Map Your DNA

February 28, 2012 10:09 PM

Your character is your biggest advantage to success

Though farmers come in all shapes and sizes, there is a common thread among those who are successful. Their DNA—which includes attitude, self-control, interpersonal skills, a big-picture outlook, quest for knowledge and resourcefulness—is unchanging through the twists and turns of production agriculture.

"Your greatest asset is not your grain, equipment or land," explains Moe Russell of Russell Consulting Group. "It’s integrity and entrepreneurial skills."

To map your DNA, rate yourself from 1 to 5 (5 being the best) on how well you accomplish the following. Take this exercise a step further and have your spouse and/or business partner(s) rate you and see how your answers compare.

Attitude, Habits and Disciplines

  • I feel I control my own destiny.
  • I do not blame others when things go wrong.
  • I give credit where it’s due.
  • I have a sense of urgency.

Interpersonal Skills

  • I work well with teams.
  • I have empathy and think win-win.
  • I admit when I am wrong.

Seeing the Big Picture

  • I concentrate on urgent and important items.
  • I concentrate on what is right, not who is right.
  • I have written plans.
  • I think growth is a result of doing things right.

Thirst for Knowledge

  • I have passionate curiosity and am always learning.

Networking With Other Successful Farmers

  • I enjoy seeing others be successful.

Viewing Problems and Challenges as Opportunities

  • I am confident but not arrogant.
  • I have overcome adversity and learned from it.
  • I am resourceful at solving problems.
  • I understand and anticipate cycles.
  • I am a prudent risk-taker.


ProfitCollege thumb

March 7, Ames, Iowa, Gateway Hotel and Conference Center

Farm Journal Profit College will deliver practical tips and tools to maximize crop and animal production profitability and feature the expertise of Farm Journal columnists Bob Utterback and Moe Russell and Top Producer columnist Chris Barron.

Registration: $149. Attend the Farm Journal Planter Clinic the day before and pay only $119 to attend Profit College. To register, call (877) 482-7203 or visit www.


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