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Corn+Soybean Digest

NASCAR Offers Farming Lessons

Last month I reviewed a system Chris Barron of Carson Barron Farms is using as a growth model for multi-generational farms. Since we’re both NASCAR fans, I would like to share some thoughts Chris sent me when comparing racing to farming.

The similarities of NASCAR and agriculture are a lot like looking into a mirror. So many of the obstacles and challenges that NASCAR race teams face are challenges and obstacles farmers face in agriculture. We can learn a lot from other success stories.

Hendrick Motorsports has won four championships and 47 races in the last four years. Farmers can learn from what Hendrick has done differently and apply those lessons to their farm operations.

A critical concept of Hendrick Motorsports is the structure of multiple-car teams. This idea is very basic: Put four cars on the track that work together as one team and you have four times the power, four times the information, four times the money from sponsorships and four times the amount of talented people who want to work with a winning organization. Add this with professional leadership and it results in a dominating organization. A single-car team can hardly compete with the multiple-car resources mentioned above.

This is much the same as the single farming operation trying to be competitive with a multi-unit operation. If two or three or even four farmers could develop this same strategic approach with proper leadership and people working together toward the same goal with trust, shared vision and shared goals, just imagine the potential strength and benefits.

You could also have four times the information, four times the capital, four times the talent and skill and four times the opportunities. If you could put together that type of team, think about the suppliers, investors and other farmers who would want to join your winning team.

Turn Challenge into Opportunity
There are more opportunities in agriculture now than ever before as we consider the technological tools we have available.

However, this creates unique challenges. If we can learn to work together as a team, share critical information, put some of our independence and egos aside and, most importantly, work toward networking our personalities, we could be that four-car NASCAR team.

Are there neighbors or family members who you could network with in a way that would benefit you both? Think about the potential.

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