Who is on your Farm and Ranch Management (FARM) team? September 30, 2016
When owning or working on a farm or a ranch, you wear many hats. You are an agronomist, a mechanic, a truck driver, a marketer, and a family mediator. But what about when you need professional advice and guidance?
Do you have the right team of professionals assembled to tackle the challenges of farming or ranching? As a farmer or rancher you should develop a Farm and Ranch Management (FARM) Team. This team should be comprised of industry professionals who can help you make critical business decisions.
Who is on your FARM team?
During Annie’s Project, I ask the participants to write down who is on their FARM team. Here are some of their answers:
- key family members,
- agronomist/crop scout,
- insurance agent,
- veterinarians, and
- Extension educator/agent.
Although these individuals may not sit at the dinner table with you, they are an integral part of your business. Being able to delegate tasks or get sound advice from them can have a positive impact on your bottom line. Building a strong team can make tough times a lot easier.
Are you using your FARM team effectively?
Dropping off your receipts at the tax accountant’s office on April 10 may not provide him or her a clear picture of the goals you have for your operation. Having scheduled meetings with each of your FARM team members can improve their ability to serve you. During these meetings you will want to discuss your current situation, your future direction, and your plan of attack. With this information, they can advise you on services they provide and where they can help you improve your operation.
Who is the weak link on your FARM team?
Having a weak link on your FARM team could be detrimental. An agronomist who recommends an application that does not have a positive return on investment can mean wasted dollars. Why are these people on your team? Are they the most cost effective choice? What other resources do you have at your disposal?
Sometimes it is hard to “fire” members of your FARM team, but consider the expense of keeping these weak links. Time, money, and trust are not resources that are easily regained.
Sometimes it may not be possible to replace a member of your team. For example, “firing” a landlord or tenant may not be possible, especially if they are family. In these situations, consider ways to improve your working relationship with them. Are you communicating with them effectively? What can you do to engage them more in the decision-making process? How can you approach this situation to make it more mutually beneficial?
As a farmer or rancher you cannot do it all, but with the help of a strong FARM team you can make the best decisions possible for your operation.
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