New study shows taking care of business leads to success for farmers

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New study shows taking care of business leads to success for farmers


February 29, 2016 – Guelph, Ontario- Successful farmers in Canada use seven business management practices that set them apart, according to a new ground-breaking study released today in Guelph.
The top 7 practices that drive farm financial success:

  • Never stop learning
  • Make business decisions using accurate financial data
  • Seek the help of business advisors/consultants
  • Have a written business plan, follow it, and review it annually
  • Know and monitor your cost of production and what it means for your profits
  • Assess risks and have a plan to manage and mitigate risk
  • Use a budget and financial plan to monitor financial position and options


The ‘Dollars and Sense’ report was commissioned by the Agri-food Management Institute (AMI) and Farm Management Canada (FMC). It was presented to farmers, agricultural industry organizations, farm business advisors, accountants, economic development groups and others for their feedback and discussion on how to better engage the industry when it comes to farm business management.

“The research says that no matter how big or small your operation is, what you produce or where you farm in Canada, investing in farm business management will drive your success,” said FMC Executive Director, Heather Watson. “For years, industry has been hearing this, and now, we finally have the concrete data to back it!”

Ipsos Agriculture and Animal Health’s research includes over 600 farmers. The study represents a cross-section of grain and oilseed, dairy, beef, hog, poultry and egg and horticultural producers from across the country. Ipsos invited participants from their database of more than 100,000 farm businesses, and used a Financial Success Score tool to calculate the results.

“This study shows that farmers paying close attention to the business side of their operations is critical to making a good living,” said AMI’s Executive Director, Alison Robertson. “And they don’t have to do it alone – we have many resources to help farmers help themselves to greater success.”

Hard copies of the report were distributed at the launch and it is now available on theFMC and AMI websites.

The ‘Dollars and Sense’ study grew out of research completed by both organizations. AMI previously published a baseline study that provided insights into farm business management activities, behaviours and attitudes in Ontario farmers. FMC produced a report on how to meet the business management needs of Canadian farmers using insights into domestic and international best practices.

Both organizations provide programs, workshops and other resources to help farmers make the best management decisions for their business.

Alison Robertson or Ashley Honsberger, AMI  

Heather Watson, FMC  
613-237-9060 ext. 31


AMI is funded by Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. It is led by a Board of Directors with diverse backgrounds and experience in primary agriculture, agriculture business, and food processing.
FMC is a national umbrella for Canadian farm business management activity and the only organization devoted exclusively to the development and delivery of advanced business management information, tools and resources to position Canada’s farmers for success. FMC is partially funded under the Growing Forward 2 program.