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Survey shows farm business planning helps


May 5, 2011
By Agricultural Management Institute

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May 5, 2011, Guelph, Ont
– Farmers actively engaged in business management planning practices are
seeing increased growth while their counterparts who generally do not
undertake farm business management planning activities are faced with less
or declining incomes.

May 5, 2011, Guelph, Ont
– Farmers actively engaged in business management planning practices are
seeing increased growth while their counterparts who generally do not
undertake farm business management planning activities are faced with less
or declining incomes.

This is according to a
new study by Ipsos Reid, recently previewed at a meeting of the Agricultural
Management Institute (AMI)
, which surveyed Ontario farmers on their farm
business management practices and attitudes. The study included six focus
groups and 20 in-depth interviews with farmers as well as telephone
interviews with 500 farmers of various farm types across the province.

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“This survey shows that
there is a connection between farm business management planning and farm
business growth,” says Gerald Renkema, the newly elected chair of the AMI,
the organization that commissioned the study.

According to the survey, 22
per cent of respondents are categorized as “planners” – farmers who are
most likely to have a formal business plan for their operations – have
average total farm sales and are actively setting farm profit targets each
year. The full study report and findings will be made available to the
general public in the early summer on the AMI website.

The meeting held at the
Guelph Delta hotel on April 26 was a showcase of the AMI’s achievements
over the past 2010-2011 working year. The meeting saw presentations from
Ipsos-Reid as well as industry organizations that received funding from
the AMI, in order to carryout projects that promote, develop or teach farm
business management skills to Ontario farmers.

Three successful
projects undertaken by industry organizations were presented at the
meeting including an education day and benchmarking work by the Ontario
Sheep Marketing Agency
, a two-day farm business management seminar by the
Ontario Apple Growers for its members, and the development of farm
business management clubs by the Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association.
Club participants are currently active in two peer networking groups, one
dealing with on-farm bakeries and the other with farm tours for schools.

AMI currently has 26
farm business management projects underway within the province. The organization
promotes new ways of thinking about farm business management and aims to
increase awareness, understanding and adoption of beneficial business
management practices by Ontario farmers. The Agricultural Management
Institute
is part of the Best Practices Suite of programs for Growing
Forward
. For more information, visit www.takeanewapproach.ca.