Returning to the family farm: Advice for young farmers

Monday, December 18, 2017

What should young farmers consider when starting out on the family farm? Ken Solly’s advice starts with:

  • Firstly, you must have farming in your guts. If you don't have that intrinsic love for the land, you're probably going to struggle, because the two most important things in agriculture – the weather and the market – are out of your control, and both will have a huge impact on your livelihood.
  • Secondly, stay on a fast learning curve because you must aim to be in the top 20% of producers
  • Have defined 20-year goals. You need to know where you and the business are heading. If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there, but there is a fair chance you will be dissatisfied with your destination
  • Get some very good mentors around you; people you can really learn from, people who will actually help with your discipline. There are too many 'gunnas' in agriculture; you need to have discipline to follow through with your plans
  • Lastly, hang around with better farmers than yourself. Make sure you try and ascertain who the top farmers are, and try and learn from them all the time


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