Leave a Legacy
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.
Mar 14, 2012
From Legacy Moment (03/09/2012).
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"There are many roads to town," as I’ve often expressed. Like the saying "One size doesn’t fit all," the goal of succession is to examine the options available and then select the best choice for your situation.
Here’s a recent question to the Legacy Project mailbag. As the scenario below plays out, the family operation will not continue unless we impose a solution.
Q. "My husband’s parents are trying to ‘force’ us into a partnership with his younger brother. We’ve been down this road before, and each time we had to buy him out to save the operation. This time, he assures us, he is committed. Nevertheless, we don’t want to do it all over again. Their dad wants to retire. Can you recommend how to divide the farm into separate operations, rather than form a partnership?"
A. The key to any business partnership is a good working relationship. Obviously, there isn’t one here. The goal must be to create a business relationship that is both complementary and compatible. In this instance, you have neither. I recommend you start with a business plan that divides the operation into separate operating units.
What’s best for you, your family and the farm is ultimately an individual decision. The keys to success are clearly defined objectives, a thorough examination of options and then decisive action.
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