Imagine an operation that's led by a growth-oriented farm couple. They think about the future of their operation – a lot. There's a lot they want to do in their farming careers to build their farm and make it into everything they want it to be.
They worked together to brainstorm goals for their operation. They set timelines for when they would achieve those goals to stay on track for the future. It's a good process as they actively lead their farm, setting clear goals and moving their operation in the direction they want it to be in the future.
But consider what can happen during that goal-setting process. First, the sky's the limit. They're optimistic and hopeful as they imagine the future they desire. Then, second-guessing kicks in. The farm couple's attention moves away from the infinite possibilities they were imagining.
That might lead them to not set goals as high as they might have done when they were thinking about what they really want for the future of their farm. Questions pop into their minds: How are we going to achieve our farm goals? What if outside conditions in the ag economy change drastically?
Since there aren't immediate answers to those questions, they might not set the bar as high as they truly could – and the loftier goals that would have resulted would probably help the farm achieve the future they're imagining much more quickly.
As you set goals for your farming operation, have you been thinking 'big' enough? Sometimes in imagining the future of the farm, we might unintentionally shortchange ourselves in setting goals – which will create the future reality of our farm.
We might unconsciously limit our goals by what we've seen on farms in the past or what we've seen in our parents' or our own operation. One thing to help ignore these imaginary limits is to think beyond what we've seen on our farm, our neighbor's – or any farming operations we've ever known or heard about. Try imagining what the successful farm of the future will be like: How are the owners thinking? What are they doing?
It's worth considering: How much of the farm operation's potential are we not reaching because we haven't set our farm goals higher? The potential of what your farm could be like in the future can jump to new heights when you change your mindset around how you set goals.
Here's what usually happens when you set higher farm goals for yourself and your operation: You rise to the challenge – and so does everyone in your operation. Working on a goal that's tough to reach pushes you to become the best farmer and farm businessperson that you can be.
What will you do to think beyond imaginary limits on your farm, set challenging goals and create the best potential future for your operation?
The opinions of Darren Frye are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or the Penton Farm Progress Group.