Written by: Chris Kuntz, Agri-Nutrition Consulting Nutrition Consultant
Farmers have a lot of pride in providing the best quality product for the end consumer, while also being efficient to show a profit in the end. As the profit margins get tight, many farmers initial thoughts are where to cut costs. What we need to remember is, in order to be profitable in times of tight margins, efficiency must continue to increase and non-essentials must be cut from the budget.
How do you decide the best way to adapt your operation to the changing economic times? This is when you can leverage your personal relationship with your consultant to give you that third party, unbiased, and trusted guidance you have learned to rely on.
Consultants who you have personal relationships with understand your individual farm, goals, and management practices and are motivated to help you think outside the box and sometimes make unforeseen improvements. For example, this could mean guiding you to new products or services that are best for your operation that you may not have thought of, and it may not even benefit the consultant directly.
Through personal relationships with farmers, a consultant becomes privy to understanding the unique ways each farm operation gets through challenging hurdles. Applying the lessons learned from many unique farm relationships, your consultant can help you find bottlenecks in your production efficiencies. Furthermore, it is your consultant you can lean on to help prioritize the bottlenecks, get the best return on investment, or determine what could be most cost-effective in a low profit margin economic environment.
So can you put a price on a consultant who is such an integral part of your operation, especially if there is a clear history of providing added value? If your consultant has a high level of service and deep understanding of your individual operation, they more than likely have a similar relationship with other farms, giving them a multifaceted approach to current farming hurdles. Your consultant’s experience and knowledge can be as equally important as your increased efficiencies and should be leveraged to help guide your farm through the current economic challenges.