Editor's Notebook: Do the "Little Things" Right

February 6, 2016 02:28 AM
Editor's Notebook: Do the "Little Things" Right

Aside from farmers, the people I enjoy interviewing most are team coaches—the folks who lead college basketball or football, in particular. They have a way of motivating players by saying things that are as true in life as they are on the court or field.

Many years ago, before a big NCAA basketball game I was covering for the Associated Press, I asked the coach how his underdog team was planning to beat those giant powerhouse players from the other side. What tricks did he have up his sleeve? 

I’ll never forget what that coach, Bruce Weber, said as the hectic preparations for the Big Game buzzed around him in the gym: “It’s simple,” he said in that raspy voice of his. “I tell the guys if they do the ‘little things’ right, if they focus on the fundamentals, they’ll have success.”

Fast-forward the better part of two decades, and I find myself thinking of Coach Weber’s wise words when I consider what farmers, whether row-crop or livestock, are facing this season. You have a very tough opponent—a soft ag economy—and the stakes are high.

You might think you need a newfangled gadget or strategy. You might think you need to switch up your crop mix or do something else differently. (Who knows? Maybe you do.)

But, all things being equal, Coach Weber would tell you this: Focus on the fundamentals. Farming has always been about efficiency, careful planning and thriftiness. Farm Journal is here to help you in all three areas, and much more.

“Nail the fundamentals,” he would say, “and you’ll have success.” 

At the end of that March night all those years ago, who came out on top? Coach Weber’s Southern Illinois 
Salukis, of course, on a full-court shot at the buzzer.

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