Where do you see your farm or agriculture business in five to 10 years? At a recent meeting, Bob Hendershot offered these quick tips for developing a vision, setting some goals and managing your farm or business.
One of the first steps in farm planning is identifying the resources you have to make your operation successful. Identify all potential costs and financial resources.
What are your interests? What do you want to grow/raise/do with your farm? Is there a market for it, will it be profitable and will it work on your farm?
Who will help you on your farm? Is your family supportive of your endeavor?
Goal setting is critical. Without goals, some spend their entire life planning and getting nothing accomplished.
Goals should be “SMART” (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound). Set benchmarks (within a year) for measuring success toward a specific goal.
How you manage your farm and resources can make or break you. Determine what your management skills are by considering these questions:
- What interferes or limits your management ability?
- Where is your time best spent?
- What management chore generates the most potential return or revenue?
- What is the breakdown of your time spent on various jobs?
- Are there others in the operation that can do certain jobs or manage certain tasks better than you?
Why are you doing this? Is it a hobby or a business? It is fun to have a hobby that makes money, said Hendershot.
Analyze your personal time: Do you have time for this new venture? What will you have to give up to do it?
Communicate with your team: Who will do what tasks? What needs to be done, when and where will it get done, and how will it get done?
Plan, plan and re-plan: You don’t have to wait until the end of the year to review your farm goals or plans. Observe how your business is following through with certain tasks and be prepared to make adjustments to your plan on the fly.
(Farm and Dairy is featuring a series of “101” columns throughout the year to help young and beginning farmers master farm living. From finances to management to machinery repair and animal care, farmers do it all.)
More Farming 101 columns:
- Cattle handling for beginners
- Should I buy a new or used tractor?
- How to inspect a used tractor before purchase
- How to buy the right tractor for your farm
- 5 tips for a better farm marketing plan
- How to seek help with retirement planning
- How to set goals for retirement
- A farmer’s guide to saving for retirement
- A farmer’s guide to planning for retirement
- 5 steps to get NRCS assistance
- How can conservation easements help you?
- How to fund conservation plans
- What is a conservation plan?
- How can NRCS help you?
- More airborne hazards on the farm
- 5 airborne hazards to beware of on the farm
- 5 things to know about Wagyu beef
- Pennsylvania utility vehicle laws
- Ohio utility vehicle laws
- Farm chemical safety checklist
- When should a farm become a business entity?
- Harvest prep: Check your yield monitors
- How to tag livestock properly
- 6 tips for decision making on a family farm
- 8 tips to prepare your farm for agritourism
- How to plan for farm emergencies
- 7 keys to success on the farm
- 7 tips for healthy fair animals
- 5 tips to ensure livestock health before the fair
- 6 tips to keep your livestock parasite free
- 6 tips for vaccinating your livestock
- 5 tips to prevent dairy cow foot problems
- 6 common foot problems found in dairy cows
- Recognize, prevent heat stress in dairy cattle
- How to monitor your dairy herd
- How to start your own dairy farm
- 5 tips for sun safety in the field
- Employing youth for the summer
- What to do if a hay fire occurs
- How to prevent hay fires
- How to extend the life of your fence
- 10 safety tips for installing electric fences
- How to chose the right fence for your farm
- How to create a fencing plan
- 7 steps for easy sprayer calibration
- Prepare for planting season, Part 2: Calibration
- Prepare for planting season, Part 1: The Basics
- 7 tips to improve security on your farm
- 5 tips to protect your farmland
- 3 measures to deal with severe farm debt
- How to buy time to catch up on farm debt
- 6 tips to manage income on the farm
- 5 tips to recognize and deal with farm stress
- How to prepare a livestock birthing kit
- 5 tips for marketing your farm
- How to develop farm mission, vision statements
- 5 tips for setting farm goals
- 2 types of livestock insurance policies
- 6 things you need to know about WFRP plans
- 3 basics of crop insurance
- How does liability insurance work on the farm?
- Why do I need farm insurance?
- How to understand and use Ohio’s CAUV
- How to utilize the Pa. Clean and Green Act
- 9 tips for filing farm taxes
- 8 reasons record keeping for taxes is essential
- 5 tips for post-harvest storage
- 7 tips for family meetings on the farm
- 4 tips for balancing your farm and family
- 4 tips for communicating on the family farm
- 4 tips for firing an employee
- 6 tips for keeping good farm help
- 4 tips for recruiting farm labor
- 5 general farm labor laws
- 4 tips for employing minors
- 4 tips for PTO safety
- 5 things young farmers should know about finances
- The farm balance sheet
- 5 items for your farm’s cash flow statement
- Personal and business records: Keep them separate
- What to include in your farm business plan
- How to approach a lender: Tips for getting a farm loan
- How to use microloans to get your farm started
- Saving for the future: 6 tips for young farmers
- How to create a farm safety kit
- 5 tips for child safety on the farm
- 4 tips for transporting livestock
- 5 ways to better understand tractor stability
- 6 farm equipment hacks