The days of winging it are over: Poor planning takes a financial, physical and emotional toll on farmers
Many businesses and organizations possess what is known as a mission statement, which is essentially a written statement, to say why the business exists, its values, where the business is going in the future and what it hopes to accomplish.
The very existence of the mission statement means that the owners have given due consideration to the purpose of the business and its long-term plans, goals, and objectives.
This is really the essence of effective farm planning and may sound a bit highfalutin and farfetched for your typical farmer, whose average age is nearly 60 years, and perhaps it is for many. However, it may be highly relevant for that person's successor, particularly those planning expansion.
Establishing and maintaining a viable farming enterprise in the current climate of ever increasing scale requires the employment of good business practices which are well planned and measured.
The days of 'winging it' are no more, Farming can provide a full-time and rewarding career but it is now a serious business requiring a serious business approach.
Over the past five years I have witnessed my dairy farming clients grow their businesses at a phenomenal pace which has taken many traditional family farms to a place that previous generations could not have dreamed of in terms of scale.
Many of these farms are now big businesses, requiring a huge commitment and a range of skills around human resources, health and safety, corporate
governance, financial planning, not to mention expert animal husbandry skills. The founder of a well-known Irish construction empire was quoted as claiming that the only reason why Rome wasn't built in a day was because he wasn't there.