The question is often asked, Why Plan? On the face it is a simple enough question.
When I was a teenager, I was a master at adapting to ad hoc situations, and planning was a burden and a waste of time – or so I thought.
As I moved into college, life changed. The challenges that came up were more formidable, and fighting two dragons at the same time became more difficult.
It was then that I discovered that had I taken the time to plan and manage my activities better, I would have only been fighting one dragon. I am fortunate to have learned this lesson early in life, and over the years it has become something of a journey to move from to do lists, to project plans to detailed business plans.
It is the same way on a farm. Every day is a new challenge. Knowing and having a good handle on the everyday challenge means that animals get fed, plants get watered, and daily life is more predictable.
Invariably though, life happens and new challenges arise. Even as I write this, our fields bubble with the runoff of almost 2 inches of rain which fell this morning.
A complaint that I sometimes hear when talking about planning with people goes something like this – ‘But planning cramps my style’, or ‘I hate to plan because it stifles my creativity’.
I can’t tell you how much I identified with that sentiment. And I can’t tell you how liberating a great plan is to a creative person. Having worked with and without a plan, and being a creative person – having a great plan has freed me up to be MORE creative – not less.
When I look at Farmers, and Farming in total – they are an incredibly creative group. When you think of all the innovations that farmers have brought to the world.
Having great systems allows farmers to be more creative – in solving the problems that arise throughout the year, and in finding clever new ways to market and deliver their products.