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Farm management, agricultural management, family farms


"Success" has constantly been a difficult word to define both for family-farm managers as well for those individuals who work closely with them . Past research in successful farm management have tried to measure success through a wide variety of factors: profitability, achieving personal goals, farm survival, farm growth, and financial measures of success such as accumulated wealth or annual profitability. More recently, a successful farm operator could also be classified as successful if he was able to achieve the objectives or goals set forth for his operation. Therein lies the conflict. If a farm operators goals for successful management of his operation differ from what past research has defined objectives of successful management, the farm operator could be deemed unsuccessful. Additionally, conclusions drawn from prior studies may not provide the proper guidelines for management strategies that achieve success on that operation. This conflict provided the need for this study to understand the producer's definition of success and examine their management strategies used to achieve this "success". The combination of management objectives and management strategies used by successful producers could then be jointly conveyed to the community of agricultural producers.


Department of Economics, South Dakota State University

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