8 core values that bridge family and business dynamics
Todd and Louise Malecha have one mission. It’s about keeping everyone on the same page. To their operations, that “same page” is a 587-page business plan.
This plan includes everything from cash flow to harvest plans to inventory details, but its foundation is made up of eight enterprise values. These values are incorporated into our business plan and displayed in our office, store and barn in Billard, Minnesota.
8 core values
These 8 values - Drive, Responsibility, Honesty, Trust, Fun, Honesty, Empathy, Commitment to CANEI
End Improvement) – sets the foundation, pace and direction of this multi-generational, multi-faceted activity.
“It all starts with values,” says Todd Malecha, president of Malecha Enterprises. “Without values, our business is like a ship at sea without a rudder.”
In 1988, Todd returned to Minnesota after serving four years in the military. he had his one goal. It’s a farm. He used his military profits to pay cash for his 13 cattle. He soon met his wife Louise, rented space in Todd’s father’s barn, and began making a small dairy.
“My father allowed Louise and I to use his land to build a dairy farm,” says Todd.
Todd and Louise added cows and children. All of her seven children were homeschooled by Louise and learned everything about the farm, from feeding calves to operating machines to respecting others and finances.
“We’ve always been on family vacations and doing things as a family,” says Todd. “Work was the number one thing we did as a family. But we always try to have fun.”
“We make everything fun,” adds Louise.
Today, Malecha’s children range in age from 19 to 32. Five of them and her two daughters-in-law are members of the Malecha Enterprises team, which also includes 28 full-time employees and her 16 seasonal employees.
Todd Malecha A visionary president, he will lead the strategy and responsibility to make the business viable and ensure that the next generation has the opportunity to participate.
Louise Malecha Dairy and Human Resources Manager, supervises and leads the dairy team. In 2021, she published her first children’s book, “Papa and Nana’s Ranch”.
William Malecha Integrator and Operations Manager, he leads and manages the harvesting, packing and chopping divisions of the business. Dairy farms focus on producing high quality feed.
Emily Malecha (married to William), marketing and office manager, doing payroll, data entry and filing. She also leads H-2A employee recruitment and helps with social media.
Jonathan Malecha Supervise shop and precision pump manager, fertilizer pump enterprise. He also manages a seasonal team of mechanics and operators.
benjamin woobcars A herd manager is a non-family manager. He directs the day-to-day operations of the dairy, including in-house breeding and cow health management.
Kaitlyn Malecha Social media and marketing promotes the farm through YouTube, its website (MalechaEnterprises.com) and social media. She drew illustrations for Louise’s book.
Rebecca Orr A calf manager oversees a small team focused on calf care and herd health.
Robert Malecha Employees are looking to complete a Mechanical/Tools degree in addition to their Mechatronics degree.
The business currently includes 1,300 dairy cows and 1,100 heifers. Its core business branches out into several companies.
- Malecha Farms uses 2,500 acres of alfalfa, corn, silage and soybeans to produce all their dairy feed.
- Custom operations include mowing over 5,000 acres of corn silage and hay each year, bagging 7,000 tons of fodder, and baling nearly 25,000 straw bales.
- Precision Pumping provides custom applications of approximately 151.5 million gallons of liquid and solid fertilizers (also certified for industrial waste disposal) annually.
- Sales of aggregate products such as crushed stone, sand and gravel. The team crushes, cleans and distributes products for construction and agriculture.
“All of these businesses were created out of necessity to build our primary business,” says Todd. “Now we can offer the same service to many other people.”
focus on the future
Malechas reached a crossroads in 2011. With future growth potential and our children coming of age, we needed to take a more long-term approach to our business planning.
Rena Striegel, president of Transition Point Business Advisors, said: “They started working on inheritance when their children were young. They wanted all of them to be included in the first interview about what happens on the farm.
The family conducted an assessment and analysis of each business unit: its Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT). We then developed specific annual action steps for each unit. As part of the process, Striegel helped implement the Entrepreneurial Operating Systems (EOS).
“As a family, they planned a strategic initiative,” says Striegel. “They have consistently completed their quarterly and annual planning sessions and have never missed a session, even during harvest or planting. doing.”
Malechas has set goals for 1, 3 and 10 years. Progress towards these goals is tracked in quarterly reviews and weekly meetings.
“I used to hate meetings because I was just thinking about the loss of productivity,” admits Todd. “But at EOS, we have a meeting every Monday with an agenda.
Meetings are the starting point for leadership development for the children of Malecha. For example, if you want to buy a forage harvester, you will need to create a business case and present the plan to the management team for approval.
“Our children and employees have taken leadership positions that have made a huge difference in the growth of our business,” says Louise.
“Mom and Dad created a vision for us and the future,” says son Jonathan. “It makes you want to be part of a team.”
Todd and Louise nurtured the entrepreneurial spirit in their children, explains Jennifer Brown, CPA at Newt Request Business Solutions and non-executive chief financial officer of the farm. “It’s not about money, it’s about being passionate about what they do and what drives them every day,” she says.
Listen to Todd Malecha on “The Farm CPA Podcast” with Paul Knifer.
Malechas reviews weekly scorecards for more than 20 metrics critical to operations. Each item is color-coded to indicate whether it meets, exceeds, or falls short of the plan. Everything is tied to business plans and budgets.
“Their budget is a dynamic, KPI-driven, farm-level tool that allows us to plan our holistic operations,” says Brown. “There is full buy-in and accountability for this plan, and it is aligned with the company’s operational and financial objectives.”
Todd and Louise find out they wear two hats, one for business and one for family. They even explain to the kids which hat they wear in certain conversations.
“Our number one goal is to help you sit comfortably on holidays and birthday parties,” says Todd. “We separate the business part from the family. You have to work on it. It just doesn’t happen.”
trust and go
Todd admits that the hardest parts of transition planning are trust and letting go.
“As a parent, I think you know your child, but you have to recognize that your child wants to be who they are,” he says. I don’t want you to tell me what to do.”
Todd and Louise have both transitioned from active managers to mentors, so they can “touch and go.” This means that while they are away, they can leave the farm whenever they want to know that operations are being properly executed by the team.
“The numbers say it all,” Todd says of business metrics. “Louise and I got along well, but they’re doing better.”
Todd and Louise are proud of the business they have built and the future ahead.
“Seeing the next generation take over the farm is really satisfying,” says Louise.
Todd and Louise Malecha have won the 2022 Top Producer of the Year Award sponsored by BASF, Case IH and Rabo Agrifinance. Meet the finalists for the 2023 Awards at the Top Producers Summit in Nashville, January 23-25. Register now!