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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.

An Open Letter to Mom

May 15, 2012

 Farm mom iStock compressedFrom Legacy Moment (05/11/2012).
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Dear Mom,

You've taught me so much; how can I ever thank you? As a child you encouraged me to always do my best. You taught me that life isn’t about what you get, it’s about what you give. You taught me values, reminding me to stand up for what I believe in. And you showed me that personal connections—family, friends and colleagues—are more important than material possessions.

Though the words may vary, the language of motherhood is based on caring, kindness and love. In the following paragraphs, read what some real farm moms have to say about life, family and leaving a legacy. Learn more about these moms on "Leave a Legacy TV." Happy Mother’s Day.

On encouraging the next generation to pursue a career in farming, Mary Dye says, "If you have that mentoring mindset…encouraging them [her three daughters] to develop their skills and abilities and then leaving that option open, they’ll be successful in other pursuits if this doesn’t work out the way we planned."

Referring to the bonds of family, Deborah Rovey states, "The key is family. I think family first. And, you know, those ties run deep. And so that way you can get through the adversities that come along, because you are family and you’re gonna stay family forever."

Mary Mooney on what she values: "The land. Never give up the land. Land is wealth. That’s why we still have that ranch today. If any one of my family members comes to me and says, ‘I need to make money,’ like my son, I say, ‘You know what, there’s a ranch, there’s olives and there’s farmers markets. Have at it.’"

Farming’s not a simple life, but for Lauren Kerr, "It’s fun." She says, "I like to stay connected to it. And I think it’s important to show our kids it’s not just dads that work on a farm—everybody can."

We’re all going to leave a legacy. Mary Rickert says without hesitation, "My legacy? Well, I’d like to leave wherever I’ve lived a better place—that I’ve touched people and been a good influence. And hopefully inspired them a little bit to be a better person, and to be a kinder, gentler person—whether to each other or to the earth or to the cattle."

News & Resources for You:

Is your family ready to get started? Our Conversation Starters and Family Meeting Agenda tools may provide a starting point.

Let us know how we may help. We’re here to assist you in locating the resources you need as you consider next steps.

Follow our Legacy Project case study moms as, side-by-side with their families, they make progress toward their succession planning goals. 

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