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TEPAP from Cyberville

What did a group of ag producers think was the 3 best management practices in 2020?

David Kohl, Contributing Writer, Corn+Soybean Digest

January 26, 2021

3 Min Read
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One of my favorite venues is The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers (TEPAP) held at Texas A&M in Austin, Texas. This program, envisioned by Dr. Danny Klinefelter, is the “Super Bowl of learning” for individuals that desire to improve their management mindset. The COVID-19 pandemic required the program coordinators to employ plan B by hosting the event online this year. This marks my 30th year of engaging producers, agribusiness leaders, and lenders from the U.S., Canada, and around the globe. The early January event had over 200 participants.

A profile of the participants found that 62 percent were TEPAP alumni returning for a refresher and 38 percent of participants were newbies ready for engaged learning. Of the alumni participants, 89 percent had graduated in the 21st century. Eleven percent of the alumni participants were graduates of the 20th century when I made my debut with the kickoff of TEPAP.

The individuals were asked about the business stage of their operations. Forty-three percent reported their business was in the growth stage, while 44 percent were in transition. Ten percent were either scaling down the business or remaining stable while three percent were startups.

For the most part, the discussion in the chat room was quite positive. Favorable grain prices, yields, and government checks were often cited during the discussions.

Related:3 traits for post-COVID farm business success

Participants were asked to comment on the three best management practices of this past year. Setting business, family, and personal goals in writing was at the top of the list.

Other participants responded that key performance indicators (KPIs) for production, marketing, financial, and operational efficiencies was a best management practice. Some of the TEPAP participants discussed standard operating procedures (SOPs) in various areas of their management as a best practice.

Some mentioned sticking to a marketing and risk management plan was a best management practice. While this was more difficult during the recent spike in commodity prices, following a marketing and risk management plan is beneficial in the long run.

Having a transition plan and delegating responsibility and accountability were means to evolve the business. These practices were critical for nearly half of the participants who were either in the growth or transition phases.

In conclusion, what are your three best management practices and how do they compare to the TEPAP participants? I encourage each and every one of you to identify three to five management and educational events to attend in 2021. This will be a critical best practice to maintain the competitive edge in a quickly changing economic environment.

Related:Managing markets, farm business during COVID-19

Source: Dr. David Kohlwhich is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset. 

About the Author(s)

David Kohl

Contributing Writer, Corn+Soybean Digest

Dr. Dave Kohl is an academic Hall of Famer in the College of Agriculture at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va. Dr. Kohl has keen insight into the agriculture industry gained through extensive travel, research, and involvement in ag businesses. He has traveled over 10 million miles; conducted more than 7,000 presentations; and published more than 2,500 articles in his career. Dr. Kohl’s wisdom and engagement with all levels of the industry provide a unique perspective into future trends.

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