In early November, a 3-day Holistic Management workshop was held for agricultural producers in the Hudson Valley region of New York by Byron Shelton, the Senior Program Director for the Savory Institute. In the workshop participants spent time on preliminary financial planning and began the development of their farm’s annual financial plan for 2015.
Annual holistic financial planning supports the normal planning a business does including entity structure, tax planning, estate planning, etc.
The core components of holistic decision-making were covered. After denoting clearly what they were managing (the whole under management), describing what they desired (their holistic context they make decisions within), participants practiced testing possible actions within that context related to their financial planning using the holistic management filter questions.
In preliminary financial planning participants worked to plan an enterprise mix through a gross profit analysis, plan income, plan profit, categorize and priority expenses, and began creating their 2015 financial plans. Additional major decisions related to financial planning and land planning or infrastructure needed were run through tested as they worked to complete their financial plan.
Participants learned that this financial plan was their initial game plan from which to adjust their actual finances as they operate their financial plan throughout the year. At the end of the workshop, most participants had determined an enterprise mix, completed their entries on the annual income and expense sheet, and were in the process of balancing the plan and checking cash flow.
Good discussion was had throughout the workshop on holistic financial planning and decision-making considering the whole picture.