GFP020: How to focus and prioritize your strategic farm plan with Scott Graves of SM Graves Creative Associates

By necessity entrepreneurs have to accomplish a lot in a relatively short amount of time. There are so many things to balance when starting a farm or growing your current farm business if you do not keep organized and focused you are doomed from the start.

Early on I created a plan for how I saw my farm going. I started at 20 years out and worked backwards to present day. I have a dream that I would like to realize and I see that dream taking shape every day around me. It is not an easy road, but there are certain tools and techniques you can use to make that road a little less bumpy. A strategic farm business plan is one of them.

"To achieve great things two things are needed. A plan and not quite enough time." -Leonard Bernstein

In this episode of the Growing Farms Podcast I bring on Scott Graves, an agricultural businessman with a passion for the arts. Scott and I discuss farm business plans, things to look for when you want to expand or rejuvenate your business, and a whole lot more.

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In this farm podcast you will learn:

  • Why reflection is an important part of business planning
  • How to prioritize the many tasks you have to get done on and off farm
  • Why multi-tasking is BS and approaching one project at a time
  • Growing your farm business sustainably
  • Building social capitol
  • The benefit of thoroughly defining your demographics
  • Understanding your farm products
  • Improving efficiency

Interview with Scott Graves of SM Graves Creative Associates

Scott’s focus on strategic business capabilities have been garnered through experience in executive management, education and advocacy.  In addition to credentials as a sales and marketing professional,  Scott is a licensed property and casualty insurance professional, CLCS. SMGraves Creative Associates allows Scott and his team members the ability to  offer their services to clients as part of a concerted effort which increases the quality of results for their clients.  His unique combination of creative, strategic and functional perspective make him a powerful and trusted advisor.

Scott has successfully assisted organizations to achieve their goals representing financial services, arts and culture, health and human services, rental/retail and education. He is a former executive director, music educator and performing artist, recognized as a leader in business and creative expression.

Scott is Vice President, Board of Directors for the GVNA HealthCare, a dedicated Rotarian at the local and district level and Chairman, Board of Directors for EPHAS (Every Person Has A Story), currently training 2000 students in photo-journalism, documentary work and entrepreneurship in the US and ten countries.  Scott participates in the development of regional projects addressing some of Massachusetts toughest issues including economic development, access to music education and teen substance abuse.

Scott resides in Central Massachusetts with his wife Christine, daughters Abigail and Marcella.  They happily while away the hours growing their own food, traveling by bicycle and generally laughing, playing and reading together.

Items mentioned in this farm podcast include:



Take aways:

Do you have a well thought out farm plan?

What do you see as the future of your agricultural enterprise?

Who are you selling to? Can you answer that question in detail?


My skills are ever-evolving as an interviewer. Thanks for taking the time to listen in, and let me know what you think. You can leave a comment below, send me an e-mail, reach me on Facebook or Twitter, or leave a 5 star rating in iTunes if you liked the show.