Top of Mind: Farming Forward

May 31, 2017 02:47 AM

Agriculture today is an exciting—albeit challenging—profession. Limited capital, growth decisions, commodity marketing, risk management and generational differences of opinion are just a few of the obstacles facing all farmers, but especially young ones.

That’s why we’ve dedicated this special edition of Top Producer to early career farmers. You’ll meet numerous operators, many of them 40 and under, who are carrying on family traditions, reimagining business models and thriving even in today’s trying farm economy. 

Time-Tested Advice. We’ve spoken to ag experts across the country to hone in on the best advice for young producers. Don’t miss the great insights from our columnists in this issue. Although this information is targeted toward the next generation of farm leaders, we think you’ll find it applicable regardless of your career stage.

Speaking of good advice, I want to share some recommendations Bret Oelke, owner of ag business consulting company Innovus Agra, presented to attendees at our Tomorrow’s Top Producer conference this past year. As farmers transition into leadership he encourages them to:

  • Take intelligent and calculated risks.
  • Act like an owner, even if you aren’t one.
  • Be decisive. Remember: It’s not the big fish that eats the small fish, it’s the fast fish that eats the slow fish.
  • If you don’t ever fail, you are not taking enough risk.
  • Surround yourself with people that are positive and supportive. 
  • Learn from successful businesses inside and outside of production ag.

Thank you to the young men and women who are dedicating their careers to farming and ranching. You are bringing just the innovation, skills and energy that our industry needs. 

Summer and Fall Education For Managers and Leaders

Drover’s Cowboy College: Cow-Calf
When: June 20–21    Where: Springfield, Mo. 

Farm Journal Yield Tour
When: July 12    Where: Tremont, Ill.

MILK Business Conference 2017
When: Nov. 6–8    Where: Las Vegas

Executive Women in Agriculture
When: Nov. 29–Dec. 1    Where: Chicago

For more information, visit



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