For the Next 100 Years

January 13, 2009 06:00 PM

My husband's parents are octogenarians (a fancy word that means people who are 80 years old). As individuals of this distinction, they've experienced many changes on their farm: from storing seed corn in their upstairs bedroom to buying it from a salesman, and from planting with a John Deere Model A to running a tractor with air conditioning.

They've been recognized by their community, their county and the dairy industry. No honor do they hold in higher esteem than the one they received this summer: the Iowa Century Farm award. This recognition is given to families who have owned and been the stewards of Iowa land for more than 100 years and who have contributed to the growth and stability of Iowa agriculture.

What a legacy! Years ago, the Bernicks sought professional succession planning to ensure the farm would remain in the family for as long as they so chose. It was a painstaking process, but one they have never regretted.

The Farm Journal Legacy Project is a call to action for you to begin the succession planning process. Our Farm Journal Media family urges your family to start cultivating multigenerational success, starting with a survey on page 19 to help us understand your succession planning needs.

Creating a succession plan is overwhelming, but as the Century Farm award details, this kind of agricultural stability enriches our communities, states and world.

--By Jeanne Bernick
Crops & Issues Editor

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