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Cultivating Multigenerational Success in the Agricultural Community

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Emotions in Business

October 6, 2015

LegacyConnection Kevin Spafford, CFP® We’ve all done it - lashed out at something or someone for no particular reason. Emotions are inconsistent and uncontrollable. Although they often direct our actions, emotions should not be used to determine the suitability of a business decision. One of the biggest blunders any business owner can make is allowing emotion to dictate business decisions. Non-emotional, objective decisions promote rational, consistent, and fair outcomes. Emo...

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Mastering Generational Rivalry

September 21, 2015

LegacyConnection Kevin Spafford, CFP® By the sound of his voice, he was sincerely stressed, to the end of his rope, as parents often declare. In trying to explain the situation, he began with phrases like ‘difference of opinion,’ ‘personality conflict’ and ‘lack of respect.’ Those terms quickly gave way to ‘intolerant,’ ‘insubordinate’ and ‘defiant.’ But, from my point of view and in working with this family, it w...

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Once Commitment is Made, Progress Begins

September 2, 2015

LegacyConnection Kevin Spafford, CFP® Planning for succession is a process. Since most plans are implemented incrementally, as in a gradual ownership transition, the end result isn’t really knowable. However, the process will have a lasting impact on the owner[s], the family, and the farm. Over time, it will become clear whether the family’s plan for succession is measured in gratifying milestones or grinding on participants like a millstone.   For most, success...

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Together We Will Reshape Our Industry

June 23, 2015

LegacyConnection Kevin Spafford, CFP® If you haven’t seen the TEDx presentation, "Pushing Boundaries In Agriculture", by Robert Saik, CEO of Agri-Trend, you should. To date it’s had over 76,000 views on YouTube. Robert Saik is a leader. He’s speaking out and sharing a story about the science behind agricultural production. Through a message that explains the how and why of GMOs, he refutes the demagoguery and misinformation that’s in vogue with today&...

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Challenging, yes. Life-changing, absolutely!

April 17, 2015

LegacyConnection Kevin Spafford, CFP® Like many things, planning for succession depends on the relationship among the family and your advisors, on planning methods and thoroughness of the process, on the information provided and the recommendations made, on the complexity of the case and the attitude of the decision-makers, and on plan implementation and lasting results. Resistance is normal, especially for a hard-charging, independent agripreneur. It can get in the way and derail ...

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Fair and Equitable

March 31, 2015

LegacyConnection Kevin Spafford, CFP® John wanted the whole farm, all the land, the working facilities, outbuildings, and equipment. “How else am I going to continue the operation?” he quipped. Janice, his sister, wanted her fair share, whatever that may be… And grandma was stuck in the middle, wishing she could solve the problem, hoping her decision would not alienate one or the other of her grandchildren, and wondering why her husband didn’t solve the ...

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Rules of Engagement

February 19, 2015

LegacyConnection Kevin Spafford, CFP® “Tell us the rules and we can play any game.” Ed Rust, President State Farm (1958 - 1985), was known to say. For a family business, the rules of engagement come in the form of a family employment policy. The policy should apply to all relatives who may be interested in working in the family organization. As a clear and concise document, the family employment policy should spell out, in specific terms, the conditions in which a membe...

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It Didn't Have to End This Way

November 11, 2014

LegacyConnection Kevin Spafford, CFP® By now, you’ve read that Waggoner Ranch of Vernon Texas, at 510,000 acres, one of the largest in America, is on the auction block. After years of court battles and millions in legal fees, the heirs ran out of chances. Though we may never know what started the fight, we can be assured that a once powerful family in farming is now casting about for remnants of what was, and asking if it could’ve been different. Families are at ...

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