The farmer has to be an optimist, or he wouldn’t be farming – Will Rogers

truacre truck with planter and tractor in field; farming optimism; farming optimism

“I had a grower once tell me that emotion must be taken out of business and marketing. For farmers, this is often difficult to do this with the passion and effort that is put into their operations day to day, month to month and year to year. The farmer must retain his optimism.

And with a year like 2019, it is especially important to continue finding ways to remain positive when we seem to have few reasons to be.

Optimism is defined as:

  1. Hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something.

We started our planting season with plenty of rain, following by a growing season with the ‘water shut off in July’. August kept us guessing with more moisture than we wanted at the end of the growing season, and then Mother Nature said, “here’s another curveball, ya’ll” and we experienced early snowfall and below-normal temperatures. During seasons like these, we must remind ourselves and our neighbors that, good or bad, nothing lasts forever.

But what is the silver lining? Where is that nugget of hope that keeps the American farmer looking forward, more than in the past? He knows the past can’t always predict our future. There are always opportunities with adversity. Take the 80s for example. This was a very hard time for farmers, however, it provided many an opportunity to buy land and equipment for far less than the ‘average retail’.

Another silver lining for 2019 – the market facilitation payment (affectionately referred to as ‘Trump Bucks’) gave many growers a boost in their profitability. A grower I spoke to recently said he takes crop cash price, then adds the market facilitation payment, and this calculation allows him to make crop marketing decisions easier.

In closing, we need to channel the optimism into positive ideas. Thinking optimistically helps one remain encouraged and thinking clearly when making decision for the future. Farming is a marathon not a sprint. We all have a job to do some days, it’s easy, sometimes it’s not, but the work needs to get done and it will. Keep the faith in something bigger than ourselves, lean into that faith, and trust that it will lead us in the right direction.”

– Sarah Hermiston, Precision Technology Consultant

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Posted on December 30, 2019 in