The future is a vital component of farm succession planning

I read some statistics on farm succession planning the other day. It caused me to think about a conference on succession planning I attended in 1999. People and presenters quoted statistics about the average age of the Canadian farmer being about 57, if I remember correctly — something close to that anyway. There was also […] Read more

Capital turnover ratio declines

I recently spoke at a conference about financial efficiency. It was two sessions actually. I typically don’t get a lot of questions at the end of a presentation. Nor do I get a bunch of people coming up to me after I finish. That makes sense because I don’t think financial management is exciting for […] Read more

Increasing happiness quotient more important than ever

For a great many farms, 2019 won’t actually fade into the rear-view mirror until the harvest is finished in spring. That’s definitely not how the plans were originally drawn up. People will likely be getting tired of talking about 2019 and how difficult it was. Having said that, I’ve observed that quite a hangover remains […] Read more


The relationship between the assets and liabilities of a business is a key measurement that farmers should watch carefully.  |  File photo

Making sense of what your balance sheet is telling you

Balance sheets and statements of net worth both include assets and liabilities. The difference between the two is that a statement of net worth will have capital assets, such as land and quota, reported at fair market value. Balance sheets have capital assets valued at original cost, minus amortization for depreciable assets, such as buildings […] Read more

Financial resiliency: a way to face performance challenges

Gavin Betker and I gave a webinar recently on financial resiliency. It was called Farm Financials to Help You Sleep at Night. It was the first of a two-part webinar series. Thanks to the Alberta Wheat Commission and Farm Management Canada for making the webinars possible. The presentations will both be in the Farm Management […] Read more


Investing in professional development good for business

Danny Klinefelter, former professor and extension specialist at Texas A&M University’s department of agricultural economics, notes that four states of knowledge exist: What you know. What you know you don’t know. What you don’t know you don’t know. What you think you know that isn’t so. What does all that mean? Well, it can be […] Read more

Procrastination is a major roadblock for farm planning

Start by starting. When you think about it, that’s logical, isn’t it? So much so, that when I googled “start by starting,” I found a bunch of references to it and numerous people applying it to what they do. Meryl Streep uses it as part of what she has used to advance her career development […] Read more

Partial budgets are simple management processes that help organize and analyze many types of decisions.  |  File photo

Partial budgets provide quick help in decision-making

Some decisions are easier to make than others. Some decisions take more time than others. Not sure why but people will sometimes take more time to make a $1,000 decision than a $100,000 decision. I recently had two interesting discussions with farmers. One was with a farmer who has been presented with an opportunity to […] Read more


Tracking how farmers spend their time can be challenging

Haven’t we all asked the question, where does the time go? I had a meeting at a farm this week, arriving around 3:30 in the afternoon. As we were settling in for our discussion, one of the family members commented that it was already mid-afternoon and she hadn’t been able to get to any of […] Read more

Proper financial management means taking action now

Far be it for me, or anyone else, to pass judgment on any farm’s financial situation. However, I do think that it’s entirely reasonable for someone to ask questions, to probe, to make observations on financial performance, and of course, to make suggestions or recommendations. A farm’s current financial position is a function of management […] Read more