Legacy Project: Leading the Change

March 26, 2010 02:52 PM
"We're going to look at where you, your family and operation are today and where you want to be tomorrow,” Kevin Spafford told the crowd at a recent Farm Journal Legacy Project workshop in Sioux Falls, S.D. "Succession planning is the road map for you getting there.”


Farm Journal's columnist and succession planning expert, Kevin Spafford, leads the Sioux Falls crowd through a recent workshop. 
Spafford, Farm Journal's succession planning expert, hosts an ongoing series of workshops across the U.S., developed by Farm Journal and supported by Pioneer Hi-Bred. Family farmers from four states convened in Sioux Falls for the lively daylong workshop. Attendees shared their thoughts as Spafford guided them through the issues of succession planning. He starts with advice on how a family can breach the topic to begin with, then discusses who should be involved in family discussions and, finally, how to set up a formal family meeting complete with succession planning facilitators.
Through the day, Spafford expands on five key elements to a succession plan: leadership development from one generation to the next, ownership transition of assets, financial security, estate planning strategies, business growth and development. The workshops help create something of a network among the attendees, and the participants share their personal stories with each other during breaks throughout the day.
"What's so good about this workshop is all the input by the participants,” said Linda Johanson of Hadley, S.D., who attended with her son Doug. "It makes you realize there are a lot people in the same boat.”
For more information and a schedule of upcoming workshops, check out www.farmjournallegacyproject.com. Look for Legacy Project columns and news and profiles of case study families in upcoming issues of Farm Journal and Top Producer, and watch for Legacy Specials on "AgDay” Television.
The first three Legacy Events were held this week in Middleton, Wis., Owatonna, Minn. and Sioux Falls, S.D., respectively. See where and when the next events will be held.

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