Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Cornhusker Economics, February 17, 2021


Copyright 2021 University of Nebraska.


The word ‘strategically’ sounds sophisticated and is often used to imply the presence of some secret idea that will always work to increase profit. The word seems to suggest that to be strategic requires special knowledge or an almost magical method of accomplishing something. In truth, however, strategy is simply a plan of action or policy designed to achieve something desired, and it can be complex or basic, as each occasion requires. Strategy can be good or bad, a successful endeavor or a disaster. The key to good strategy is to have clear understanding of desired out-come, as well as the factors that create success, continued motivation, and practice to work at making the best plan possible. The alternative is to merely go with the flow. As a youth, I spent hours at the beach, playing in the surf. I would get so wrapped up in playing that I would lose track of where I was and, as time passed, the currents would pull me far away from where I was supposed to be, sometimes into areas I did not belong. A strategic plan can act as a warning, informing us that we are drifting from our desired outcome(s). As a farm/ranch operator, it is an exciting prospect to organize the business in such a way that dreams can be achieved. Strategic planning, then, should be viewed as an opportunity to implement philosophy and knowledge into action and results. While strategic plans provide direction, they may need to be adjusted from time to time, during implementation.