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What is a Peer Group?

Farmers have used external resources to help with management challenges for years. Accountants, lawyers and lenders are long-established sources of advice and assistance. More recently, farmers are using advisors who have expertise in production and marketing. As farms increase in size and complexity, more farmers will look to people who can provide them with the information and support they need to manage their farms. The range of available resources will expand to meet these needs.

Another farm management resource that is gaining popularity is peer groups. Peer groups have existed for years in several different types of applications within different industries. They aren't a new concept and they definitely aren't the "The breakfast group at the local café." They are also known as peer advisory groups, farmer-to-farmer discussion groups and peer advisory boards.

Kayla Doerr, Texas A&M defines peer groups as agricultural-based groups consisting of primary owners or managers of farms seeking to provide members with a more formalized outlet for learning from the experiences of peers. There are wide ranges of structures for peer groups.

Danny Klinefelter, Professor and Extension Specialist, Texas A&M University Department of Agricultural Economics, notes that four states of knowledge exist:

  • What you know
  • What you know you don't know
  • What you don't know you don't know
  • What you think you know that isn't so

A peer group aggregates the 'what you know' from participating farmer members. Peer group participants take this base of knowledge and experience and apply it to their personal and business circumstances – addressing the 'don't know' areas as required.
Read more about Peer Groups, and what Backswath's network of Peer Groups offer!

Coming Events

Farm Progress
- June 21-23, 2017

Farm Business Development Initiative

We have Backswath Consultant Associates registered with the Government of Saskatchewan Farm Business Development Initiative (FBDI).

Visit our TEAM BIOs to find an FBDI registered Backswath consultant.


Want to know if your farm management needs may be eligible for funding? Contact a Ministry of Agriculture Farm Business Management Specialist, or visit https://fbdi.gov.sk.ca.

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