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My name is Autumn Hofer and would like to share my experiences with information management.  Nearly 10 years ago I married a farmer who introduced me to an incredible lifestyle of life on the farm.   Agriculture was an industry that I knew very little about, but I was willing to learn.  I knew that driving any type of large equipment was going to be way beyond the scope of what I could manage, so I willingly jumped into the office management side of our operation.  Little did I know where that adventure would lead!

My first year of “tax season” on the farm felt more like I was climbing Mt. Everest!  I was attempting to learn the finer points of farming from the management side (and therefore not wrecking any machinery!), but I was finding that your typical department store financial software was just not really geared to agriculture.   I survived my first tax season as a new farm bride and my husband then introduced me to the Farm Works Software® solutions that he had purchased. Neither one of us really knew anything about how the program worked, but little did we realize the program would become one of the greatest assets to our farming operation.

We started out using the Farm Works Accounting software.  The field record keeping portion of the software really helped us understand the finer details, allowing us to making better management decisions. With the accounting software, we found that knowing our bottom line allowed us to be better marketers of our grain and livestock, and we became more objective on our purchases.  We could easily “run the numbers” to know if purchasing equipment was worthwhile or if it was better to custom hire the job done.  We were able to implement a value for our livestock waste and saved thousands of dollars in fertilizer cost.  Printing our checks really allowed us to streamline our bills and cut down on the paperwork we had to keep track of.  Budgeting and market projections became a staple part of our conversations with our ag lender as well.

We really appreciated the farm reports that we could generate with Farm Works Accounting to make our visits to the FSA and crop insurance agency more hassle free.  Also, I was really able to come to appreciate all of the knowledge and care that went into growing a crop.  Being a good caretaker of the land and our resources has become more important because now I understand exactly what it takes to grow a great crop and preserve the land for future generations of our family.

My husband and I have placed a high value on our faith and family in our journey together.  We found that most farmers are not able to spend time with their families and in the communities because those “spare hours” are spent doing the farm books.  We spent over a year researching this idea and came up with a plan to help other farm families in this area.  After six years of using the software, I launched into my own small business to provide a record keeping service for other farmers.  We found that a farmer could easily spend 30% of his day just keeping up with the office management side of an operation.  I was able to provide the office management for other farmers which in turn allowed them the freedom concentrate on the more physical work that takes place and also spend more time with their own families.

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There have been many changes in agriculture in the past few years, but I have come to appreciate the consistency that Farm Works software provides.  At the end of the day, being a successful farmer is not just limited to how straight the rows are or even how good the crops look.  Farmers (and their families) need to be good managers of their resources – both land and finances.  Programs like Farm Works have really allowed me to provide a valuable service in our own farming operation and also to be a benefit to the agricultural community in which I live.

Autumn Hofer
Mitchell, SD

 

For more information about Farm Works Accounting, please click here.

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