Families are faced with numerous changes. The old methods of farm business transfers are no longer appropriate. Agriculture today demands a new way of thinking and planning. Just as farmers have adapted to new technology and ideas in the way that they farm, they must also be open to new practical and creative ideas in the way that they plan for and transfer their farms.
“The need for succession education and tools cannot be overstated in its importance to individual farm families of this country and to the long-term viability of the U.S. agricultural system as a whole,” said Andy Webber, president and CEO of Farm Journal Media. “There is nothing more core to sustainability in agriculture than the ability to provide succession to the next generation.”
In May 2008, Farm Journal Media introduced the Farm Journal Legacy Project (The Legacy Project), a concerted, long-term effort to address the succession-planning needs of America's farm families. The Legacy Project, in collaboration with Legacy by Design, uses the strength of 13 media properties to provide succession planning information and services to the agricultural community. The Legacy Project is the single-largest education initiative of its kind in agriculture today.
The overall mission is to cultivate multigenerational success in the agricultural community. The project is to serve as a catalyst for families, helping them to begin the process of succession planning.
The Legacy Project includes an interactive Web site (www.agweb.com/legacyproject/) to help guide farm families through the process of preparing their farm for the future. Some of the features of the Web site include:
- “Leave a Legacy” Blog
- Q&A with Kevin Spafford, the author of Legacy By Design: Succession Planning for Agribusiness Owners
- Media coverage
- Background information
- Video testimonials
- Case studies by farm families
“Through Farm Journal Media, we will help to highlight opportunities, provide structure and give growers resources to help them succeed in their succession planning,” said Frank Ross, Pioneer’s vice president and regional director, North America. “More than 80 percent of our customers who are active farmers today want to pass on their operations to the next generation. It is absolutely critical that our customers have good succession planning for American agriculture to succeed and prosper.”
To raise awareness about this significant campaign, coordinators of The Legacy Project have developed several program initiatives, including:
- Hands-on training workshops with Farm Journal columnist and succession planning expert Kevin Spafford
- Extensive editorial coverage in Farm Journal, Top Producer and Dairy Today magazines, broadcast coverage on the “AgDay” and “U.S. Farm Report” TV shows and online at AgWeb.com, with case studies and comprehensive coverage
- An annual special issue of Farm Journal magazine dedicated exclusively to the topic
- Specific training and tools for farmers at www.FarmJournalLegacyProject.com
- A monthly Legacy television show
- A weekly eNewsletter
There are also future plans for the project. In the next decade, The Legacy Project will generate full awareness and tirelessly provide inspiration, practical tools and sound advice to underpin the steps to establish and formalize effective succession plans.
Do you have your farm’s future planned? Do you know someone that could use assistance in planning for the future of his/her farm? Will this project help you and your family with succession planning?