2022 is in full swing and so are New Year’s Resolutions. Farmers and ranchers are a unique population in that, with each new season, they are recommitting to their goals and contributing to a safe, sustainable food supply. Below are a few practical resolutions agricultural producers can make that will lead to positive change in the New Year.
- Improve Your Farm’s Sustainability by Exploring Innovative Technology
From sensors and drones to self-driving and GPS enabled tractors, farmers are using technology to their advantage to produce food more sustainably. Agricultural technology is not limited to large-scale farming corporations, though. Several technologies are available to small farmers that can make a huge difference, from managing sales to testing soil health. Here is a list of impactful technologies to implement around your farm.
- Prioritize Your Physical and Mental Health
Agricultural work can be both physically and mentally draining. If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety, depression, or another mental health challenge, you are not alone. Here are a few ideas to prioritize your health as an agricultural producer:
- Take the beginning of 2022 to create a schedule as to when you’ll take some time for yourself and your family.
- Take care of your body through regular exercise. This not only helps your physical health, but can reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety.
- Ask for and offer help if needed by assessing your mental health. Participating in mental health training, especially for rural communities, can be beneficial for agricultural workers.
- Make time to do something fun at least once a week. Having interests outside of the farm can bring you happiness.
- Keep Better Track of Your Farm Records
Successful farm managers establish a record-keeping system and strategically maintain accurate records. The New Year is a perfect time to improve your bookkeeping skills to help plan for the rest of 2022 and beyond. Aside from tracking your expenditures and income, evaluating which products work best for you financially is key. Using available resources such as other farmers, your county extension office, and educational information from organizations such as SARE and USDA is also necessary for good record-keeping.
- Support the Farming Community
Farmers are a tight knit group and can rely on one another for support. The New Year is a great opportunity to become a vendor at a local farmer’s market, join an online forum or group of producers, or actively engage in social media platforms to promote your farm and the local operations in your community.