Professional Development Program






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Unit 1: Planning and Business Development

John Fisher-Merrit
Monitoring checkpoints are specific, measurable outcomes that the farmer anticipates as a result of adopting a new farm business strategy. Monitoring checkpoints should be more detailed than goals and are usually based on a shorter time horizon with dates outlined. Once a date has been assigned to a “checkpoint” it becomes a target. Everyone involved in carrying out the business plan should know about the checkpoints and how they will be met or achieved. Checkpoint examples include production targets, sales objectives, income targets, wildlife counts, or any other measure of success the farmer or rancher deems important.
Immediate monitoring checkpoints from Northwind Nursery and Orchard owner, Frank Foltz in Princeton, Minn.:
  • Have a full-time orchard and propagation manager by January
  • Have an on-farm sales room by June
  • Hire part-time sales staff by October
Similarly, the Buckwheat Growers Association of Minnesota (a cooperative) outlined the following intermediate 1-3 year monitoring checkpoints:
  • Build a new grain cleaning facility at Wadena site
  • Purchase new cleaning equipment to improve grain quality
  • Increase feed sales by 25 percent
  • Hire a general manager
  • Establish formal contracts with growers and buyers
  • Further develop internal operating procedures
You have completed Unit 1. Click "Next Page" or use the navigation bar to the left to continue with Unit 2.
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