Endurance for Generations

July 5, 2011 06:05 AM
Endurance for Generations

The Farm Journal Legacy Project continues its mission to help families protect their ability to continue farming 

Donny DeLine lived and breathed farming as a kid—even though he didn’t grow up on a farm. After spending his summers as a child with his grandparents, he knew farming was his calling.
DeLine was able to realize his dream of farming thanks to his uncle Smith DeLine, who retired in 1998 and turned the Missouri operation over to him.

Though DeLine’s path to the farm was a bit untraditional, pragmatic planning helped preserve the achievements of previous generations and serve as a springboard for future success. DeLine’s family was prepared to welcome the next generation. Unfortunately, there are many farm families who aren’t ready.

Three years ago, the Farm Journal Legacy Project was launched to help farm families leave a legacy. Thanks to a grant from Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, we’ve been able to make succession planning easier for farmers.

Here to help. "Succession is about helping families have the right conversations, providing the tools and encouraging first steps," says Farm Journal succession planning expert Kevin Spafford. "Participation in the Legacy Project will help families focus on common goals and face the difficult emotional issues."

The far-reaching objectives of the Legacy Project include: passing viable family farms on to the next generation; encouraging agriculture as a profession; and cultivating multigenerational success in the agricultural community to protect our food sovereignty.

Legacy Pioneer BadgeThe next level. We take the mission of the Legacy Project seriously and are dedicated to expanding the effort to meet the overwhelming need in farm country.

In the coming months, we’ll continue to keep you connected with our three case study families in our magazines, online and on TV. We’ll also be launching a new series of stories in Farm Journal, coupled with an online assessment tool, to help measure where the owner, family and operation stand in the succession planning process.

It’s been a pleasure to meet the several thousand individuals who have attended one of 16 Legacy Workshops in 2010 and the first half of 2011. We’re excited to offer more workshops in August and December 2011. In 2012, new locations will be added to the workshop circuit and we’ll head back to several locations to take the content to the next level with an individualized focus and actionable steps.

Efforts are under way to develop a network of Legacy certified advisers who can help facilitate the planning process. We’re also identifying qualified attorneys and accountants who can be resources.

For tools and resources, visit www. FarmJournalLegacyProject.com. While you’re at the site, sign up for our weekly eNewsletter to guide succession planning moves.

Today, three generations of DeLines enjoy life on the farm: Donny’s father, Bill, manages inputs and serves as a landlord. Young Peyton tags along with his grandpa and his dad every chance he gets. While DeLine isn’t worried about passing the farm on to the sixth generation just yet, he wants to keep his son’s enthusiasm burning until the time comes.

Farm Journal Legacy Project Survey Results

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