Ed Shirey, Mooreland, took a different tact in his essay, explaining his best farming decision ever. He was straight forward and went to the jugular – talking about the decision that has made his operation more efficient for some three decades now.
Read it for yourself. Then decide whether the judges placed it first, second or third. It's one of the top three issues in this year's adult essay contest sponsored by CountryMark. Find out the results in the July issue of Indiana Prairie Farmer coming out soon.
"Thomas Edison is credited for saying, 'Necessity is the father of invention.' Little did we know in 1986, developing our own farm recordkeeping software would be our single best farming decision ever. It has revolutionized our ability to access our records and utilize our resources efficiently and agronomically.
It provides us with an instrument to fine-tune our analysis of crop mix, equipment purchasing, money saving and stress management. Land purchases, equipment upgrades and a multitude of smaller purchases are decided upon with black-and-white clarity.
We can anticipate challenges in a timely manner and use our known history to create an efficient and productive game plan. It has virtually eliminated end-of-the-year tax stress. Our computerized bookkeeping provides us with a projected and retrospective view of our farming history, a consistent teaching tool and the means to transfer a legacy of effective, documented farming decisions. Combined with daily availability of market prices, our bookkeeping gives us a real-time snapshot of our financial position.
This same recordkeeping concept has instilled creative and critical thinking for entrepreneurial ideas, helping our family discern between big dreams and financial reality. Through accurate records many ideas have become profit centers.
Born out of necessity our system provides our family with a strong platform to launch any new innovative farming initiatives."
Hayhurst writes from Terre Haute