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.
John Phipps says it best in “Reality 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.
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