No matter when you started farming, chances are that you've seen change in Ag. The speed and rate of change has increased, too – especially in the last ten years.
The question then becomes: How do you respond to the changes? Being able to respond and adapt successfully is what has set some of the best farmers apart from the rest. The next ten years likely have as much – if not more – change in store for us on the farm.
When you think about your farm, what do you see as the greatest threat to its future? What do you feel you need to know more about? What do you need to prepare for?
The farms that will survive and thrive in the future have a farm leader who is a lifelong learner. The leader is constantly curious about what can be improved in the operation – and seeks new and innovative ways to bring about change.
I think the successful farm leader of the future is someone who keeps their business competitive by constantly keeping their skills competitive. They don't rest on the success they've had in the past. They're always forging forward and taking their business to the next level.
Did you see yourself in what I just said? Does that describe what you try to do in your operation? Are you a restless farm leader – pushing at the boundaries of what others have said is possible on a farm?
Learn during your off-season
Attending farm seminars and workshops to get ideas is one way the restless farm leader is able to keep pushing the limits. As farming requires increasing management skills, programs that focus on business management topics help the farm leader continue to improve the operation.
As you step into more of a manager role on your farm, you may be finding that the 'people management' part of your role has expanded. From employees to other family members to your landlords and banker, farming is centered in a web of relationships. Those relationships are increasingly linked to the success of the farm. Help and advice on that is a good topic to look for this winter.
As you learn, seek ideas to take back and immediately implement on your farm. You want real, practical advice that sparks your mind – so you can see immediate results.
Here's a start for your search. Four Ag Edge Farm Business Seminars will take place across the Midwest this winter. These meetings are designed to help you step up for the future of your farm and to integrate the systems of your business with the people and relationships that are involved. The Farm Futures Business Summit is coming up in early January. This event is also very popular with farmers who want to take their businesses to the next level.
Use your time this winter to take advantage of opportunities to step up and lead your farm into the future. That's how you can make sure you're always ahead of the curve – pushing forward before the crowd comes along.