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Invest in your own growth

Investing in yourself can lead to farm growth.

During the spring, farmers plant seeds but don’t just sit back and watch them grow. Farmers give those seeds every opportunity for growth they can.  From soil preparation, to fertilizer, lime, and water, to controlling weeds and pests, farmers invest in their crops all season.

Shouldn’t farmers invest in their own growth just as much?

I recently attended a workshop during the Southeast Fruit and Vegetable Conference on hiring the right people. The presenter talked about how important it was to give potential employees an idea of what opportunities for growth they would have. She made a point that stuck with me, noting that we often fail to look at weaknesses as opportunities for growth.

Farmers wear many hats. Mechanic, electrician, woodworker, scout, marketer, driver ... the list is endless. The reality is we aren’t all good at everything. We all have things to learn and with agriculture constantly changing, we must learn and change with it.  

There are many opportunities for farmers to grow. Attending conferences like the one I mentioned above, Extension meetings, reading agriculture magazines; these are all ways farmers are already learning.   

That learning shouldn’t be limited to the crops we grow or livestock we raise. There are also opportunities for growth outside agriculture. Farming is a business and, as the CEO, we can find opportunities to grow in business, leadership, marketing, and other areas that match those hats we wear.  

This is where programs like the Executive Farm Management training come in. This program is designed for farmers with a focus on the management side of the business.  

It can be difficult to find time to invest in your own growth because farming, especially livestock, is a 365-day-per-year job. It can be difficult to justify the time away or the expense. For farms to become second-, third-, and tenth-generation family businesses, we must make that investment in ourselves.  

What will you invest in yourself to grow?

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To meet my machinery needs in the next year, I’m

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