Len Davies (left) accepts his award from Wilson Loree. For many years Davies has helped farmers throughout Ontario and the Maritimes complete their business continuity plans. Courtesy photo

OTTAWA – Farm Management Canada (FMC) recently held its Agricultural Excellence Conference in Fredericton, where Len Davies was announced as the 2019 recipient of the prestigious Wilson Loree Award.

Now in its seventeenth year, the award honours individuals or groups who have made an extraordinary contribution to advancing agricultural business management practices in Canada.

Davies is a family business continuity planner. For the last 17 years, he has helped farmers throughout Ontario and the Maritimes complete their business continuity plans.

Wilson Loree personally presented the award to Davies at the Agricultural Excellence Conference. Davies was accompanied by his daughter, Janet.

“After retiring early from Agricorp, Len took a friend’s suggestion to get into the field of farm succession planning, where he has worked with more than 600 clients,” recounted Wilson. “I think we owe a debt of gratitude to that friend. Len, we’re pleased to have you join this prestigious group of previous winners including people like Elaine Froese, Merle Good, Terry Betker, Larry Martin, Lyle Stavness.”

In his acceptance speech, Len recounted advice he heard from Zig Ziglar. “I have always believed that if you help enough people get what they want, you will get what you want,” said Davies. “It’s important that we don’t lose sight of what we’re doing. Don’t lose sight of who the client is. If we make things right for the client, success will come for us.”

Davies continued: “I look at myself like your general practitioner. There are all kinds of people who know more than I do when it comes to specific areas, but I need to know what they need so I know where to send them and when to send them. I have built my practice around that.”

Davies grew up on a dairy farm and studied agriculture at the University of Guelph. After graduating, he worked for a feed company and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs as a research analyst in cost of production studies. For many years, Davies served as field operations manager for Agricorp.

After an early retirement, he founded Davies Legacy Planning Group Inc. in 2003. With this business, he has guided many clients through an eight-step process towards developing an action plan to ensure their business continues to the next generation. The eight-step process addresses the components of a business continuity plan using the three-circle model: family, management and ownership. As a team player, Davies uses other professionals in his planning process, such as a family facilitator, lenders, accountants and lawyers. By doing so, he has assured his clients attain the best advice possible to continue their family farm for many more generations.

Davies resides in Muirkirk, Ont., with his wife, Mary.

Below are some of examples of what Davies’ colleagues, peers and clients had to say about his contribution to effecting positive change in farm business management:

“To say that Len Davies exemplifies all that is positive in the agriculture industry would be a profound understatement. Very simply, Len Davies wakes each day with an immense passion for the industry and a goal of making yet another farm family better off for having met him.”

“There wasn’t a farm family issue that Len hadn’t already dealt with at some point and he was able to instill a comfort level that made families comfortable and engaged to see the plan through.”

“Len provided emotional and mental health support that allowed us to be completely comfortable baring our souls and working toward a plan that was tailored to us. Through the process of preparing our business plan, Len gave us back our pride in ourselves and our farm and left us proud and passionate about our future in this great industry.”

The Wilson Loree Award was created in 2002 in Wilson’s name by Farm Management Canada. Loree retired as Branch Head of Agriculture Business Management after 27 years with Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development.