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

Important for farm families to be on same values page

If you find that you are regularly disappointed in things not getting done the way you’d like, it could be because not everyone on the team is working from the same set of core values. Values are core to what your farm business is and what you and your family cherish. Values are traits or […] Read more


Desired end states are statements that define where we want our business to be in the future.  |  File photo

Planning helps gain better understanding of the future

I wrote an article in November 2017 about two possible future states for farm families. One is the future shaped by what will happen simply as a matter of course. The other is the future formed by what farm families set out to purposefully work to accomplish. If your preference is with the latter, an […] Read more

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A strategic pause can sometimes be the best strategy

Do you ever have an idea? Something that you think about, something that keeps coming back to you again and again, until you finally decide to do something about it and then put plans in place to make it a reality. At its simplest form, this is strategy. The detail required in the planning (the […] Read more


Farm business management challenges same all over

I recently attended the International Farm Management Association 2019 Congress in Launceston, Tasmania, in Australia. Sessions and presentations were focused on addressing global issues and opportunities, such as demand for food, capacity to increase supply to meet the demand, future issues and roles of government. Then the sessions drilled down into the implications of new […] Read more

Pay attention to financial management — all the time

There are two times when farmers should pay attention to their business’s financial management — when they have a gazillion dollars in the bank and when they have no money in the bank. In other words, all the time. I’ll start with a generalization and a caveat. First, the generalization — my observations over time […] Read more

Defining critical issues helps farmers achieve a vision

We’re nicely into January. How are you making out with your New Year’s resolutions? I managed to escape the ritual this year. We had a bunch of family visiting and everyone got busy and we forgot to make our yearly declarations. On the plus side, that means I haven’t had to break my resolutions. Accountability […] Read more


Take time to know where current prosperity originated

Some farms have had a couple of tough years with weather not co-operating. For many, and for a second year in a row, average-type yields have been achieved with very little in the way of moisture. I think it is testament to advances in farmers’ abilities to grow a crop. But there are a different […] Read more

‘Theft of time’ can damage farm’s financial performance

I had an interesting discussion a couple of weeks ago with someone who works in a large not-for-profit organization. The management team in the organization had just finished working through a planning session. Part of the focus of the session was on roles, responsibilities, work plans and desired outcomes. It was pretty typical: who has […] Read more