Livestock Judging Contest Eve and All I Can Think About Is a Business Plan!

If there was a hashtag for this, I’m pretty sure it’d be #firstworldproblems. Some may not consider this a problem, but I, for one, do.

The farmer husband and I are taking a farm business management class by a very respectable company for which I interned once-upon-a-time. It’s really a great class. I enjoy it, and talking with other young farmers within our region who are doing the same thing we are – getting our ducks in a row so we can build a farm business, and maybe, probably, some day buy a farm. It’s been awesome, and we’re only in year one of the two year program.

One of the speakers today eluded to the fact that he didn’t think a farm business plan was necessary as long as you know the numbers for your business, and family meetings weren’t necessary as long as decisions were made collectively.

That may work for his situation, but I’d like to clarify, on the record, that is NOT the case for all farm businesses.

Particularly, OURS.

We need a business plan! We’re new. We’re starting from scratch, essentially. We’re building a new enterprise, and have a desire to take the family farm in new directions. Don’t get me wrong, we’re a 9th generation farm family, but times, they are ‘a changin’, and we plan to adapt with them. That’s neither good nor bad. BUT WE NEED TO BE PREPARED! And that, my friends, means a business plan in hand, which includes financials.

Why do I even specify “Includes financials?” Because I work for a company that also does loans, And when I tell people they need a business plan before I connect them with a lender, they come back with a business plan that doesn’t have one dang number in the whole darn thing! Sorry, champ. Check yourself before you wreck yourself. Complete business plans need financial statements! That’s what I want to say, anyway. What I do say is a bit “churched up,” if you will. 🙂

So, tomorrow, my college roommate and I are taking 3 kids to Penn State for the first state 4-H livestock judging contest of the season, and all I can think about is how all my husband heard is we don’t need a business plan, just numbers, and we don’t need family meetings to make farm decisions.

Hence, first world problems.

Tonight, I’ll drink my wine, and think about how I’ll approach the subject on Sunday.

Tomorrow, I’ll spend quality time with tomorrow’s ag leaders at a judging contest, where our kids will be livestock judging superstars.

And on Sunday, Farmer Lee and I are going to MAKE TIME to start actually putting together a business plan.

Imagine that. 🙂

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