Have you come to a point in your journey where you have to make a high value decision for your farmstead?
High value decision making is not exempt from the simple homesteading life.
I’m starting to wonder if farmstead life is even as simple as people think it is.
It’s tough to make a high value decision that will make or break the success of your farmstead.
What is a high value decision?
It is a decision that could move you forward towards your goals or turn you around completely towards another path.
An example would be purchasing a bull to breed to my heifers this summer. Bulls are an expensive investment to any farmstead, but they are needed to increase genetic potential.
You also need a bull because the bull you currently have is too big for the heifers. They might not be able to give birth to bigger calves their first time. To protect the value of the heifers and the calves, it’s best to focus on finding the right bull that will produce small calves for the heifers to give birth to. Click HERE for some other important factors to consider when purchasing a bull for your heifers.
Choosing the perfect bull for heifers is just one example of a high value decision you could make for your farmstead. We run into more and more decisions all the time as we grow our farmsteads and try new things.
It’s always risky to try new things but we should never stop learning if we want to keep growing.
There are many risks that go into making a high value decision for your farmstead.
- You could make the wrong decision that turns into disaster.
- The decision you make could ruin your reputation with customers.
- It could be too expensive for your budget, putting you and your dreams in financial stress.
These are risks to definitely consider, but the high value decision you are making could be an opportunity for growth.
Let’s look at some other factors to consider when making a high value decision for your farmstead.
Needs vs. Wants
Prioritizing your needs first and foremost is an important skill to practice. What do you need for your homestead daily, monthly or yearly to be able to survive and grow?
Back to the bull example: You need a bull in some way or another to make calves. If your goal is to breed females naturally, then you need a live bull on the farmstead. Or, you may want to consider artificial insemination (AI), which requires a skilled technician, the semen and equipment, and certain synchronization protocols.
So, now you have two options: Buy a bull or use AI. Which one would be easier and less stress? Which one would be less expensive? Which one would you need more? Which one would you want more?
These are very important things to consider, but you must keep your needs at the top of the bracket. If you don’t have the money to buy the bull, it may be worth the time and effort to set up AI if it fits better into your budget.
Even if you want a live bull, you may not need him if there are other options to consider that would make for a more valuable final decision.
You must look at the budget you have for your farmstead to help determine this high value decision. If you do not have the money for any options at this point, you might have to consider taking out a loan through the bank.
If you’ve been saving for an investment in regards to this high value decision – Kudos to you!
The thing to remember is that you must invest into your business or hobby in order for it to grow and flourish. If you never invest anymore to improve, you will stay exactly where you are.
Another thing to keep in mind is your inventions with this venture. Your first initial thoughts should be towards a primary goal.
For the bull example: The primary goal is to help heifers calve more easily. A good first-calving experience could make or break them as a future producer down the road. This will also improve their stay ability in the herd as well as helping them grow into good solid cows that will make money for you.
You are dreaming of making an income, but you should definitely look at expenses to make sure money you will be spending on this high value decision is the right one for your farmstead. Never underestimate those expenses that sneak up on you.
Space is an important factor for making this high value decision. If you’re adding something in, do you have room for it?
How much room do you have on your farmstead for your new bull? If you are at capacity with your stocking rate on the land you have, AI would probably be the best way to go.
You definitely wouldn’t want to overstock your pastures or pens with a new animal. You need to keep in mind the value of your space while exploring the value of the decision you’re trying to make.
Understand there may need to be some changes made to your space to make this decision work for you.
Change is Hard
If something is working, why change it? But, if something is not working, you need to change it.
This could involve a high value decision. If a high dollar animal is sick or a special tree in your orchard is dying, what decision do you need to make to help improve the situation?
Balancing the Decision Equation
Embrace change as an opportunity for a solid mind when making a high value decision. It is important to note that you don’t have to do this alone.
Consult with your mentor, a veterinarian, an industry expert or your business partner to determine the key factors and risks into the decision equation.
The goal is balance: Balancing needs and wants with a healthy budget, knowledge of space, and embracing the change you need to make to move forward with this decision.
Determining the right answer for the high value decision is an extremely risky or stressful task. It can keep anyone up at night.
But, the opportunity is there for you to grow. Embrace this opportunity by planning early, knowing your space and budget and prioritizing your needs first.
More often than not, it is the right decision. Go in with an open mind and follow your heart.
Be sure to celebrate the victory as you reap the rewards of the right high value decision.