When you’re a successful farmer, you shape your world. It’s your job to level mountains and create new ones by sheer determination. You have many employees who work for you – and when you say “jump,” they say “How high?”
The Way You See It
The way we see things or react to things, although almost never recognized, plays a huge role in why farming partnerships fail or slowly come apart at the seams.
Killing Anxiety on the Family Farm
Lack of transparent understanding regarding succession planning can increase anxiety and stress while causing division within the family. There are a lot of farmers in their 30s and 40s who don’t know what their future looks like. The truth be told: 77% of farms don’t have a succession plan. And this obviously has a lot to do […]
When Farm Kids Come Home From College
NOTE: This article was originally published in Progessive Dairy magazine. It was voted as the Top 3 article of the year! The day I left for college, my mother showed me our farm’s financials and told me if I didn’t come back and improve the farm’s profitability, she was leaving my father. While my friends […]
Hang Your Business Plan Above the Toilet
I believe that every farm should have their business plan framed and hung above the toilet.
Fifty years ago, farms didn’t need business plans. That is because the farm didn’t grow at that fast a rate and the biggest move you might have made in your lifetime is buying the farm next door.
Choosing Not to Farm
Growing up, the only way she could get time with dad was by being in the barn. The only way she could gain his attention was by working hard on the farm and “being of use.” She dreamed of being on the basketball team, but she sacrificed her teenage years saying she was helping out […]
This year’s resolution: Don’t let the next Christmas suck
Did Christmas suck this year? Everyone talks about Christmas being the most joyous time of year, but for many family farms, it isn’t. Why? There’s a different reason for everyone, but being the guy behind the scenes, I can see many farmers share common pains that can make Christmastime miserable. 1. For many farmers, the days […]
Tackling the Challenges of Farm Succession
As a farm succession mediator, I have seen some extreme situations. In fact, the memory of my first client is ingrained in my mind after having to take a shotgun out of his hands. That farmer had lived to set up his son for farming success. He explained to me that he had the best […]
The 21-Day Challenge
Months after their dad’s funeral, Jeb and Mark were awkwardly trying to figure out how to work together without their dad’s dominating presence. Mark’s wife (the farm’s bookkeeper) suddenly told them the farm’s cost of production was 13% higher due to increasing input prices. The boys were faced with the stark realization: Their first year […]
It’s Better to Have a Piece of the Watermelon Than the Whole Darn Raisin
They say in the software industry that it’s better to own a slice of the watermelon than the whole raisin. Yet these city people don’t think the same principles can apply to a farmer. These hippies talk about the family farm as if it is a thing of the past. Sure, the family members might […]