SunSetIowa

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 […]

Baby Colt Exercise

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 […]

Andy at Ag College

Not the WHAT but the WHY

Just two days ago, I got off the phone with a 25-year-old corn farmer named Billy who recently became a father. He explained to me that only a few days after the baby was born, he was given the chance to see the farm’s financials for the first time. He was shocked to find out […]

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Rule #2: Don’t Be a Jerk

It got to the point that every time Parker saw Beau’s phone number on his cell’s call display, his gut turned over because he knew his brother was going to yell at him about something else again. They hadn’t had a pleasant conversation in months, and Beau treated his younger brother Parker like a “rented […]

Huck and Dad

Earn Your Respect Daily

What is going on in the mind of your partner when they are about to hit that alarm clock?

Are they thinking about what has to get done today with excitement or just hitting snooze and getting another 20 minutes sleep?

What they tell themselves in that first five seconds of the day will dictate where your farm is going to be in five years.

Boots

Lace Up Your Boots

About 12 years ago, a guy named Jack called me up and, although no one in his family knew it, he had terminal cancer. Succession planning had suddenly become a priority, and he didn’t know what to do. His youngest son, Ken, was 29 and had been working on the farm for eight years and […]

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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.

Colt Crying

Farming with a “Toddler”

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?”