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What are your farm goals?

New York Farm Show visitors share their goals for 2023.

Chris Torres, Editor, American Agriculturist

March 9, 2023

3 Min Read
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SET YOUR GOALS: Whether simple or lofty, having a set of goals is a good way to keep track of your personal and professional development. HAKINMHAN/Getty Images

The No. 1 goal for a business owner is to make money and be profitable. In this case, ag producers are no different.

But each producer has their own unique set of goals, whether it be on a professional or personal level. Hundreds of visitors to the American Agriculturist booth at New York Farm Show were surveyed about their goals for this year. Some had simple goals, while others had more lofty goals.

Joshua Loomis of Fabius, N.Y., says that he wants “to learn from previous years. To do better this year.”

Brian Yager of Boonville, N.Y., wants “better hay ground.”

Meanwhile, Carolyn High of Wolcott, N.Y., writes, “I’m a farmer’s wife. My goal is to spend more time together.”

And Garrett Gates of Marathon, N.Y., has a simple goal: “Make more money.”

Producer John Bielechi of Enfield, Conn., says that he wants to “expand [the] farm to raise more tobacco.”

Daniel Durfee of Chitenango, N.Y., hopes “to decrease costs, increase productivity and efficiency to increase profit.”

Amanda Coryn of Shortsville, N.Y., wants to “continue to lower cost of production.”

Timothy Schoff of Lyons Falls, N.Y., wants to “start milking cows on my own.”

Sarah Blackwelder of Mattydale, N.Y., has a simple goal: “Self-sufficiency.”

On the other hand, David Zellers of Wetherly, Pa., has a lofty goal: “Be a millionaire.”

Matt VanHeusen of Georgetown, N.Y., says that he wants to “double hay production and put up [a] storage building.”

Tim Roulan of Clay, N.Y., wants to “develop my land for greater productivity.”

Milan Djurdsevich of Mount Vision, N.Y., says that he wants to “spend more time with family.”

And Neil Stanton of Coeymans Hollow, N.Y., has a simple goal: “Retire.”

Are you better off?

Presidential candidates on the stump will often ask potential voters if they are better off now than they were four years ago.

New York Farm Show visitors were asked a similar question: Are you better off now than you were this time last year?

Of the more than 250 people who filled out surveys, most of them — 170 — said that they were better off now than at this time last year; 93 respondents said they were worse off.

Speaking of presidents, survey respondents were also asked what they thought of the Biden administration’s handling of farm issues. A big majority — 158 respondents — said that they didn’t approve of the administration’s handling of farm issues, while 91 respondents had mixed feelings. Only four respondents said the administration was doing a good job in its handling of farm issues.

With the recent approval of expanded farmworker overtime pay in New York state, regulations have once again become a hot topic in the countryside. When asked if the state’s regulatory environment was affecting their ability to make a profit on the farm, 148 respondents said it was, while 91 respondents did not think the state’s regulatory environment was affecting their farm’s profitability.

What are your goals for the growing season? What do you think of the Biden administration’s handling of farm issues? Email [email protected] with your thoughts.

About the Author(s)

Chris Torres

Editor, American Agriculturist

Chris Torres, editor of American Agriculturist, previously worked at Lancaster Farming, where he started in 2006 as a staff writer and later became regional editor. Torres is a seven-time winner of the Keystone Press Awards, handed out by the Pennsylvania Press Association, and he is a Pennsylvania State University graduate.

Torres says he wants American Agriculturist to be farmers' "go-to product, continuing the legacy and high standard (former American Agriculturist editor) John Vogel has set." Torres succeeds Vogel, who retired after 47 years with Farm Progress and its related publications.

"The news business is a challenging job," Torres says. "It makes you think outside your small box, and you have to formulate what the reader wants to see from the overall product. It's rewarding to see a nice product in the end."

Torres' family is based in Lebanon County, Pa. His wife grew up on a small farm in Berks County, Pa., where they raised corn, soybeans, feeder cattle and more. Torres and his wife are parents to three young boys.

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