Professional Development Program






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Unit 3: Managing the Farm/Ranch Business for Long-Term Success

Management is the business of running a business.
    – Todd Churchill, CEO of Thousand Hills Cattle Company in Cannon Falls, Minn.
(Ron Nichols, USDA NRCS)
Think of the many choices and decisions that farmers and ranchers have to make on a daily basis: decisions related to production and scheduling of field activities, harvesting, processing, marketing and sales, finances, employees, planning for the future, and many others. To be successful in this challenging business environment, farmers and ranchers must manage risk, check progress toward their mission and goals, and make changes that keep the business on track.

In this unit, we will explore how you can work with farmers and ranchers to help them optimize these management skills. Keep in mind that farmers’ needs and questions will vary widely depending on their goals and what stage they are at in the business life-cycle (start-up, growth, maturity, or consolidation). In that light, your role as an advisor will require thoughtful exploration on a case-by-case basis and, more than likely, you will need to tap other resources and expertise.
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