Editors Note: The holiday season is often a time to reflect on the year's accomplishments and to celebrate family. This story is part of a three story series about the struggles and successes of members of the Farm Journal Legacy Project family, the three Legacy Project case studies you have followed in Farm Journal, Top Producer and Dairy Today magazines all year.
January 8, 2011 by Pam Smith
In her weaker moments, Shannon Dell can’t help but wonder why. Why do some people survive accidents and others don’t? Why did her husband and best friend, Tommy, have to die?
Then, she straightens and apologizes for being selfish. She concentrates hard on the blessings that have come with a good man and a loving family. "I know we lived and loved more in 11 years of marriage than most people do in a lifetime," Shannon says.
"Tommy had a mission. He wanted this family farm to endure and that’s just what we will do," she says. --> Continue Reading
February 7, 2011 by Pam Smith
Gregory Dell was born to farm. At 16, his dreams for the future are already rooted in the Westminster, Md., farm where four generations of his family toil.
His father and mother, Gary and Crystal Dell, are tickled that their son is so passionate about returning to the farming operation. There have been times when they’ve depended on him so much that they worried farming might be the last thing Gregory would want to do in life.--> Continue Reading
April 30, 2011 by Pam Smith
These days, Roger Dell is more likely to wear a pair of boat shoes than work boots. The hand that once negotiated the turn rows of his Westminster, Md., farm now guides a 48' sportfishing boat about the estuaries of Chesapeake Bay. The scent of saltwater, in his opinion, is a worthy replacement for the first whiff of freshly turned soil. --> Continue Reading
July 5, 2011 by Pam Smith
When Donna Dell Armacost saw the Dell family tree in Farm Journal, she thought she’d been pruned away: Her branch on the tree was missing.
Fact is, only active partners and their families were included. Officially, Armacost is not part of the Dell farm partnership. However, her situation raises an important question: Where do nonactive siblings fit in the succession picture? --> Continue Reading
July 5, 2011 by
Greg Dell jokingly calls himself a late bloomer. At an age when most farmers might be contemplating retirement, the Westminster, Md., farmer and his wife, Della, find themselves in the primary ownership position for the family farm.
Ironically, at the same time they are grasping the reins, they are looking for ways to bring their children into management roles. --> Continue Reading
July 2011 by Pam Smith
These days, Roger Dell is more likely to wear a pair of boat shoes than work boots. The hand that once negotiated the turn rows of his Westminster, Md., farm now guides a 48' sportfishing boat about the estuaries of Chesapeake Bay. The scent of saltwater, in his opinion, is a worthy replacement for the first whiff of freshly turned soil.
Last year, the 62-year-old Dell decided it was finally time. Neither of his children were interested in returning to farm. However, his partner and brother, Greg, had three sons living on the farm and some of his children were already showing interest.--> Continue Reading
August 27, 2011 by Charlene Finck
The past year has been a roller-coaster ride for the Dell family after losing Tommy, third-generation farmer, in a farm accident during harvest. As often happens in rural communities, neighbors and friends rallied to help with field work, chores, raising money for a children’s scholarship fund and sharing the loss. . --> Continue Reading
October 28, 2011 by Pam Smith
Greg and Della Dell are part of the sandwich generation—the midlife adults wedged between aging parents and adult children and grandchildren.
The Westminster, Md., farm couple cared for Della’s father in their home when he fell ill. Upon his passing, an apartment was built onto their farm home for her mother, Nora Lee Armacost. Greg’s parents, Donald and Leona Dell, both in their 80s, are in excellent health and live less than a mile away. Children and grandchildren pass in and out of their spacious farmhouse as if it were their own. --> Continue Reading
Are you the next Legacy Project case study? The Farm Journal Legacy Project is devoted to cultivating multigenerational success. A key part of that is the unique and unprecedented chronicling of three case-study families as they work through their individual succession planning processes. As the Esthers wind up three years of successful farm transition work, the timing is right to learn from a new farm family. This doesn't mean we won't check in with the Esters, as the succession process never fully ends. But Top Producer is looking for a new family ready to create a lasting legacy for their farm business and family members. If you'd like to be one of the families that Farm Journal Media works with in the Farm Journal Legacy Proejct, please send a letter that shares an overview of your operation, your succession planning frustrations and your goals to LegacyProject@farmjournal.com. For more details, call (877)523-7411.