Farm Management Minute: Important to recognize joys of ag in stressful times
“I believe that to live and work on a good farm, or to be engaged in other agricultural pursuits, is pleasant as well as challenging; for I know the joys and discomforts of agricultural life and hold an inborn fondness for those associations which, even in hours of discouragement, I cannot deny.”
This is the second paragraph of The FFA Creed written by E.M. Tiffany in 1928. My son is learning this creed for his agricultural class, and it is as relevant today as it was then, considering the joys and discomforts we are currently seeing in agriculture.
This year, the joys may be more difficult to see than they were in recent years. Financial worries tend to take attention away from the everyday joys that come with the agricultural lifestyle. In my mind, it is in stressful times like these that is even more important to recognize the joys that come with our industry. Our children raised in agriculture will know the joy of helping a newborn calf come into the world and the satisfaction of watching their cows in a green pasture. Hopefully, this lifestyle will help them recognize and appreciate the small, priceless things in life. For me, that is a huge joy that is found in agriculture. I believe we will survive in agriculture; it is the backbone of our state and national economies, and no group of people as a whole are more resilient than ag producers.
It is true we are currently having some significant discomforts in agriculture, but they are no different than what we have faced in the past. As the last sentence of the creed paragraph states; “even in hours of discouragement, I cannot deny an inborn fondness for this industry.” Even in the hours of discouragement, there are days of opportunity. The cattle and grain cycle will come around. Every time we have set backs, it makes us more aware of efficiency in our operation and also forces us to become better managers. Agriculture is a business, and it needs to be treated like one. Keep a close eye on areas of profit and loss and make changes as needed. The rising sun in the FFA emblem symbolizes progress and it is as appropriate now as it was in 1928.
If you have questions about your operation and need help with financial management, contact David Koupal with the South Dakota Center for Farm/Ranch Management at 605 995-7193 or 1800 MTI 1969, email David.Koupal@mitchelltech.edu.