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What are you most grateful for about farming?

iStock/GettyImages Silhouette of farmer walking in field examining crop at sunset.
How to use gratitude in problem-solving.

This time of year, our attention turns to what we’re grateful for in our lives. Even in the toughest times and circumstances, there are always things to be thankful for, in so many different aspects.

But today I want to ask you specifically: What are you most grateful for about farming? Think about that for a second. Focus on farming and your farm business. Consider making a list of all that you are grateful for in farming, and highlight the top three or five things you’ve identified that you’re most grateful for.

Farming attraction

There are many different reasons why someone chooses farming as a career – or some might even say that farming chose them. The attraction to farming can vary. One farmer might have been initially drawn by the opportunity to work outside – to be close to the soil, the plants and the changing seasons.

Others might be attracted by the idea of freedom – to own their own business, as an entrepreneur. They might be drawn to an enjoyment of running the business: making improvements and gaining efficiency and success.

Still others might be attracted by the chance to continue a family legacy. Maybe the farm has been in the family for four, five or six generations. The opportunity to carry on a family-run business can be appealing for many reasons. Knowing you’re carrying on the legacy of the people closest to you can be very motivating for some farmers.

Keep it going

Whatever you’ve included on your list, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t still real challenges or problems that you deal with in your operation. Being grateful for farming and your farm operation doesn’t mean ignoring the challenges that exist. Being aware and grateful can actually help spur us on to work harder on what still needs to be addressed.

That’s great motivation when you’re dealing with any big challenges and issues in the operation. Here are a couple ways you can use your gratitude to help move your farm forward if you’re facing challenges when considering plans for the 2021 crop year.

  • Take the big picture into account. When you’re reviewing the farm’s numbers as 2020 wraps up, make sure to look at them in light of the major goals you have for your operation. For example, if continuing the farm’s legacy for the next generation is a goal, you can set some long-term goals to be financially prepared to bring them in.
  • Consider your own leadership skills. Different farmers bring different skills to the table when they enter a leadership position on the farm. Some excel at agronomy, others at fixing machinery, and others at spreadsheets and financial know-how. Think about the areas you’re naturally drawn to in your operation, as well as those that you haven’t been as attracted to. Where you could learn more and practice furthering your leadership skills?

One leadership skill that farmers often say they want to take to the next level is marketing and merchandising tools and plans. Our market advisors come alongside farmers with education and dynamic marketing planning. You can get in touch with them now to start your 2021 plans.

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress. 
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