Leave a Legacy Survey

October 31, 2008 07:00 PM

Our farms are woven into the fabric of our families and the communities of rural America. Agriculture is at a pivotal time when preserving that legacy by passing it to the next generation is valuable—and priceless. We invite each of our readership families to join us as we strive to help farmers on the quest to leave a legacy. 

Please click here to participate in our Leaving a Legacy Survey.

It is a familiar line: "Someday this will all be yours.” You've heard it. You've said it. That gut-felt desire to make the farm succeed for the family throughout the generations is often the reason we pull on our boots each morning.

This year, Farm Journal Media is launching a bold new project aimed at helping farm families and farms successfully weather generational transition. We're calling it the Farm Journal Legacy Project, and it's our mission to "Cultivate Multigenerational Success in the Agricultural Community.”

Never has the need been so clear. The median age of U.S. farmers is 58, according to U.S. Census data. Studies show 40% of U.S. farms are poised to transition management, operation and/or ownership to the next generation. Yet the three leading causes of failure to transition are: inadequate estate planning, insufficient capitalization and failure to prepare the next generation.

"The numbers quantify the incredible need for succession planning in agriculture,” says Kevin Spafford, Farm Journal columnist and founder of Legacy by Design, a farm succession planning firm. "These times of opportunity and risk in agriculture make it vital for farm operations and families to plan future success.”

Creating a practical succession plan for your farm can seem overwhelming. "But the effort can be the most satisfying achievement in a family's collective memory,” Spafford explains.

The Farm Journal Legacy Project will provide practical information and highlight sensible techniques to achieve generational transfer. We'll link you to important resources. You'll read real-life examples of how farm families are keeping the farm in the family.

Please take a few moments to complete our Legacy Project survey (also at www.FarmJournal.com). It will help us understand your needs for succession planning so we can serve you best.
—Jeanne Bernick

Thank You For Your Letters
We asked and you answered. Your letters nominating operations to be case studies in our Farm Journal Legacy Project were astounding. Your candor, your willingness to share your farm family stories and your heartache poured off the pages. We thank you for having the faith in us to share—and we look forward to announcing the families selected in a future issue. 

From Our Readers…

"My goal in all of this is to give our kids, grandkids and future generations the opportunity to farm but not make them feel
obligated to do so.”

"Our farm is our life's work. I hope someone will take up the torch and carry it forward.”

"All of us want the operation to continue, we just don't know how or where to start.”

Please click here to participate in our Leaving a Legacy Survey.

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