Are you proud of your family farming operation? Are you confident and excited about how your farm has developed – and where you're headed in the future? Successful operations should be proud of what they have accomplished. Many farm families feel the way, and I think they have every reason to.
Today you may be leading a very successful farming operation. Or you're part of the next generation, looking at what's been built by generations before you, thinking, 'I hope I can continue the success of what my family has built through the years.'
Either way, as your farm becomes more successful and there's more going on in your operation, you may find yourself starting to wonder: how will I keep everything on track? You built your operation on hard work, good instincts and solid decision-making. You worked hard to get everything in place so your operation would grow.
Now, you're wondering how you'll keep everything on track. One way to respond is to get a plan in place that helps you continue leading your farm toward more success – toward your definition of what success for your farm looks like.
Here's what one farm family did. They have a very successful, growing operation. Past generations worked very hard to make it what it is today – and the two generations who are currently working on the farm are no exception.
There's a lot going on in their operation – several different ag-related businesses with quite a few employees – both family and non-family members. The farm family decided to have a meeting to get on the same page with each other about the future of their operation – and to set up plans for how they will reach the future they desire.
They did this in part because they have a lot of pride in their family farming operation and what it stands for. Do you know any families who are proud of their farming operation? I think we all do. And I hope your family feels that way about your own operation.
This family worked for two days with a farm business coach to get their plan in place. They determined the core values of their farm, and the vision and mission for the operation. They talked about what they want their operation to be like in the future – and the steps they need to take to get it there.
At the end of the two days, the older generation said they were more confident in the operation's upcoming transition in the next couple of years. They believed that the plan provided a way for the farm to continue being successful in the future.
How are you planning to continue the legacy of success – and the pride you feel in your family farm? Find more information and resources on farm business plans and transition planning at www.waterstreet.org.
The opinions of Darren Frye are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or the Penton Farm Progress Group.