Sep 17, 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.

Opportunity on the New Frontier

Apr 16, 2013

Wildflowers   NRCSFrom Legacy Moment (04/12/2013).
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"In 2007, farmer-owned nonfarm businesses employed over 800,000 nonfarm workers and contributed an estimated $55 billion to their local communities' gross county product," according to "The Importance of Farmer-Owned Nonfarm Businesses in the Rural Economy," a study published by the USDA Economic Research Service. The message here is clear; we make the difference—on our farms, in our families and in our local communities.

Is the catalyst for the strength of nonfarm businesses owned by our farm families a coincidence of the farming vocation or a consequence of the farming experience? The report says the comparative advantage for farm households to own other nonfarm business interests, "appears to be their ability to organize resources across multiple enterprises when new business opportunities arise."

In paraphrasing the study, farm households might own a nonfarm business due to:

  • The availability of excess resources to operate a second enterprise.
  • Nonfarm opportunities appear to be more profitable than further development of existing resources.
  • The need to provide career paths for extended family.

As we talk succession, and consider the obligation/opportunity to create something bigger, better, stronger and faster, this report should make you feel confident in your ability. Recognize that demands exist for new business ventures and our rural communities are ripe with an abundance of enterprise opportunities.


News & Resources for You:

Take a look at the full USDA study: "The Importance of Farmer-Owned Nonfarm Businesses in the Rural Economy."

Don't underestimate the value of off-farm experience. There's always more to learn.

Also...does Beth's story sounds familiar? (Click on the box in the lower left of the page.)

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