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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 Mentor

May 08, 2012

 

WisconsinFrom Legacy Moment (05/04/2012).
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Many of you know my background. I was born and raised in Northern California. During summers as a teenager, I learned to milk cows on my uncle’s farm in Wisconsin. He’s long since passed, and the family’s no longer milking cows on that little dairy west of Milwaukee. Yet, Uncle Milton’s lessons are in my memory and in my heart.
 
He’s the reason I’m here today, reaching out to you in hopes that something I write, say or record will make an impression and help you to preserve, promote and pass your most precious resource on to a well-prepared next generation.
 
As a mentor, Uncle Milton taught me a lot. Much of his teaching reinforced common sense; some of it was about the obvious outcome for a given situation. But it’s the little gems, the insight from years of experience, which were the priceless nuggets a person can build a life on. He taught me:
 
• There is no substitute for hard work.
• Take pride in your operation, no matter how big or small.
• Trust Mother Nature, but anticipate the storm.
• Help your neighbor.
• Care for your family and be kind to yourself.
 
Through what turned out to be a scant few months over a lifetime, he gave me the greatest gift of all--the opportunity to taste the sunrise, touch nature, hear the swish of the blackbirds, smell fresh-cut hay, and know the security of hard work and self-reliance.

News & Resources for You:

Take steps to safeguard your family’s unique "golden goose." Make plans to attend a Legacy Project Workshop this July in Fargo, N.D., or Omaha, Neb.
 
The legacy of our next generation: Have you browsed through the gallery of Farm Kid photos on AgWeb? Guaranteed to make you smile.
 
Considering a transition to nonfamily? It will take patience and effort, but it can be done.
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