My parents drilled into me that it's not what happens that matters…it's what you do about it. I think it was their way of getting me to take personal responsibility, be forward-looking and do the right thing no matter what. Now our kids hear those words over and over from both Jonathan and me—and I occasionally have to remind myself to take them to heart.
Today's times of tremendous risk and opportunity in agriculture make those words to live by. Making the best of what you've got means something different to every farmer in our nationwide readership ranks, but the challenge is the same: Make 2008 a milestone year.
Take what has happened and what you've learned and use it to do an even better job next year. That's exactly what the attendees at the first-ever Farm Journal Corn College were doing in August. They spent 14-hour days learning the nuances of soils, fertility, technology and production practices to fine-tune their corn-growing skills. The enthusiasm in that room was impressive!
The groups in both sessions were revved up about raising corn, regardless of what Mother Nature or the markets bring. The good news is that challenging production years like 2008 are the ones you can learn the most from. Problem spots in fields that might be masked in a stellar growing year are incredibly obvious. Watch for them from the combine, and keep pushing ahead. What you learn from 2008 can help create a milestone year that sets the stage for the crops—and yields—to come.