Top Of Mind: The Times, They Are A Changin'


Last month, I sat in Ceres Café in the beautiful Chicago Board of Trade building. For anyone who has been to this historic site at LaSalle and Jackson streets during the past few years, you know the mood and foot traffic was, at best, lackluster.

The shift to electronic futures trading during the 1990s caused the once-packed trading floor to drop in importance during the past decade. In fact, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange officially closed most futures trading pits in early July, ending a 167-year run in the Windy City. 

At the café, I couldn’t help but overhear a floor trader in the booth next to me interviewing for a new job. This happened days before the lights went out on the futures trading pits. Why had he waited so long to seek other employment? Several traders I know left their trading jackets and hand signals a decade ago because they could see the writing on the wall. 

As with farming, though, it is easy to get comfortable and resist change. 

Yet the only constant is change. Just when we think we have it figured out, the wettest summer months in history drown out emerging crops. This summer has been a challenge. But managing risk is nothing new for top producers. We have a great example in this issue with Roric Paulman, one of our 2015 Top Producer of the Year finalists. 

Nice To Meet You. Speaking of change, this spring, I accepted the reins of this wonderful magazine. As a Missouri farm girl, the opportunity to write and learn about business strategies to make farm operations prosper is a dream come true. 

I love meeting farmers who remind me of life on the diversified crop and livestock farm I grew up on, which my parents still run today. 

In my nearly eight years at Farm Journal Media, I’ve written for Top Producer, Farm Journal and, along with spearheading the Tomorrow’s Top Producer conference and several Legacy Project events. I have big shoes to fill following my friend and mentor, Jeanne Bernick. Fortunately, she’s still in our industry as an ag consultant with K-Coe Isom. 

As hard as it is to believe, it won’t be long until winter, when the 2015 Executive Women in Agriculture conference and 2016 Top Producer Seminar will be upon us. Both will take place in downtown Chicago, and I hope you’ll join us. I’m busy planning the agendas now, so please send me any ideas or requests. 

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