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Welcome to the home of the Modern Farm Business® podcast, hosted weekly by Dean Heffta. Modern Farm Business translates proven methods and best practices from the business arena to today's modern farm leadership environment. We'll be learning from forward-thinking experts and discovering how to apply time-tested techniques to make real improvements on the farm.

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Jul 7, 2017

In this episode we discover the importance of defining Core Values for your farming operation. It's the second part of our discussion on laying the foundation of today's successful farm. 

As your growing farm becomes more dynamic and complex, you’ll find yourself facing more tough decisions than ever before. You’ll have more interactions with people whom you’ve never dealt with before. It’s immensely helpful to have a defined set of values that communicates what’s important to the operation to those who are going to have an impact on it.

Establishing non-negotiable values that define what is and isn’t acceptable to the operation. They become part of the culture of the business and help its leaders deal with difficult, “gray area” decisions.
Be able to explain those values as they relate to the operation, and define explicitly what they mean to you as a leader.

Write down three situations that have excessively frustrated you in the past couple of years
Explain two or three instances in the past couple of years that have especially filled you with joy or happiness.
Think about the next generation on the farm and list a few of the attributes or values you’d like to see them demonstrate as they take over.
Look for patterns in the above listed items and document what you have noticed.
Talk through your notes with someone who knows you and can discuss them objectively.
Revisit with new insights and use everything above to distill it all into a CRITICAL FEW list of values that are most vital to the operation.
Adapt these values to the farm, and put them into practice. DAILY.

Are you willing to LOSE MONEY in order to uphold these values?
Can other leaders use these values to make TOUGH DECISIONS in your absence?
Will these values remain RELEVANT decades down the road?

People crave consistency from their leaders. Clear, consistent values that drive tough decisions serve to strengthen your position as a leader.

We welcome your feedback. Love this episode? Hate it? Have suggestions for future episodes, or questions on something we’ve already covered? Drop Dean a line at and we’ll look at each email personally and respond as quickly as possible. Thanks for listening!