Life Plans

Life plans and personal goals

A common conception is that farming in general, and dairy farming in particular, is a way of life rather than simply a job, and in spite of this clichéd view it is generally recognised that dairy farmers, and indeed their staff, work a large number of hours and contribute much of their lives to the dairy herd and its success.

However, individuals have differing attitudes, wants and needs. Many farmers will be sufficiently motivated to want to spend every waking hour on the farm, often because they have children interested in working in or taking-on the family business.

Others may wish to tip their work:life balance in favour of more time spent away from the farm with family or friends. Defining personal goals in life and business is a good starting point for the formation of a farm business plan.

Such personal decisions may help to define a particular farming system, for example a block-calving system requires commitment to work properly and to keep calving intervals within certain limits, but allows for a period during the year when the farm can be effectively shut down. Similarly, creating more free time or time to manage other enterprises may mean that entering into a share milking agreement with another farmer is an attractive option.