Your operations plan ensures you're doing things right in order to meet short-term goals and objectives.
Your strategic (long-term) plan ensures you're doing the right things to achieve your vision.
Operational Planning includes the annual production, marketing, capital acquisitions, sales and financing budgets, action plans, monitoring and review (i.e. What are we going to do?).
Strategic Planning includes your long-term goals and objectives, crop rotations, diversification, growth strategy, tillage system, joint ventures, succession planning, business structure, etc. (i.e. How are we going to do it?)
"Doing Things Right"
However, performing strategic planning and knowing where you want to be, what your long-range goals are moving forward with shifts in strategy to get you there or by taking on major initiatives without analyzing their impact on your ongoing operations can wreak havoc inside your business. For example, a strategic decision to take out an aging orchard and replace it with a high-density trellis system without a plan for when it will be installed, by whom, and whether adequate resources exist in order to not overwork the team, create chaos, stress relationships and generally disrupt other key operations…might cause problems.
These simple examples and the seemingly endless trail of decisions and discussions are why some family farms avoid strategic planning.