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3 concepts to run the farm by

fotokostic/ThinkstockPhotos YoungFarmersExaminingDirt
Combining these three elements leads to better decision-making.

What would you say you run your farm by? There are three main elements that I’ve found can be helpful to think about when it comes to how you run your operation and how you make decisions. It’s the combination of all three that really makes the biggest difference for the farm.

#1: Values and mission

The first big concept to think about is your core values and the mission of your operation. Your farm’s core values might already be written down, or maybe you haven’t done that yet. If not, it may be time to get together with the main stakeholders of your operation to talk about the values that matter most.

Then, narrow them down and decide on the most important five to seven or so. These are the guiding values in your operation when it’s time to make decisions – as well as in the daily work culture of your operation.

You can also discuss and create your farm’s mission with your leadership team – whether that’s you and a business partner, you and your spouse, or you and a formal team. Your mission is about what you’re all there to do together in the operation. It should speak to how you go about business on your farm, as well.

#2: Future goals

The next concept to bring into your farm decision-making is your main future goals for your operation. Do you have big primary goals that you’ve put in writing for your farm? I’m thinking about really major, long-term goals that might be part of your plans for the next five to ten years for the operation.

These long-term goals are important to consider because they help you think about where your farm is heading and how it will get there. Knowing and thinking about your farm goals as part of your decision-making can be helpful. When you know where you want to be in the future, you can make decisions now that will be more likely to help you get there.

#3: Farm financials

The third important piece to consider alongside your farm’s core values and mission are “the numbers.” I’m talking about your farm’s financials – the metrics and financial statements that you can use to help guide decision-making.

Making decisions with the numbers is key to running an efficient operation that will thrive into the future. Always taking the numbers into account helps you base your choices on a numerical element of information. The numbers bring a different lens, especially when decisions are tough because emotions are running high, such as anxiety or uncertainty.

Bringing together these three elements – your farm’s core values and mission, your farm’s long-term future goals and your farm’s numbers – is key to success. When you combine all three in your decision-making, it lets you use a broader view of your operation and what it needs to thrive into the future.

One of the areas of decision-making in the operation where using these three elements can be helpful is when it comes to making marketing plans and decisions for the farm. You can get a partner for your marketing plans by getting in touch with our market advisors.

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress. 
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