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November 2008 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.

Calling All Bootstrapreneurs

Nov 24, 2008
Be assured, the challenges of yesterday prepared us with the education, experience and insight to meet the complexities of tomorrow.  The entire nation faces an unprecedented challenge.  Our capitalistic economy, political fabric and personal mettle will be tested in the days and months ahead.  As a nation, we’ve finally reached the breaking point, where entitlement desires are bound by economic realities.

Be assured, the business environment of tomorrow will be a lot different from today’s.  The winners will be separated from the whiners with a healthy dose of tenacity, patience and long-term vision.  As a fellow business owner likes to say, “We develop bad habits during good times, and good habits during bad…”  Well, this is an excellent time to focus on the fine points of business management, marketing proficiency and leadership development. 

Be assured, the exact solutions to the current crisis do not exist.  Nevertheless, there is a  resolution.  We, American entrepreneurs, must resolve now to help our operations adapt to a new reality and grow the capabilities necessary to weather the inconsistencies of a wracked economy, government interventions, onerous tax burdens and political unrest.

Start with a renewed business plan...>>

Remember to take the Farm Journal Legacy Project Survey today.  We value your input.

For the Next Generations

Nov 15, 2008
In researching material for a presentation, I came across “The Bridge Builder” - a poem written by Will Allen Dromgoole (1860 - 1934).  She authored 7500 poems, 5000 essays and thirteen books from her home in Murfreesboro, TN.

As with many classic works, the language may be dated, but the principles are as applicable today as when they were written 100 years ago.  

No Plan for Contingencies

Nov 07, 2008
Concluding our look at the twelve most common mistakes agribusiness owners repeat, this final post addresses planning for the unexpected.

Click here to review previous posts. 

The potential devastation from an untimely death, unforeseen disability, unfunded long term care stay or uninsured health insurance claim, is not worth the risk.  This threat can be financially devastating to even the most financially sound proprietor.  Planning for sudden and devastating contingencies is critical to business financial health, employee peace of mind and your family’s financial security.  The information and the systems to develop a comprehensive contingency plan are readily available.  Life, disability, long term care and health insurance are all designed to provide money at the very time it is needed most.

The comprehensive succession planning process includes a thorough examination of the type of protection an owner needs to ensure the family’s financial security.

 In the words of Jeanne Bernick, "Our farms are woven into the fabric of our families and the communities of rural America.  Agriculture is at a pivotal time when preserving that legacy by passing it to the next generation is valuable - and priceless.  We invite each of our readership families to join us as we strive to help farmers on the quest to leave a legacy."

Please take a few moments today to complete the Legacy Project Survey.  
We value your input.


Who's on Deck?

Nov 05, 2008
Continuing our look at the twelve most common mistakes agribusiness owners repeat, #11 addresses the issue of leadership for your operation.  Have you selected and developed your successor?

Click here to review previous posts. 

The eleventh of twelve most common mistakes agribusiness owners repeat:

John Phipps says it best inReality Takes Over" (Top Producer, October 2008).  He writes about the pleasant, yet unexpected realities in (son) Aaron’s return to the farm.  In personal conversations, public presentations and columns, John agonized over the decisions, worried about the future and stepped timidly into a father/son business arrangement.  But now, mere months after Aaron’s return, John is realizing many new and pleasing results.

We know 90% of the things we worry about never happen.  What we don’t often realize is that, given the chance, people will surprise us.  There never was, and never will be, a born farmer.  We all need some guidance, a bit of teaching and a dose of experience to master the duties of any given occupation.  And the skills necessary to succeed in tomorrow’s agribusiness environment are much different than the abilities employed by today’s leaders.

Read on >>

Remember to complete the Legacy Project Survey, so that we may best address the
succession planning needs of you, your farm and your family.  We value your input.

No Retirement Plan?

Nov 03, 2008
Continuing our look at the twelve most common mistakes agribusiness owners repeat, #10 addresses the issue of a farmer's retirement.

Click here to review previous posts. 

The tenth of twelve most common mistakes agribusiness owners repeat:

Ask a farmer when he plans to retire and he'll snicker a bit, and make some modest comment about how much there is to do, or how much he loves the work.  He may even ask rhetorically, "Who else could run the place?"  Stalling a bit, he's hoping to avoid the real issue - that he is unprepared for retirement.

If not retirement, how about the next opportunity in a vocational life?  Our years are filled with experience, wisdom, ambition and capabilities.  We all want to do more and there's always something new to conquer.  Yet, how and when does a person transition to the next level of achievement (whether it's unaccustomed leisure or a new challenge)? 

Read on >>

Remember to complete the Legacy Project Survey, so that we may best address the
succession planning needs of you, your farm and your family.  We value your input.
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