Step 2 :: Values – Vision – Goal

A :: Values

Most of us would say we value a few of the same things; hard work, family, loyalty. And so actually writing them down seems a little redundant – but we also have plenty of other values that are not always so easy to pin down but will help in making a decision on exactly “how” you structure your farm transition. Complete the following worksheet by circling just one word or phrase from each box and rate the significance of each choice from:

++ extremely important,

+ somewhat important,

o neutral,

- less important,

-  - unimportant.


Now look at those values you find the most important and try to incorporate them into a pretend Christmas letter from the future.

Yes, a Christmas letter from the future. You know…

“Well, Dad and I went to visit my sister again this Summer in North Carolina …she has such a lovely place along a stream up in the Smokey Mountains…”

But this time instead of ending the letter talking about how the combine broke in the middle of harvest last year — maybe you talk about who is now farming your place and how that transition went. Maybe you talk about having moved just a couple miles from your sister in North Carolina! Have each of the family members write their own letter and then read them together.

Christmas Letter Template

The Christmas letter you just wrote could be a good beginning for your vision of the farm. The following handout will help you further tease out your vision for the farm.


B :: Goals

Measurable – Achievable – Realistic – Timely – Ethical – Changeable

Taking any one of the goals you have for the farm and applying on of the above “filters” will give you a better idea if your goals are executable and relevant. Also be mindful that you may have different goals for the farmland, farm business and your own personal life. the following worksheet can help you lay out some of these goals.



Continue to Step 3 –>

Worksheets are used with permission of John Baker -