Editor's Notebook: When a Legacy Shines Through

January 1, 2011 05:48 AM

There’s nothing better than the holidays and a new year to remind all of us why leaving a legacy is so important to farm families. I realize succession planning was on my mind after we hosted four Farm Journal Legacy Project workshops in December, but it was easy to see the signs of a legacy shining through at our holiday family gatherings. Take the toy combines under the Christmas tree that match the new one in the machine shed. Or multiple generations that all share nearly identical facial features. That’s not to mention the very farmhouses we gathered in to celebrate.
A legacy shines through all of it.

A family legacy can spring from the land, the livestock, the barns or the generations of the family. It honors what others before us have toiled to build and what we hope those ahead of us will hold onto and grow. As a farmer attending one of our December succession planning workshops told me, “For farmers, a legacy strikes at the heart—it is more than keeping the business going.”

We’re incredibly devoted to helping you leave your own legacy. That’s why we started the Farm Journal Legacy Project more than two years ago. Thanks to our philanthropic partner, Pioneer Hi-Bred, we are able to expand our efforts to include more resources and tools than agriculture has ever had available. As we focus our efforts for the future, I ask for your help in pinpointing what you need the most. Please check out the survey on page 17 or download it at www.farmjournallegacyproject.com. I’d love for someone from each generation on your farm to fill it out. We’ll tabulate the results and use the input to guide us as we help others leave a legacy.

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