communication problems in a family operation stem from misunderstandings about job duties and responsibilities. For most employees, performance (or lack thereof) is measured against perceived rather than specifically stated job duties.
Creating a formal job description allows bosses, subordinates and colleagues in the operation to be completely clear about the expectation for each employee. A job description, committed to writing, encourages objective measures and performance reviews.
The Job Description Template on the Farm Journal Legacy Project website will help you spell out the duties of each job on the farm. Consider adapting the worksheet to fit your specific operation.
A job description may be one of the most important tools in separating the emotional issues of the family from the objective needs of the operation.
News & Resources for You
Job Description Template will help ensure that everyone involved is clear about the position's qualifications and expectations.
A Family Employment Policy is an essential companion to your written set of job descriptions.
Not sure how to take the first steps? Let us help you get started. And you’re always welcome to send us your questions.
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A Great Time to Inventory...

Jun 21, 2011

Ashton and Jim Rickert at Prather   P1010452From Legacy Moment eNewsletter (06/17/2011)
Please join us for future issues, delivered via email each Friday.

Take stock of all that you have, and think about who is involved in your life. Father’s Day is an excellent time for parents and their children to contemplate their working relationship. Achievement in the family business is always a team event, and long-term success is dependent on family support. 


On ‘Leave a Legacy TV’ we hear from some of the most prominent agriculture entrepreneurs in America. Many of these family business leaders have strong feelings about family and business. Taking a few moments to recall what is good about family, friends and opportunities is a good way to begin the weekend.

The following excerpts offer some insight into a few of the dads who have influenced the Farm Journal Legacy Project and, more importantly, are raising great families.

Pete Clark
– November 2010:
“One of the things my dad always told me, and I tried to pass to my kids, is it’s not about getting rich if you love what you do. If it’s good for your family, that’s the most important thing.”

Donny DeLine November 2010:
“My situation’s a little different. My dad retired… and has come back and he’s helping me now in a large way… There’s definitely a comfort level with him being back, versus if it was just me taking care of everything.”
Chad Olsen – January 2010:
About spending three months on the road: “I think they [wife and kids] enjoy leaving for harvest even more than I do. They just enjoy seeing the country, and we get to spend a lot of family time together.”
Gregg Halverson – September 2010:
“If I were to give a little bit of advice, I would say live every day to your fullest because you never know when the dynamic of your family will change.”

News & Resources for You

At one time or another, most of us can use some guidance with family communication. These tools may help.
Our Legacy Project Case Study Families demonstrate great family values. Have you been following their stories?
What about those who feel like family? Make a plan to retain your non-family key employees.
Registration is now open for Legacy Project Workshops in August and December. Please join us in Illinois, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee. 
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Get Your Family Thinking

Jun 14, 2011

iStock Red EquipmentFrom Legacy Moment eNewsletter (06/10/2011)
Please join us for future issues, delivered via email each Friday.

With planting season winding down, no doubt your days are falling into a summertime rhythm. Now may be a good time to exercise some of the aspirations you have about succession. There's still a lot of time in 2011 to take the initial steps and begin the process.
On the Farm Journal Legacy Project website, there are a multitude of tools designed to help our farm families start on the right foot. The Succession Planning Self-Assessment is an excellent resource to help gauge the family’s readiness. This tool comprises 20 statements related to succession and people's level of comfort, satisfaction and/or agreement.
In using the Succession Planning Self-Assessment, a family may discover circumstances in which most agree and other circumstances in which most disagree. I recommend a family sit down together with the assessment rules in hand to discuss areas of greatest concern—whether there is agreement or disagreement.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I may help in any way.
News & Resources for You
To get the family thinking, try our Family Meeting tool.
Missed some episodes of ‘Leave a Legacy TV’? You can catch up online now.
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Let's Show 'Em What We Do...

Jun 06, 2011

Grandin SpaffordFrom Legacy Moment eNewsletter (06/03/2011)
Please join us for future issues, delivered via email each Friday.

Fascinating is an understatement; Dr. Temple Grandin is beyond belief… I met her in person for the first time last week and found her to have the uncanny ability to cut to the heart of an issue and separate the cause from the effect. She is well informed and prepared to offer viable alternatives to solve a given problem. We spent most of a day together and our conversation ran the gamut from animal welfare to animal rights, and from anti-farming activists to farming as the key to our nation’s sovereignty. When I asked what we in ag can do about attacks from the anti-farming crowd, Temple suggested we become more transparent—she said we should open the doors and let consumers see what we do.

In her words, "people are curious." They want to be informed, so they can make good decisions. Not being open implies we have something to hide. Being transparent encourages consumers to be part of the solution and to better understand the challenges we face as farmers. Transparency is about being open, communicating freely and being accountable for our actions. Regarding farmers, the industry and food production, people are going to believe what they hear unless or until they learn differently. We’re proud of our work, and have nothing to hide. Let’s show ’em what we do…
Whether you agree or disagree about transparency, I’m interested in your thoughts. Please write to me via Ask Kevin.
News & Resources for You
Mark your calendar now for Legacy Project Workshops coming up in August and December.
For the latest updates, follow the Legacy Project on Facebook.
15 points to consider about Succession Planning:A Springboard for the Future.
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