Strategic approach to farming success

Securing a competitive advantage in a turbulent global agricultural environment.
Karsten Farms is an agricultural company who produces table grapes, dates, melons, watermelons, apples and pears in South Africa.

Our group is also starting up grape production in Egypt and Brazil. We think Dr Nell and Mr Napier succeeded 100% in their attempt to create a practical method for modern day farmers to strategize and achieve farming success.

The book is definitely strongly recommendable to all role-players in today’s global farming environment.

Piet & Pieter Karsten

Karsten Farms (Pty.) Ltd

Kanoneiland, South Africa.

The book translates the methods and analysis of corporate strategic planning into a farm management context.  I know of no other textbook which does this.  Large-scale commercial farmers in many countries around the world are increasingly operating in global markets. Such farmers are faced with similar problems, and the techniques outlined in the book are of sufficient generality to appeal to audiences in a variety of countries.  The general approach is correct and the appeal of the book should be widespread.

Prof. Paul Webster

Agricultural Business Management

Imperial College London, Wye Campus, England.

I am the owner and manager of a grain farm in the Corn Belt located in Summitville, Indiana. I have had the privilege of doing international farm management consulting projects in ten countries. After refereeing the book I realized that every farmer in the world needs this book to be sustainable.  This book will not only be valuable to farmers, but also to farm managers and farm management consultants. The practical approach followed in this book will enable a large portion of the farming community in the world to apply the contents of the book to their farming situation. I want to congratulate the two authors with a job well done and commend them on their effort to try to ensure sound farming businesses throughout the world.  This is the first strategic management textbook applied to agriculture that I am aware of that will assist farmers, farm managers and consultants to maintain and develop sound sustainable management practices within their agriculture businesses.

Jay Smith

Manager, Smith Farms

Summitville, Indiana, USA.

Strategic planning is a necessity for farmers to survive in the global economy. I found this book provides an essential tool for farmers to become internationally competitive. It should also be a valuable tool for financial and other consultants working with farmers. I highly recommend this book.

Lutz Nell

Managing Director

AgriBonus, South Africa.

It is highly appreciated that you granted me the opportunity to study the manuscript. As a farmer who believes in new development and technology, it was a pleasure reading this manuscript.

For the past 34 years I am farming on 2 500 ha of land.  The farm produces cash crops such as maize, sunflower and groundnuts and the farming business also consists of a livestock division.  The farming business focuses on value  adding by means of marketing all grain produced through a feedlot of 1 500 cattle and a maize mill.

While studying the manuscript, I realised it is like a fresh breeze in agricultural management.

This book will not only be essential for all farmers to stay successful, but also to students who are in the process of becoming farmers.  The practical approach makes it very user-friendly and will help each farmer using the book to lift his farming business out of a comfort zone into a competitive global environment.

I want to congratulate the two authors with excellent job done. Good luck!  Enjoy the journey to make farming a success.

Ollie Botes

Managing Director

Oswald Botes Group, Hoopstad, South Africa.

“… an excellent model for farm managers to assess their future”

Clem Sunter

Anglo American, South Africa.

I wish to congratulate you on a very comprehensive and well-written manuscript.  The publication will fill a gap in the agricultural economic literature. It will be a valuable tool for consultants, academics and farmers. I thoroughly recommend it.

Koos Coetzee

Manager: Economic Services

Milk Producers’ Organisation, South Africa.

A real pleasant book to read by an agriculturalist, especially who is broadminded and thinks beyond the borders of his own farm. This book is considered stimulating with admirable practical illustrations which makes one think. The way in which the case study of John Lamb was inwrought in the book makes it ideal for use by practical producers and students.  I would recommend the book to all farmers who consider farming as a business.

Ernst Yzel

Marquard, South Africa.

Trained initially in marine engineering and subsequently spent the past twenty years in pork production. Currently serving as general manager and partner in Barnett & Burgess – a family farming partnership – producing pork in the Free State, South Africa. Has also assisted as a management consultant for intensive pork producers in Canada, and emerging farmers in South Africa and Lesotho.

This book is a must read guide for both participants and students in all forms of agriculture.

The technical content is a wonderful compilation drawing extensively on both of the authors’ extensive experience in this field.  The contribution of successful operators in their various fields helps to further illustrate the successful implementation of the points raised. Entrepreneurs in this sector are historically resourceful and efficient in utilizing limited resources. But are increasingly aware that a successful outcome can only be brought about if adequate preparation is timorously implemented.  The format of this book is both practical and user friendly in this regard and will allow participants in existing and new ventures to draw their knowledge and experience through a positive strategic planning process.

Michael Burgess


BurgessTweespruit, South Africa