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Tips for Young & Beginning Dairy Producers

Featured article written by Kristina Watson, AgChoice Farm Credit Loan Office, as a Supplemental to Lesson 3.7 & 3.8

AGCHO-MAFC_Joint Logo Art - horizontalAre you young and beginning in your career, or planning to get started in the next few years? Whether you are farming in the evening with your family after school or have a dream of farming sometime in the future – here are some tips to help you be successful!

  • Find a mentor. A mentor serves as a trusted advisor. Someone who you can bounce new ideas off of and share your struggles with, and who is invested in seeing you succeed. Your mentor can be a family member, an individual from your community, an industry professional or a business partner. Many times you develop a personal relationship with your mentor but it’s important to maintain a certain level of professionalism – that way he/she can give you or your business a “kick in the butt” if necessary.
  • Ask for help. It’s not feasible to be good at everything, let alone have time for everything, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Some of the most successful business owners I know are excellent delegators – they are good at asking for help; especially when they are facing challenges in their businesses. Use your resources. There are an abundance of industry experts available to help your business grow in areas you see potential.
  • Try something new. You learn something new every day – if you want to. It’s easy to practice the model, “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” but in order to grow and improve your business or advance your career, it’s necessary to embrace new ideas and try new things, even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone. Take advantage of educational opportunities presented to you. Go on a farm tour, enroll in a class or watch a webinar. Learn from your peers. Absorb everything you can. And most important: don’t forget to share your ideas and experiences to help someone else learn as well.
  • Assess your progress. Take time to reflect and analyze yourself and/or your business. Most importantly, celebrate your successes! Set goals and recognize when you achieve milestones. Next, look for areas that could use improvement. Great managers are always striving to be better.
  • Don’t work too hard. It’s easy to work, work and then work some more. Especially when you’re just starting a business or are invested in a career you are passionate about. It’s important to have a work-life balance. A little time away from your “desk” will help keep you fresh-minded and energized about your work. Your friends and family will probably enjoy spending time with you, too.

Farm Credit is invested in helping young and/or beginning farmers succeed. For more information on AgChoice Farm Credit, serving central, western and northern Pennsylvania, visit www.agchoice.com or MidAtlantic Farm Credit, serving southcentral Pennsylvania, visit www.mafc.com. 

Thank you to AgChoice Farm Credit and MidAtlantic Farm Credit for being the sponsor of the month for September 2015.

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