The management activities resource is a step toward a defined management structure. | Getty iImages

Organizational chart can help develop management plan

There is an abundance of information and resources pertaining to a farm’s business vision, but there’s not so much written about a vision for management. In other words, resources to help a farm family determine what they are managing toward. I’m talking about management structure — who manages what, who does what. An organizational chart […] Read more

The goal is to create a purposeful role for the retiring farmer, one that benefits both generations and works to ensure the legacy of the family farm into the future. | File photo

Retiring producers can find meaningful roles on the farm

Here is a rhetorical but really important question. How do we take the wisdom and experience from the retiring generation and pass it on successfully to the younger, or incoming, generation? This wisdom and experience comes from life’s lessons. There’s a saying that you can’t teach experience but that you can teach from experience. Makes […] Read more

Start small and be specific when making changes to the farming operation.  | Getty Images

Many families unsure how to go about making changes

By the time you read this article, 2020 will be in the rear-view mirror. There will be lots written about 2020, most notably the pandemic and including how things have changed and how things will continue to change as a result. This will be a global discussion. Let’s drill the discussion down to the farm […] Read more


Would you buy your farm, if you were an investor? | File photo

If you were buying a farm, would you buy your own?

So, here’s an interesting question. Would you buy your farm? I don’t mean “would you buy the land?” but rather, a scenario where you didn’t have a farm and were looking to make an investment and one of the investments you were looking at was purchasing a farm. Would you buy your farm, if you […] Read more

What would you do if you had an extra million dollars?

You may remember the Barenaked Ladies song, If I had a $1,000,000, which was released in 1992. You would need about $1.85 million today to have the same buying power as then, depending on the inflation rate used in the calculation over the past almost 30 years. However, a million dollars today is still a […] Read more


‘What do you want’ can be difficult question to answer

It’ a simple enough question and one that gets asked many times a day. “What do you want” is usually addressed to another person or group of people in an attempt to try to find out what it is they desire or need. Young children have it mastered. They have no difficulty asking for what […] Read more

Farmers must decide their own comfort level with debt

Is your goal to be debt free? Do you think of debt as being a necessary evil? Any answer will be very much a function of personal opinion, with no wrong answers. I regularly talk to people who would very much like to be out of debt. In some situations, that is probably a good […] Read more

Financial records help to understand farm performance

I recently had a series of meetings that required quite a bit of driving and with that, windshield time to think. A lot of the work I do with farm families involves financial analysis, so I think about that a lot. I came to a very basic question. Why do farmers keep financial records? Even […] Read more


Financial statements help take a good look at farm profit

I would be in the group that believes that you shouldn’t try to manage by looking in the rear-view mirror. Farming is next year country. There is a lot about “next year” that we can, though, understand by examining past performance. We all have things that we would like to have had a second chance […] Read more

Transition Planning Forward takes changes to next steps

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Or so the saying goes. There will be a great many of us that prefer the status quo. Change typically brings the unknown. We’ve not done that before. Or the other way of saying it … this is the way we’ve always done it. Some […] Read more