Katie Brown, Calf & Heifer Specialist, Purina Animal Nutrition
firstname.lastname@example.org (507) 951-2951
I was reminiscing with a few college friends the other day that next year will be 10 years since we graduated. I then began to think about that big question that was asked when you graduated; “What are your 5 and 10 year goals?” Now that I think about it, my goals have certainly changed in the past 10 years.
When I think about that question I recall having personal and professional goals. 10 years ago my personal goals were to get married and have children. At the time my professional goals were to teach and maybe be a principal someday; boy have things changed! Although, in a way I feel like I am still teaching; I have definitely had to reevaluate my professional goals and realign those goals for where I am at in my career today. All of this re-evaluating of my own goals stirs up the thought, “Why haven’t I achieved some of my goals?
Every year goals are typically set and should be evaluated, whether it is for you personally or for your farm, everyone has goals. It is good to stop and rethink those goals from time to time and ask yourself, “How are you doing on them?” “Have you exceeded them?” “Is it time to set newer, higher goals?” There are many reasons to change your goals and often we forget to set them or even think about them.
When setting goals I like to remember to keep them Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. For me the Time-bound step is the most difficult. I often set good goals, but I do not know what kind of time deadline to put on goals. This often reflects why I do not achieve some of them as I do not put enough emphasis on setting deadlines with an end date in mind. Lately, I have been trying to set a deadlines for the smaller steps needed to reach my goal. I try to review these deadlines and reset and end date goal in order to stay focused on achieving the end result that I originally set out to accomplish.
When it comes to the calf world, I often challenge producers to truly look where they are so we can set proper goals. I ask questions to help producers set their goals which helps me know what I can to do support their efforts. Questions like: “Do you know what your calves’ average for birth weight?” which then leads to “Are you doubling the birth weight in 56 days?” This is a goal I like to help producers with because at times a few changes can go a long way and when we are reaching these benchmarks, we are off and running to raising stronger healthier calves. Tools are an important part of the goal process. We use weigh tapes that are a quick and easy way to record birth weights. Then in 56 days, we can check them again, record their weights, and see where you are at in achieving that goal. Then we discuss ideas on what we need to do to reach our goal. If we find that we are meeting our goal, then we know we need to re-evaluate and set new goals to reach a new benchmark.
I challenge each of you to stop and think about your goals. If you have achieved them, AWESOME! Have a bowl of ice cream and think of a few new goals you can set. If you haven’t met your goals; still have a bowl of ice cream, and take a moment to stop and figure out why you have not met those goals and set some deadlines that will help you stay and track to accomplish them.
Best of luck reaching your goals the remainder of the year, let me know if you would like to sit down and talk about your current calf goals and ways that All American Co-op can help you!