Matt Sims of State Line Farms in Indiana and Illinois explains why every young farmer should spend time thinking through business practices and plans below in an excerpt from the "Top Producer Podcast." He will participate on a farmer panel about growth strategies and landlord relations at the 2016 Tomorrow's Top Producer conference June 16-17 in Nashville. Read more expert guidance for young farmers in our new e-book.
“Like every farmer, I absolutely love spending time out in the tractor, but as my back problems started to come along, I wasn’t able to do that anymore.
"The business side has always been my love, and the operations side has always been my stepdad Mark’s focus and what he really enjoyed. With the direction farming has gone, I think it’s proven there’s definitely a need to have somebody in an operation whose full focus is managing the business side of the farm. That has really paid off for us.
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"We’re a growing operation. I’m a relatively new farmer myself, just renting my first farm and buying a farm in 2007. I do operate on a lot of borrowed money, and working with my banker I have to present my case for every decision I make on the farm to show them where we are going to be as far as if we’re going to be profitable. We go from there. If everything goes smooth with the banker, and everything goes smooth with all the consultants that I work with, I put those breakevens together, we come up with a plan and we move forward.
"We’re approaching 40 different landowners that we work with. From a risk-management standpoint, having that spread out really makes it a lot safer. My banker loves it.”
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