One step at a time – by Brendon Fornwald

Recently, I surpassed the one-year milestone as an employee with Backswath Management. Personally, I can’t help but reflect, review and plan for growth in the future when it comes to my career as a Farm Management Consultant with Backswath.

Change in life is inevitable and when it comes to one’s career, the majority of us face change many times. When we look at the industry we serve, Agriculture, one may farm for 50, 60 or 70 years. To some, this might sound like the ultimate in career stability and consistency.

However, and you won’t have heard it here first, an immense amount of change exists in that time frame. Even so, what that change looks like can be different.

For myself, I changed employers. I left my role as an agriculture lender and moved to a Farm Management Consulting role here at Backswath. My client base, the overall industry I serve and my colleagues’ expertise embody a lot of consistency and a lot of my conversations have similarities. Even so, this new world of learning, training and embarking on the journey of consulting has been a lot to absorb.

In working to build our portfolio of clients, business development if you will, my elevator pitch has been created, refined and edited many times over during the course of the many conversations with farmers I have had. And it likely will continue that way for quite some time as I get more experience in the role. One thing I have learned and absorbed quickly, though, is to take things one step at a time and to embrace change.

During a recent webinar, a panelist described farmers as the ultimate Sharks from Shark Tank, constantly being sold something new every day. This observation resonated with me because it highlighted the endless opportunities available to farm operations for investment. Whether it’s advancements in technology, agronomy, mechanics, machinery or farm management competencies, the influx of ideas and solutions is ceaseless, and the phone just never stops ringing.

Many of you reading this have had the opportunity to sit down with a farm family and/or operation and offer up a ‘pitch’ of how your product or service might be able to help that operation succeed. Out of all my conversations of the 7+ years at that kitchen table, office boardroom or combine buddy seat, do you know what the most consistent thing is? The phone doesn’t stop ringing.

I am grateful for the contacts I have made in this industry thus far and I look forward to forging many more in the years to come. However, it’s essential to recognize the reality of information overload and the importance of active listening to our clients, be they existing, prospective or long-term partners. At Backswath, we take pride in our comprehensive service offering in farm management. We possess extensive experience and processes that can address almost any aspect of farm management. However, effectively conveying the full range of our services, reducing assumptions, and relating them to other farms we have worked with is a gradual process. It requires embracing change, displaying patience with information dissemination and taking things one step at a time.

A frequent question I ask in my early conversations with farm operations is “when you reflect on farm management and your operation, what keeps you up at night… and it can’t be weather related.”

So far, the answers I get have varied extensively. The important thing to remember is, even if there is a solution Backswath can offer to those things that keep you up, they aren’t going to happen overnight and they aren’t going to happen all at once.

It is through active listening, patience and a step-by-step approach that we can navigate the complexities of the agricultural landscape. As we assist farm operations in achieving their management goals, let us raise a toast to the joys of this transformative journey and the positive impact it can have on your business and ultimately, your success.

Let us help you take your operation to a higher level.

Register now for The Next Chapter of Your Farming Journey – November 12th and 13th 2024 in Regina, Saskatchewan
Register now for The Next Chapter of Your Farming Journey – Nov. 12th & 13th 2024 in Regina, SK