How to Define Success on Your Farm

After a rough growing season in 2019, it’s important we take a few minutes to consider what success is to your operation. ( AgWeb )

If you put 500 farmers in a room, a few things are going to happen. The conversation will be loud, stories will be shared, and you may run out of cold beverages. But if you talk with a farmer long enough, you can start to pick up on how they define success.

This was the case at the Farmer Veterans Conference in Austin, Texas. Veterans and farmers from all over the country came to learn, share their stories, and talk a lot about how they define success. 

After a rough growing season in 2019, it’s important we take a few minutes to consider what success is to your operation.

Success Changes Over Time

What you consider a success in your 20s probably won’t be the same when you are 43 or 65. Don’t be too hard on yourself if your plans change, your framework changes, or if you never meet some goals. The important part is the process in trying to achieve the goals. It’s fine if you switch them because success looks different after marriage, or kids, or life.

Success Is Not Only Financial

While a business must be financially sound to continue to operate, the end goal does not have to be massive amounts of wealth or fancy trucks or lavish trips. On the other hand, it is perfectly OK if those are your goals. If you work hard to play (or relax) hard, you absolutely should. If you make a living, provide for your family, and are happy with the work you’ve done and the decisions you’ve made, then you have won, my friend.

Finding Success in 2020

Some shared in outstanding yields, others battled weather all year, and many did not get planted at all. 2019 is one for history, so it may be difficult to muster the courage, or daresay even have the audacity, to set goals for 2020. However, making small, attainable, and realistic goals will set you on the path for the new year. This may include:

  • Make one new business contact through a cold call or an outreach. Stop reading this and do it right now!
  • Have a family meeting, and listen to what they think success means to your farm. This perspective may change your opinion, or give you a new definition altogether. Family meetings twice a year may seem silly, but it can make a huge difference.
  • Meet with your investor or any investor to evaluate where you stand with retirement savings, investing or simply managing your accounts.

Take a moment to think about what success is to your farm. Maybe it’s a date night with your spouse once a month and making it to the kids’ ball games more often. Maybe it’s putting the final check in the mail to pay off equipment you’ve earned over the last several years of low prices. Or maybe it’s just continuing on your current path. 

Write it down, talk about it with family and friends, and make it happen.


For more information, contact Shay Foulk at (319)464-5708 or [email protected]