We live in a culture obsessed with negativity, and we have the language to prove it. We “wait for the other shoe to drop,” “spiral out of control” and avoid “tempting fate” at all costs.
I’m as guilty as the next person of harboring doubt about the future. Our era of mind-blowing technological innovation and financial volatility leaves us excited and spooked in the same breath.
Yet best-in-class CEO farmers rely on a different mindset, one removed from the fleeting nature of the present. You keep history close at hand while planning for the long-term. You cast a vision beyond yourself and your operation to the next generation and, indeed, the future of our agriculture industry.
You’ll see that mindset come through in this issue, dedicated exclusively to commodity marketing. Farmers who market for the long-term make better decisions, earn more over time and benefit their communities through expansion, new jobs and economic vitality. Use this issue as your point of reference for adopting and cementing best practices for marketing in 2016 and beyond.
If there has ever been a time to set aside the shackles of fear, now would be it. Sure, there are plenty of reasons to lose confidence and assume a defensive position. No one knows what tomorrow holds, and if it means lower commodity prices, shrinking demand or a sudden challenge coming out of the blue, it’s tempting to step away from the table.
Be assured, though, the downside risk of staying away from the table is great. Today, more than at any other time, best-in-class farmers and ranchers are hunkering down and making steady progress. Some will expand. Others will consolidate. Either way, all stand to enjoy long-term profitability because they are dedicated to continuing implementation of CEO practices in rural America.
As you and your team enter 2016, do so with optimism and renewed attention to reality, good and bad. Look for opportunities to learn and mentor others. You can do it—and you must.
Winter Education For Managers and Leaders
Farm Journal Legacy Conference
When: Nov. 17-18
Executive Women in Agriculture
When: Dec. 3-4
Top Producer Seminar
When: Jan. 27-29, 2016
TPEN Signature Event (open to members only)
When: Feb. 8-10, 2016
Where: St. Pete Beach, Fla.