Whether we plan to or not, we learn something new every growing season. Some learning is required, as on-the-spot breakdowns or problems arise. Other times, a farm conference or show is so full of informative presentations and knowledgable people that just attending can make your brain feel over-full.

But have you ever planned out learning for your career? Our farming careers are 30 to 40 years, give or take (if we’re lucky). In the grand scheme of things, that’s a relatively short amount of time to really shape change. Planning for professional development could speed up the process, as being intentional in what or how you learn adds focus and precision.

This week on RealAg Radio, I asked three farmers what their learning goals were this winter. Though they didn’t know the question ahead of time, each of them answered quite quickly, even though they each professed to not really have a plan for professional development.

My own personal goal this year, and for however many growing seasons I am blessed with, is to be more deliberate in what I research or learn, or what skills I acquire. There are plenty of great one-day courses, online options, conferences, webinars, and more, if structured learning is what I’m after. Or, I might ask someone I admire to teach me some of what they know about a skill I want to learn.

What do you plan on working on this winter?

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