Our elected leaders and the CEOs of large companies rely on the expertise of a multitude of people who specialize in certain subjects every day. These management officials realize it is impossible to be experienced in all of the areas that they manage on a daily basis. These managers know that they must be knowledgeable in most of the areas, but they realize they are better served by getting input and guidance from professionals in each individual field.
Your farm operation is no different that running a large corporation where you’re the CEO. Every day you are responsible for many things and you can’t possibly be an expert in every one.
Special advisors for your farming operation might be a nutritionist, agronomist, accountant, attorney, banker, insurance agent, trusted mentor, veterinarian, or a host of others that have an influence on your operation. Just like you, all of these people want to see your operation succeed. You probably already bounce ideas off of these people on a daily or weekly basis, but have you ever considered holding a “cabinet meeting” on an annual basis or before making a big change in your operation? Getting all of these professionals together, or even a selected few, to help you brainstorm how to grow your operation could be very beneficial. Most of these people would probably be willing to help free of charge.
It is fairly common for large farm operations to have Advisory Boards to get input from professionals. The members offer advice, but the ultimate decision and liability is that of the producer. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the input from others before you make those big decisions that have a huge impact on your operation? Next time you have to make these decisions, you may want to consider contacting your “special advisors”.
Many years ago, a smart person once told me to surround myself with people who were smarter than me. That was good advice then and it’s good advice still today. The day that you think you have all of the answers is the day that you are in over your head. Take advantage of the ideas and advice the specialists in the field may have for you and your farm.
Kathy Daily is the Managing Director of First Financial Bank’s Farm and Ranch Division. Mrs. Daily has been an agricultural lender for over 25 years.