The new generation of agriculture producers is like a tidal wave, adding new energy and a different realm of thinking to the dynamic agriculture industry. The millennial generation, those 18 to 34 years of age, is eager to take the reins, seeking their legacy in the agriculture industry as producers, agribusiness persons, lenders, and other stakeholders. This winter on the speaking circuit I have solicited advice from both young and old for the up-and-comers. Let’s explore some of their nuggets of advice. [Read more…]
You’ve heard of people who can’t see the forest for the trees. Sometimes those of us involved in farming can get so immersed in the details and challenges of the day-to-day priorities in our own operation that we need to intentionally take a step back, gain a bigger perspective, and put “our own little world” in context to the rest of world in which we live. In fact, it may be worth taking ….
A considerable amount of my time is spent in an airplane at 37,000 feet (that’s seven miles) above the cities, towns, and fields below. This vantage point provides unique perspectives on the landscape of agriculture. Similarly, interacting with thought leaders and stakeholders at all levels of business, government, and academics during my travels provides rich perspectives as well. Let’s examine some of the views and perspectives that will influence your business model and lifestyle as you plan for 2015 and beyond. [Read more…]
Just recently, I was delighted to dine with a young couple at a young and beginning producer educational conference. It seemed my presence was a little intimidating at first as we struck up small talk about their family and farm. Then the couple indicated they had just purchased a farm and are now concerned as commodity prices are declining; they fear the financial glow in the grain industry is quickly disappearing. I reassured them they are in the company of other young and older producers who are experiencing concern as well. I then turned the tables and asked them questions pertaining to the sixth C of credit. [Read more…]
It’s been an absolute privilege for me to work with some of the most intellectual and creative minds in the agricultural industry during my career. These have ranged from leading renowned academicians such as Dr’s. Tom Frey, Danny Klinefelter, and Paul Ellinger to proven, tried and tested producers, ag lenders, and agribusiness professionals. Good old-fashioned interaction and listening with a creative ear has inspired a list of the rules of the road that apply to business and personal finance, but also to life in general. Let’s examine a few to stimulate your thinking. [Read more…]
This kickoff article is designed to provoke thought, present perspectives, and provide management and financial “brain darts” that can be utilized in your business, family, and personal life regardless of size, enterprise, or stage of your business. Perspectives will be introduced based upon my observations and interaction with producers, lenders, agribusinesses, and thought leaders in the agricultural industry. Let’s begin the series with discussion about business management through the economic cycles.
While our parents and grandparents have managed their businesses through cycles in the past, the economic cycles of the future will be more extreme in the peaks and valleys. This will create more opportunity for proactive managers; however, it will create an increased probability of failure for reactive or complacent business persons. [Read more…]