Sep 23, 2014
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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.

Do You Want to Solve It?

Apr 02, 2014

iStock Green FarmFrom Legacy Moment (03.28.2014).
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It's become my go-to question. I have a number of consultations each week with farmers and active family members who contact me via Ask Kevin, email or phone call. As part of the conversations, I sound out each caller about their intent and measure their level of determination. Recently, I've been bluntly asking:

"Do you want to solve it [your succession puzzle]?"

Often that question is met with silence and hesitation, and then a response, "Of course." Well if you do, like most of my callers, I encourage you to jump in with both feet. Commit to the succession planning process and take the steps necessary to achieve success.

"But how?" you might ask.

Begin with Conversation Starters, a six-question worksheet designed to get the family talking about their succession desires. Schedule a family meeting and create an agenda based on your intents and the input of those who may attend. From there, you should be prepared to discuss a comprehensive succession planning model. Your plan should include provisions for: ownership transition, leadership development, financial security and estate taxes.

Some people want to know how long the planning process will take. Frankly, it doesn't really matter. From commitment stems a desire to start making the changes necessary to achieve multigenerational success. So if you really want to solve it, commit today.

The Farm Journal Legacy Project provides the information, tools, and resources you need to get started. Rally the family and solicit their interest; it will be one of the most gratifying conversations of your life. And, be confident you won't go it alone. We're here to encourage, guide and assist.

News & Resources for You:

Please note: The Legacy Project Workshop in Syracuse, N.Y., has now been rescheduled for Monday, June 16. Also, registration is now open for events in NE, IL, and MN. Register online here, or call Farm Journal Events at (877) 482-7203. 

No matter what you call it, how long it takes or how difficult it might be to initiate, succession is a must.

The goal is an operation that will endow the family for generations to come.  

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