Although peak season is complete, winter is no vacation for farmers and ranchers. It’s dedicated to paperwork, tax preparation and equipment repairs. What else can farmers do in the winter to make the most of the off-season? These quick projects can help you organize and plan for planting season.
1. Tackle Spring Cleaning Early
It’s hard to keep up with paperwork and cleaning during the busy season. During the winter, take some time each week to clear out clutter in your office, barn or storage. Prepare shelter supplies for horses and livestock that need to take cover. Create separate piles to donate, sell and toss — and then actually do it.
2. Connect With Your Community
Attend a local farm or ranch association meeting to find ways you can connect with the community. This is a great place to catch up with friends and neighbors while also sharing new ideas for the season ahead and best practices.
3. Perform Routine Maintenance
Whether it’s regularly planned maintenance or unexpected repairs, winter is the ideal time to fine tune your farm machines. Create a farm equipment maintenance schedule to keep your tractors and trucks in tip-top shape.
4. Pay it Forward
You have a lot to offer, so share your knowledge and skills. Visiting the local 4-H club or helping to plan next year’s elementary school garden can be surprisingly rewarding. Whatever your interests, there is an opportunity to participate.
5. Get Inspired and Educated
Catch up on reading your trade magazines, association newsletters and industry websites. Are there any continuing education classes you’d like to take? Sign up for one! Plus, it’s an opportunity to connect with other farmers who use the winter season to learn and grow their business.
6. Review and Revise Your Farm Insurance Coverage
A lot can change from season to season. As your business and family evolve, so do your insurance needs. Review your insurance coverage to make sure your farm or ranch, machinery, livestock and home are properly protected.