Ontario Agriculture

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The CFFO Commentary: The CFFO Launches Business Management Pilot Project

John Clement
February 3, 2012
Farm business management groups have been used across Canada over the past few decades but there appears to be a renewed push to broaden their appeal. Although these groups can vary widely from sector-to-sector, most feature a small group of farmers working with a facilitator to compare individual production and financial records against those of peers. In the process, the aim is to grow and develop the management skills of all participants in the group.
Through funding received from the Agricultural Management Institute, CFFO is conducting a pilot proje

ct to assess membership support for farm business management discussion groups. Our goal is to organize three clubs and host four to six meetings for each over the course of the next year. The groups are intended to be a source of information on business management trends and analysis. However, the sharing of ideas may be the most important aspect in assisting producers to develop a new approach to, or concept of, farm business management.

Following the face to face meetings, there will be supplemental videos and print documents uploaded to the CFFO website.  We are also introducing a blog where members from all three groups can continue discussions on farm business management. The pilot will help us assess whether this type of forum might lead to the creation of longer-term producer clubs and the dialogue will provide input to CFFO policy creation.

The goals of the project include:
·         To provide a forum for discussions on business management information, products, and services.
·         To engage the younger generation of farmers in actively participating in the discussion groups.
·         To encourage producers to incorporate beneficial business management practices into their daily operations and activities.
·         To foster the concept, at the grassroots level, of producers working cooperatively and sharing beneficial business management practices.
·         To identify farm business management gaps and opportunities which CFFO should consider when developing policy and when designing association initiatives.
·         To introduce and foster the concept of on-line discussion groups and information exchange.

This project is funded in part through the Agricultural Management Institute (AMI). The AMI is part of the Best Practices Suite of programs for Growing Forward, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.

Don’t miss out on hearing some dynamic and thought-provoking speakers as well as the opportunity to network with your farming colleagues from across the province.  Contact John Clement at clement@christianfarmers.org, or call 519- 837-1620.  The meeting dates will be available shortly and will be found on our website.

John Clement is the General Manager for the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario. The CFFO Commentary represents the opinions of the writer and does not necessarily represent CFFO policy. The CFFO Commentary is heard weekly on CFCO Chatham, CKNX Wingham, and UCB Canada radio stations in Chatham, Belleville, Bancroft, Brockville and Kingston and in Brantford and Woodstock. It is also found on the CFFO website: www.christianfarmers.org. CFFO is supported by 4,200 family farmers across Ontario.

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