Category: Mind Your Farm Business

MYFB — Ep 24: Can break-even be your worst case scenario?

If when you think of risk in farming you think only of uncontrollable things, like the weather and global trade, or only crop price slides, you’ve likely missed an opportunity to take a more proactive approach to risk management. While it’s easy to get overwhelmed by ‘what if’ scenarios and all the different forms of… Read more »

MYFB — Ep. 23: Four Elements of a Well-Crafted Farm Business Plan

The finding is staggering. A recent IPSOS Reid poll found that certain farms achieve five-times higher return on assets because of one key element. Perhaps more surprising is how accessible this element of a farm business is — it’s a written business plan. That number is impressive, but even more striking is the associated finding that… Read more »

MYFB — Ep 22: What’s Fair is Not Always What’s Equal

“One day, this will all be yours.” If this is the sum total of succession planning you’ve done as a farm owner, or if, as the son or daughter, you’ve heard this one too many times with nothing to show for it — the interview below is a must listen. On this episode of the… Read more »

MYFB — Ep 21: Marrying Into the Family Farm

Family farms involve a complex interaction between two worlds — the family and the business, and both these worlds are impacted when a new person arrives. This person can be the glue that keeps things together, or the dynamite that blows things apart. We’re talking about what happens when a son or daughter-in-law marries into… Read more »

MYFB — Ep 20: Attracting and Retaining Employees

As Canadian farms continue to grow, so does the need for talented employees who can help farmers reach their business goals. But how do you find and attract these individuals? And once you have them in your employ, how do you keep them? Human resource consultant Lynn Perry joins us for episode 20 of the… Read more »

MYFB — Ep 19: Taking Advantage of Trade Agreements

We often hear of the importance of trade, with headlines updating us on international trade deals. But, that’s only the tip of the iceberg. With each trade deal there are opportunities and risks, and it’s up to individual businesses, including farms, to assess how they could be impacted. “We’re a trading country and our agri-food sector depends… Read more »

MYFB — Ep 18: The Makings of an Innovative Farmer

“Innovation” is a buzzword in today’s world, often associated with technology, but it’s not necessarily about gadgets, as our guest for this episode in the Mind Your Farm Business series points out. “Innovation really is about grabbing ideas from other parts of the planet or other ideas you see people doing and bringing that back… Read more »

MYFB — Ep 17: Where Is Your Farm At Risk?

When thinking about risks to your farm, what comes to mind? Weather and market risks are usually at the top of the list, but there are many other areas where a farm business may be exposed. These risks are often unrecognized because nobody’s taken the time to go through an exercise of assessing risks and determining… Read more »

MYFB — Ep. 16: The Importance of Working Capital

Working capital is the king of financial metrics, especially during the bottom of a market cycle. A farm can have large swaths of land and other equity on its balance sheet, but if it doesn’t have cash or liquid assets to make monthly payments, the business will soon be in trouble. “A wheelbarrow full of… Read more »

MYFB — Ep. 15: Joint Ventures, Mergers & Farm Marriages

In the past, farms looking to grow simply bought more land, but that’s not as easy as it used to be. Rising land prices are forcing producers to be creative in finding opportunities for growth, which in some cases leads to joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions — the topic of this episode of the Mind Your Farm Business podcast. “The… Read more »

MYFB Ep. 14 — The Business Scorecard

In what areas does your farm business excel? What are you poor at? And how can you respond to make improvements? Self-assessment and continuous improvement are what separates high-performance farms from the average. Rob Hannam, President and Client Director of Synthesis Agri-Food Network, joins us for episode 14 of the Mind Your Farm Business podcast… Read more »

MYFB — Ep. 13: Small Changes Lead to Big Wins

Forget the silver bullet, whether it’s some nonexistent piece of machinery or the latest snake oil crop input. In reality, the key to boosting a farm’s bottom line is incremental improvements that add up. Kristjan Hebert (@kristjanhebert) is a farmer from Fairlight, Saskatchewan and a proponent of the “five percent rule” — a philosophy advanced by Danny Klinefelter of Texas A&M that stresses… Read more »

MYFB — Ep. 11: Bootstrapping Your Balance Sheet

In case anybody needs reminding, agriculture is a cyclical business. It’s important to pad the balance sheet during good years to ensure a farm or business remains healthy during tougher times, as parts of the ag industry are experiencing right now. In this “Mind Your Farm Business” episode, we focus on using a balance sheet… Read more »

MYFB — Ep. 10: Farm Financial Ratios to Focus On

Financial ratios serve three main purposes: they provide a quick assessment of a business’s financial health, they’re a tool for diagnosing financial problems if they exist, and they serve as a measurement for assessing whether problems are being solved. “They show you where you’ve been, they show you where you have a problem and they… Read more »

MYFB — Ep. 9: Preparing for the Day Interest Rates Rise

In an era of low interest rates, it’s easy to become complacent about the cost of borrowing money, but the day will come when rates rise again. How would your farm handle a one percent increase in rates? What about a three percent rise? Or five percent? Those levels would still be well within the… Read more »