May 20, 2016
Mike Morehouse has some tips for those who would profit — financially and otherwise — from trying new things. The Elkhart County farmer loves to dream up and try new ideas. Here are four tips he offers to others who feel they are smart enough to come up with new ideas of their own.
1. Keep an open mind.
“We need to be flexible in what we do. We try to keep our eyes and ears open for changes that can make our farming better or improve our soil. We want to be good stewards of the land, to pass it on to another generation.”
2. Be patient.
SPARK INNOVATION: Mike Morehouse says it takes lots of drive and a plan to continually try new things.
“If you try something once and it doesn’t work out great, don’t be discouraged. If something’s not working, sit down and see if you can analyze it and figure it out. A lot of things in farming boil down to luck. Give it another year or two. Also, keep a positive attitude and communicate with your business partners.”
3. Don’t get overwhelmed by what you are trying to do the first time.
“Experimenting takes time, and there are only so many hours in a day, and you can’t do it all at once. If you’re at your limit and someone wants you to try something new, you may have to tell them, ‘I’ll try it, but not this year.’”
4. Seek out a mentor who has experience with experimenting.
“For many years we had a really good agronomist, Dr. Yarlagadda, originally from India, who lived in Shipshewana. He was always pushing us to be trying something new and different. At first, some of the things he suggested sounded kind of far-out, but he knew his stuff, and his ideas worked for us.”
If you don’t push and try new things, you don’t find out what works and doesn’t work, Morehouse concludes.
Boone writes from Wabash.
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