Beat The Odds

February 4, 2011 04:08 AM


70-90-96. Do you know these numbers represent? They stand for likelihood that passing the farm from generation to generation will fail. The first transfer, from one generation to the next, has a 70% failure rate, the second 90% and the third transfer will fail 96% of the time. Farmers often think it will never happen to them, but Farm Journal succession expert, Kevin Spafford, reminds farmers they now have access to land because of those failures. 
“Don’t for a moment think it doesn’t happen. You’re farming the property of those who didn’t make it. You’re farming the Johnson place, the Roberts piece and the Hill property. Those farms failed to transition to a next generation,” Spafford says.
Spafford says this is why succession planning is so important because only with proper plans in place can farmers beat these odds and keep the farms within a family.
Want to know how to get started?
The first step is starting the conversation. Download the conversation starting tool here.  Spafford suggests that families have regular family meetings. This conversation starting tool can be used to determine which family members are interested in the farming operation and how interested they are. He recommends that every family member participate in the conversation starting survey and that each individual be completely honest and open to the discussion.
Farmers at the Top Producer Seminar last week in Chicago had the opportunity to attend a break out workshop hosted by Spafford. About 50 farmers participated and left Chicago with tools and tactics. Attend a workshop near you! Find the complete list of Farm Journal Legacy Project workshops here.
Farm Journal and Pioneer have partnered to ensure that farm families have an opportunity to design a plan that will allow them to beat these odds. The Farm Journal Legacy Project is dedicated to providing tools and information to help farm families prepare for succession. Each one of Farm Journal Media's properties are dedicated to delivering this information. TV programs, e-newsletters, workbooks, magazine stories, workshops and even social media tools are designed to help farm families start this tough conversation and to ensure that they have the tools necessary to beat the odds.


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