Grain Marketing 101: How to Create the Ultimate Farm Advisory Team

Posted on November 30, 2021


Upward close-up of canola flowersThe agriculture industry is constantly changing. Technology has progressed, marketing choices have expanded, and margins are tighter than they were five decades ago, but the basics of farm management haven’t changed. It still boils down to being able to make the right decisions at the right time. Along your journey, an advisory team can help you capitalize on opportunities and manage the risks.

Advisory teams provide farms with strategic business direction and help to prioritise the most important activities for long-term business goals. This customized farming advice allows a producer to stay proactive and in charge of their farm’s performance.

What are the advantages to establishing a farm advisory team?

Many businesses outside of agriculture use teams or boards of management as a primary risk management strategy. Boards, whether advisory or management, indicate that more than one person is aware of the company’s direction and operations and that systems and strategies are in place to ensure multiple opinions help achieve one common goal: sustainable success.

Farm advisory team meetings have a similar goal. The meetings provide farm business partners with advice for day-to-day operational management. As well, the team offers helpful information to prioritize the essential tasks for the growth of their business. They provide a formal framework for all members of the farm company to have a say in critical strategic decisions. Team meetings also allow for newer members of the farm enterprise to participate and learn about the “business side” from the combined knowledge of earlier generations and trustworthy consultants. A team helps you to plan for growth and success.

What are the challenges associated with a farm advisory team?

The idea of sharing decision-making in a family farming business is sometimes unsettling for lone operators. However, a farm advisory team gathers the main individuals of a family farm and knowledgeable consultants together in helping to formulate the next steps for growth.

Another challenge is the time needed to gather all pertinent and relevant information before a team meeting. Useful reports take time to be compiled but serve as a crucial resource for making knowledgeable decisions.

Who will be on the farm advisory team?

Agronomist

Over the last 20 years, crop production has become more complex. The demands of a successful farming business include the management of many different crops, crop scouting, long-term crop planning, input planning, and crop marketing. Increasing numbers of farmers are using agronomists to help manage all of these aspects of a successful operation.

For example, an agronomist will help with extensive research in preparing for your crop management including advice for the hiring personnel with the skills necessary to reach your goals. You will meet regularly with your agronomist who will help you with your crop management plans.

Financial Advisor/Farm Management Consultants

A financial advisor, or a farm management consultant, is an expert who specializes in intensive debt management and strategic business planning for your operations. This financial specialist will advise you with your financial decisions. Having a specialist or monetary organizer on your team means you will have someone focusing on your bottom line. Again, it’s important to make sure all your team members understand your goals and what needs to be done. With regular meetings and communication, a financial advisor makes sure your bank is never broken.

Grain Marketing Advisor

The role of marketing advisor is to help you sell your crop at the right time for the right price. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all grain marketing advisor. This team member will analyze your goals and help implement the customized marketing strategy that will deliver the largest return on investment.

When you’re looking for the right marketing advisor, it’s important you know that your candidate is giving you unbiased advice. Your advisor will work on your behalf and only for your benefit. Always check with your local connections and your advisor’s references to ensure they’re the right fit.

The Bottom Line

A successful operation starts with your vision. An advisory team will advise you in your current areas of production and will inform you of opportunities that may be unfamiliar or new. The first step in the analysis of your farm business is to examine the facts of your operation in today’s market and the challenges you may face in the future. At the start, it is not an easy thing to do, but a farm advisory team will help you to meet the challenges ahead. It’s not only a matter of your farm’s success but your peace of mind as well.

Connect with a Farm Link Grain Marketing Advisor today for more information and to start a conversation that will lead to greater success in you farm enterprise.

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