It is already a month into 2023. Soon the realities of those high New Year resolutions you have set for yourself this year will hit, and you will realise just how intense setting New Year’s resolutions is. Sadly, I have come to realise that farming is a continuous process and has little time for fantasies or wishful thinking or daydreaming. We live and farm in the here and now; get with the system.
Instead of incoherent and unresearched New Year’s resolutions, rather set yourself goals. And these should be concrete, realistic farming goals that are not only humanly within your reach, but those that would not cost an arm and a leg to attain them.
Such goals should most importantly be aligned with your vision as the driver of your farming enterprise. It should not be isolated from what you have been doing but should have some form of a link to your current farming mode; lest you want to drop farming altogether and venture into modelling!
Let’s break it down a bit:
If you, like today’s farmers profiled on the front page of AgriToday, are into egg production and have been doing well in it, it might be wise to probably consider the broiler market and test the waters there. I am sure getting eggs to hatch and feed those broilers to slaughter age would align with an already established layers’ business. What happens to the hens when they can no longer lay eggs? How about weak layers?
If you are a cattle farmer and have never considered small stock for farming, perhaps now is the time to diversify into that. Provided that your farming area is equally suitable for goats and sheep as it is for cattle, give it a try. Trust me, small stock farming has its own benefits that are different from what you get from cattle.
Sometimes goals do not have to be adopting new farming modes; it can also be improving on your current mode of farming. How about moving up a notch from commercial farming to stud/elite farming? Why not swap numbers for quality? It all lies in your hands. If doing so qualifies as a step forward, do it by all means.
Remember, your goals do not have to be the same as that of your neighbour, mentor or the boogeyman. We have our own unique ways of doing things that are peculiar to us only and need to therefore keep our individuality alive. If we happen to like the same thing, all good and well, but the idea should be to stay in our own lanes at all times.
So, your farming enterprise failed to reach last year’s targets, or you were caught napping one time too many last year; move on. Forgive yourself. It is in the past now, focus on the road ahead. Restock, relocate or retry tested methods if you must, but keep going. Never stop. Never allow yourself to be stagnant.
Most importantly, enjoy the ride while you are at it. If the farming mode you have taken on does not make you happy but you have a passion for it, you will be wasting your time pursuing it. This is when you ought to change to modelling if that is what tickles your fancy. Farming is a game of passion; no two ways about that. What about making money, you ask? Of course, and passion too. No two ways about that.