Report Synopsis

Family Farm Business Decisions. Better Outcomes from Improved Decisions

Derek Tiller

"Decision is the spark that ignites action. Until a decision is made, nothing happens.... Decision is the courageous facing of issues, knowing that if they are not faced, problems will remain forever unanswered." Wilfred A. Peterson – Author.

Family farms continue to play an important role in today’s agriculture. The family farm has been a strong contributor to the increases in production output of the agricultural sector, despite facing the on-going challenges of environmental change, evolving consumer demand, increasing government policy and the continued decline in the agricultural sectors terms of trade.

Making good decisions is vital for a family farming business to remain sustainable, resilient and responsive to the challenges and opportunities presented. The consequences of a poor decision or a series of them, could take a lifetime of recovery. Making these important decisions by utilising every possible resource makes perfect sense. At the very least it makes more sense than being negligent in the decision-making process. Choosing what is right for a farm business is first a matter of knowing what options are available and identifying what deficiencies exist in the business.

For the purpose of this report, the factors that can help improved decisions in a family farm situation have been divided into three main categories: 1) Macro Manage, 2) Formalize, and 3) Resource (See Figure 2). With the use of the three main focus categories, it is possible to self-assess a business and identify areas that require improvement.

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