How does your farm vision lead to success?

Farm business planning experts and farmers themselves agree: a business vision is a critical element to success.

Michelle Painchaud, president and CEO of the consulting firm, Painchaud Performance Group, is a firm believer in vision.

“It is motivating, inspiring and aligns everyone to one common goal or destination,” Painchaud says, explaining a farm vision is the desired destination where a farm wants to be. “It is like a travel destination when one is planning a special trip.”

The value of vision

A clear vision provides focus and helps farms make better decisions, Painchaud says. That's because choices are made to ensure they align with the farm vision.

It's also valuable when a farm is transitioning management or ownership. Painchaud says whether a farm consists of three, 25 or 300 people, a vision gets - and keeps - everyone on the same path.

“The older generation has been doing this for a long time, so they know what they are thinking,” Painchaud says. “A son or daughter may wonder, ‘what’s my role? How am I going to be involved?’ Without vision, they will be scattered and doing different things,” Painchaud explains. “Vision brings alignment.”

Strong vision, strong farm

When Wayne Rempel became the CEO of Kroeker Farms in Manitoba in 2002, he knew the importance of having a strong vision for the farm.

“Vision is the long-term goal of where you want to be some day,” Rempel says. “If don’t have a long-term goal, you won’t do it.”

He developed a vision statement for the farm when he started in his role, and when the farm rebranded a few years ago, a marketing firm was brought in to assist, in part with development of a new vision. The new vision captures the same goals as the first and maintains the company's commitment to healthy food and the environment.

But Kroeker Farms’ vision statement does more than guide the farm’s strategic plan.

“The marketing company really felt our vision statement could help do the marketing of our story that we could tell the rest of the world,” Rempel says. “Before it was internal for our employees; now it’s external as well.”

Bottom line

A clear farm vision provides focus and helps guide daily decisions, no matter the size of the operation. Experts recommend making the time to create a farm vision and ensuring it’s used once it is created. 

Article by: Trudy Kelly Forsythe