Have you ever been stuck in a routine? Maybe it’s the
routine you go through each morning at the start of your workday.
Or maybe you eat the same thing for lunch every day. If
there isn’t any pressing reason to change, you might keep that routine.
It can be like that in farming, too. If you start to become
comfortable with a certain level of success, you might just keep doing things
the way you did them last year and the year before and the year before
But when the environment changes, what created success for
you in the past might not be the same actions that are required to win today’s
game. A farmer we recently met comes to mind.
His farm has been successful the past four years. He has
what it takes — he’s a smart, self-aware farmer.
Over the past four years, he invested into his operation
heavily. He upgraded his equipment line every year.
He grew the size of his operation by buying land and cash
renting more ground. Doing the same thing each year was working, so he stuck
But this past year, we saw a very different cycle happen,
and what he had been doing didn’t work out like it had before. He said he
realized he’s looking for a different lens — a new perspective — on what he will
need to do now to be successful in his farm business.
The farmer said that even though he knows his farm’s
financials and knows where his breakevens are at, he wants someone else’s eyes
on them, too.
Like I told you, this is a self-aware farmer. He knows a lot
about his operation, not only from a production, but also a business and
But he wants a closer look. He wants to make sure he’s
including everything that he needs to calculate his true breakeven and to know
and understand his machinery costs. He plans to partner with an ag finance
specialist for regular, forward-looking financial reviews of his
Also key in this is the fact that his son is transitioning
into the operation. The farmer told us that he thinks having a third party
helping with the financial side of the farm will set his son up for success.
His son will have the chance to understand — in a
transparent way — the finances of the farm. He can start participating in
decision-making and prepare to lead the business.
It would be easy to just stick our heads in the sand, cling
to our routines and ignore the changing world around us. But the reality is that
the ag world is changing. What worked in the past to create success isn’t
necessarily what’s needed to win today.
The farmer I told you about said he has to remind himself
more and more to take off his “farmer hat” and put on his “business hat.” With
potentially shrinking margins and volatility on the horizon, wearing the
“business hat” in all your decision-making will be a must for farm success
As I’ve been talking with farmers this winter, many say they
want to take their farm to the next level, but aren’t sure where to
Maybe you’ve felt that way. Your farm has grown in recent
years, and the numbers and the decisions you make each day are bigger than in
Maybe you have employees now and are figuring out the best
way to manage and lead them. All of a sudden, you have a lot more on your
Working with someone from outside of your farm can help you
decide on a place to start. They act as a coach for you and your farm business,
walking you through a plan you’ve agreed on, step by step.
A “coach” for the farm brings a new perspective and helps
you identify gaps and areas of opportunity in your operation.
They not only build your skills, but work to grow and
develop you as a person, too. They help you imagine the future of your farm and
encourage you to make the greatest impact as a leader right now.
What would your farm be like if you decided to take it to
the next level? Consider seeking out someone who acts as a coach for you and
As they learn about your farm and your hopes for the future,
they work with you to map out a clear plan to make your vision a reality.