How a Banker Will Look at Your Farm Business

Reg Shandro explains how the banker will look at your farming business and how you can strengthen your relationship with your lender.

Reg Shandro explains how to strengthen your relationship with your banker.

A huge component of financial risk in agriculture, is to maintain and strengthen your relationship with your local lender. This is very important, because if the lender has confidence in you, the likelihood that they’ll be able to assist you with your lending requests is going to be a lot higher.

The lender will look at your farming business in three different ways:

1. What is your industry risk? Who you are and how do you know your agrilcultural operation?

2. What is your business risk?

3. What is your financial risk?
This workshop was funded in part by the Agriculture & Food Council of Alberta



Why Write a Blog?

Kevin Kossowan, Edmonton food blogger, talks about why you should take the time to write a blog about your farm or business?  There are a lot more reasons than you might think.

The point of blogging for Kevin, is branding. He says that the more you write about the topic that you know, such as farming, the more you are seen by the wider public as an expert in that area. This creates visibility and when you’re in the business of farming, visibility to the public is key.

Blogging gives you the ability to speak to consumers in your own words. For farmers this is very important and can help educate consumers about what life is really like on the farm and where their food comes from.


What Should I Blog About?

Naming a post or deciding what to blog about is the biggest challenge of blogging. Kevin Kossowan suggests that you must write about something that people care about. If you write about something that no one is searching for, then there will be no audience to find your blog. However, if you write about something that people are actively looking for on the internet, you immediately have potential readers for you blog.

So. as a farmer. ask yourself these questions – what about your farming business do people care about? What would people want to know about farming? Once you’ve answered those questions, and you’re passionate about the topic, you have found an excellent idea to blog about.

In this video Kevin discusses these issues and gives you tips on how to stay focussed on the topic your blogging about.



Setting up a Basic Blog

Kevin Kossowan talks about how getting started blogging is a lot easier than you think, and it’s also free! Here’s the low down on how to get set up with a basic blog.

To get started, Kevin suggests a couple webhosting sites for your blog:

1. Blogger: basic, and easy to use.

2. WordPress: more customizable

Watch the video to hear what he has to say about these tools and what you might want to title you blog.



Designing Your Blog

Whether you’re looking to customize a WordPress blog with a killer template, or just tweak some settings, there’s a lot you can do to make sure your blog’s design matches your message! Kevin Kossowan walks you through the steps on how to design the blog you want.



Blogging to Become an Expert

Kevin Kossowan has mastered the art of finding “holes in knowledge online” and becoming the expert on those niche topics, leading to some great business opportunities!



Using Your Blog for Market Research

A blog not only can be a voice for your brand but it can always be a way to find out what your cusomters are saying and what they want. Watch Kevin Kossowan, Edmontonian food blogger, explain how to use your blog to extract valuable information from your cusomters and find out what they really want.


Building the Future- Leaving the Past

Kevin Gangel, from Unstoppable Conversations, talks about how you can build the future you want, by questioning your old assumptions and then confronting those perceptions that have prevented you from identifying new possibilities.

Farmers today are facing huge challenges. Usually farmers, and people in general, look for “better solutions” to impending challenges, however Kevin Gangel recommends looking “in a better place”, instead.

Generally, when farmers look for “better solutions” to their problems they look at what they do and don’t have to help solve their problems. However, the place farmers should be looking at is in their own “thinking”. You have a thinking that gives you your actions. in other words, what you think is or is not possible. Therefore, if you change the way you think about something, it will enable you to choose a new future. In this way, you are building the future, while leaving the past and farmers (just like anyone else) could benefit hugely from taking this step forward.


Social Networking on the Farm- You’re Probably Already Doing It!

If you’re going to use social networking in your farm business you need to go into it with both feet. Don’t just use it for one source, use it for everything.

You use technology all the time in agriculture, and it seems normal to you. So, why not social networking?

Watch Kent Plosz talks about how social media is a great tool for your business.

This workshop was funded in part by the Agriculture & Food Council of Alberta


Pre-Planning Grain Sales: Some Basics on Forward Contracting

Risk management is all about planning ahead.  And that’s exactly what Kent Ploszspecializes in. If you’re not familiar with forward contracting, or DDCs, this video is a great place to start.

Forwarding contracting, also know in the grain industry as Deferred Delivery Contract (DDC) allows farmers to agree with a grain company ahead of time, that they will deliver a quantifiable amount of grain in return for a specified sum of money at a future date. This is a smart risk management strategy, that farm businesses should definitely be aware of, and look into.

This workshop was funded in part by the Agriculture & Food Council of Alberta


For further resources, check out these Important Topics for Successful Grain Marketing, from Market School.