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3 ways to build learning into your business plan

  • 2 min read

Continual learning is important if you want to be successful at anything, and agriculture is no different.

In the FCC Edge podcast, Managing during times of profound change, host Kevin Stewart explores the importance of life-long learning and how “if it ain’t broke, don't fix” thinking needs to be retired for good.

So, how can you add continuous learning to your business plan toolkit? Three industry experts from FCC learning events weigh in.

1. Networking

Networking is a valuable tool for any entrepreneur and should be part of your business plan — it’s also a part of our FCC Knowledge events.

Sharing and learning from other farmers is the foundation of Lance Stockbrugger’s plan for success. Stockbrugger farms 4,000 acres of cereals and oilseeds and also worked as a chartered accountant.

As part owner of LDS Farms, Lance has spent the past 20 years not only sharing his agriculture knowledge with producers, but also learning from them.

“I’ve met with hundreds of clients over the years, talking to them about what worked in their operation. I learn from their knowledge and experiences, and then take that back and adapt it to our farm — trying new and innovative ideas that may have been tried by other farmers,” says Stockbrugger.

2. Embrace technology

Successful producers embrace technology and while it may take a few minutes a day, the long-­term payoff is often worth it. “Technology is a big, fast changing sector and it’s not something we all gravitate towards” says soybean and wheat producer Peter Gredig. He knows first-hand the importance of technology. Peter is a partner of AgNition Inc., a company developing mobile products and strategies for agri­business, producer organizations and farmers across North America.

“One of the most common complaints I hear from farmers at the technology seminars I do for FCC is they just can’t keep up with all this technology! It can be intimidating, but it’s not going away and it’s becoming a cornerstone of agriculture. Investing as little as 30 to 60 minutes a month will make a huge difference,” says Gredig.

3. Watch the trends

Reading headlines and watching trends is another great habit successful business owners share. “Agriculture is truly a global industry,” says FCC Vice-President and Chief Agricultural Economist J.P. Gervais.

“Many events that happen outside our borders have a significant impact on a farm operation’s bottom line. When you understand the trends, it’s easier to see the opportunities for your operation.

The business of agriculture is ever-changing. The FCC Ag Economics team turn big-picture scenarios into easy-to­-read snapshots you can use to help manage your operation.