Importance of a mission statement

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Dairy cows at Stollers’ Organic Dairy.

The Dairy Excel 15 Measures of Dairy Farm Competitiveness bulletin was published by the Ohio State University Extension to provide dairy producers with the opportunity to assess the competitiveness of businesses using financial and production information. Measure twelve, mission statement, is discussed in this article.

What is a mission statement? A mission statement is a short, concise plan of action based on the things you do each day. It explains why you are in business and what you want to accomplish. Think of it as your elevator speech. Your mission statement provides direction for developing future goals and plans.

This statement reflects the underlying values, goals and objectives of the farm and the management team. The mission statement should be communicated and remembered.

Example

Members of the management team and employees agree on why they are in business.

“Our mission is to produce and market quality milk in sufficient quantity to ensure a good standard of living for our family and our employees. The business should be profitable enough to provide above-average compensation for employees and long-term financial security for our families.

Why a mission statement? The mission statement is an important tool for all dairy farms. Farms that are able to clearly communicate who they are and what they stand for often do better than those who lack a true understanding of their purpose.

One way to develop strong lines of communication and a clear understanding of what the business does is to write a mission statement. It doesn’t matter whether the farming business consists of two people or 50 people, everyone involved should have a clear understanding of what the business does and why they are doing it in order to move the business forward in the desired direction.

Developing a mission statement

When developing a mission statement, pay attention to what is important to the business now and in the future. Start by thinking about the following questions:

  • What is the basic reason for the existence of the dairy farm?
  • How does it serve the family and the community?
  • Why is it unique?
  • What are the strengths of the farm? Perform a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis.

Think about the future of the farm business, family, standard of living, family recreation, length of farm business, handover of the farm to the next generation, and retirement. Make sure to involve family members and employees in this process.

It is important that others involved in the farm have the opportunity to provide their input. This will provide a more truthful statement of what the farm business does and what it values. This approach also allows for greater buy-in and acceptance by those involved in the business.

Second, think broadly and write down ideas as they arise, and don’t limit or prioritize your ideas. Share your ideas with others involved in the farm.

Third, start thinking more specifically, perhaps adding more notes, and start developing drafts of the mission statement. Don’t rush the process. Your mission statement can be written in paragraphs or bullets. Any. The important thing is that it is written and used.

Finally, compile the notes and drafts to write the mission statement. Once the mission statement is complete, grab it, frame it, and hang it in the office, milking parlor, employee break room or other place where it can be viewed by managers, employees, family members and others.

Summary

The value of a mission statement comes from its active use. Use it to guide the goal setting process and when making decisions. Successful businesses are built on solid foundations. Taking the time to develop a mission statement will give your farm business the solid foundation it needs to be successful now and in the future.

Over time, the mission statement may change as the business progresses. Periodically review your mission statement and make any necessary changes.

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