September 6, 2022
When you hear the words “adapt” and “change,” how do you typically react? Does that immediately bring feelings of uncertainty? Or does it create excitement?
For different farm leaders, those two words might bring very different feelings. Depending on your personality, you might lean in to the idea of changing or improving something. The idea of adapting your farm operation to meet the challenges of the future could even be exciting.
Most people probably have some initial feelings of uncertainty or even anxiety at the thought of change or changing something in their farm operation. It’s ok – and even good – to first acknowledge that those feelings may be there around the idea of change. That way you can move on to how you will manage those feelings, because every farm operation will need to adapt as they move into the future.
There are a few different ways that you can think about how your own farm operation already adapts and changes. One is the type of adapting that leaders tend to do “on the fly” or in the moment as needed. This is the type of adapting and adjusting that you’ve probably been doing your whole career – and maybe you just haven’t recognized it as a way of adapting.
I’m thinking of the day-to-day situations that require you to get creative – the times when your “Plan A” doesn’t quite work as expected. Maybe there’s a small wrench in the plan or something entirely unexpected happens. Most farmers are very good at adapting and adjusting on the fly – making changes to the plan to make it work, in the moment.
You can bring this practice at adapting and changing into another type of way that your farm will need to adapt and change – intentionally in the bigger, overarching plans for the future. It isn’t necessary to know exactly what’s going to happen in the future (nor would that be possible, anyway) in order to create plans to respond to those potential challenges in an agile, flexible way.
Indeed, the ability to adapt more quickly to the challenges that the future will bring farms is one of the only competitive advantages available – to any business. Preparing the farm’s future plans while using a mindset of preparing to adapt and change will be key to the success of the farm business of the future.
Take some time to consider how you as the farm’s leader currently approach adapting and changing – both on the fly, and in terms of your farm’s future planning. Work to find ways to build in more flexibility and possibility for adaptation in your everyday work and future plans.
The markets sure do seem to move quickly these days, don’t they? Yet grain marketing is one of the areas where flexibility and adaptability is key – to take advantage of opportunity.
Farmers have found that working with our market advisors has helped ease their minds. The advisors help farmer clients with planning and execution around marketing decisions and help keep them up to speed on the current rapidly-changing grain market situation – and how it impacts their operation.
Get a free two-week trial of our marketing information service (MarketView Basic). Your free trial includes regular audio and video updates, technical analysis, recommendations and more. Learn more about our market advisor programs and offerings at www.waterstreetconsulting.com.
The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress.
About the Author(s)
CEO, Water Street Solutions
Darren Frye grew up on an innovative, integrated Illinois farm. He began trading commodities in 1982 and started his first business in 1987, specializing in fertilizer distribution and crop consulting. In 1994 he started a consulting business, Water Street Solutions to help Midwest farmers become more successful through financial analysis, crop insurance, marketing consulting and legacy planning. The mission of Finance First is to get you to look at spreadsheets and see opportunity, to see your business for what it can be, and to help you build your agricultural legacy.
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