Mind Your Farm Business — Ep. 72: Assembling an advisory board

(Debra Murphy/RealAgriculture)

We’ve talked about the “why” of creating an advisory board for the farm or agriculture business, but the “how” of setting one up requires some discussion, as well.

Terry Betker, founder of Backswath Management, says that putting together an advisory board is perhaps a little different than you might think at first. Maybe people’s minds would immediately go to their lender or accountant as people who would advise the business, but Betker says these are people who more likely would attend a meeting of the advisory board.

Related: Mind Your Farm Business — Leveraging the power of an advisory board for your farm

“You’ve got to identify the priorities of the business first, three to five years out,” he says. From there, it’s important to look for the most qualified people that have a skill set your business might be lacking or could make use of.

The advisory board might be made up of respected business people, recent retirees, or farmers. The role is less important that the type of person: you’re looking for qualified, confident people, and perhaps other business owners, you respect in the industry and that have a genuine interest in agriculture and in your farm or ag business doing well.

Betker adds that it’s not a great idea to add friends to the advisory board. Instead, aim high, and get in touch with someone even if you probably think they will say no. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know, and they may be very willing to share their expertise, knowledge and experience at a reasonable rate.

Listen to the full discussion of building an advisory board, here: 

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