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Young farmers, focus on what you can control

Don’t spend countless hours worrying over what you have no control over.

Don’t let what you don’t know get in the way of what you do know! I am writing this for all the farmers I have talked to in the past couple of weeks who are so worried about things they can’t change that they are not working on the things they can. Do not lose sight of what you know and what you have already accomplished. Jump out of the slump and dig into your bag of tricks! 

Let’s talk about it.

Times are tough. We are all acutely aware of this fact. There are a lot of unknowns in the farming industry. What will happen with COVID-19? What about the economy after the country is “fully back open”? How will that impact commodity prices? Will land prices plummet? How much?

So many questions with no answers!

Sometimes you just don’t know the answers -- and you have to move on. You can’t spend countless hours worrying yourself to death about what you have no control over. Your time is much better spent focusing on what you do have control over.

Meticulous planning

You can’t afford to waste time trying to figure out what the markets or weather is going to do. Spend your time meticulously planning for your farm. You know how to do that! This is not an unknown. You know what you are the best at, and know what you need to work on. Drill down on both of those to make the best of an uncertain situation.

Spend your quarantine time running some new analysis to look at your numbers in a new way. Do some research on new financing options. Think of new ways to better your farm, not just how it will go downhill.

Now is the time to gather all the knowledge you have been collecting over the years, and use it to better your business operation.  Bust out your bag of tricks. You know what you grow best, so grow what you know! Nobody knows your land better than you and how to utilize it to its fullest potential. 

There’s no better way to spend idle time right now than figuring out how to maximize your potential. Spending that time worrying about prices you can’t change will not maximize anything but your need for sleep.

Don’t let uncertainties dominate your time. Yes, you do need to consider these uncertainties - you must take everything into consideration making a comprehensive and realistic plan. However, don’t let the unknowns get in the way of the things you know for certain. Those things you know with certainty are the ones that can help you make it through these tentative times.

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

TAGS: Management
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