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Advisor

Re: Hog Buildings

I go back to a point i made in a previous post...I think she should work in a unit as similar as possible to the one she wants to build, for no less than a year, before anyone even gives her proposal the time fo day. 

Our now-30-year-old daughter wanted to work with Daddy when she graduated from high school.  We got her assigned to a summer internship at a company sow farm, just so she could see how day-in, day-out hogs would work in her life. 

She had grown up with us raising hogs, so knew the smelly side, and the no vacation side of things.  How is this girl going to go away for cattle shows, and leave the hogs unattended?  No way! 

It gave her an appreciation for our decision to work with smaller, nursery pigs only, as better for us as we aged, and better for females to handle.  That was actually our bottom-line rationale for becoming nursery growers - not to have to drag anything that weighed more than 75 pounds.  We have realized this niche gave us tons of other advantages, but that was just dumb luck. 

The more I think about this whole story, I think perhaps her father wants the barn, and has set her eye on the eight acres for the hog building(s?) to guilt Granddad into giving her a break on it. 

Our buildings are in a woods- enclosed tract where no one can see them.  People tend noy to smell hogs unless they can see the buildings..  Complaints have been filed with our state against empty buildings, just because people thought they had pigs in them, and I suppose that they could extort money out of the farmer that owned them. 

Ask your father how he'd like to have Cargill owning the land and the building, and having the family committed contractually to moving all the manure onto land they own for decades, whether they still want to or not.   IMHO, that is precisely where this one is headed.  She hasn't got a clue....

I will repeat: This is not a glamorous job.  If she makes it a month on a production unit, given what you've told me thus far,  I will be amazed...but, I would NEVER consider putting anyone into hogs until they had actually made a significant stab at learning how to work with them. 

Cargill should be all too willing to help her with gaining some production experience.  If not, then I'd turn my heels and walk away PDQ. 

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Advisor

Re: Hog Buildings

Your post is very apt...looking back on 25 years in business, I can say I've regretted saying "yes" way more than saying "no."  I am way more careful in giving a positive commitment now than I was up to about age fifty.

This situation is one where I think I'd tell the young lady that "My answer is NO, but if you can give me enough good information and ironclad assurances, it might change to YES." 

That is what I did with our kids as they got to be teenagers, and wanted to travel outside our direct supervision.  They learned to give me very good intel if they actually wanted to do something.  I transferred this policy to salesmen and equipment reps, during the construction of this farm.  I am sure it saved me all sorts of grief, and many tens of thousands of dollars. 

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Senior Contributor

Re: Hog Buildings

It is when you are constantly saying yes to everything and start saying no, people show their real personalities. Most people want to work with those who will agree with them and don't challenge them for better results. Good advice of show me WHY I should agree with you before making a final decision. Thanks for it.

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Advisor

Re: Hog Buildings

I can still picture the look on the face of the first salesman I said that to: "I will treat you just like my three teenaged kids, whom I adore.  For now, the answer is NO, but if you can give me a good enough reason to change my mind, it might become yes."

Never saw the jerk again, and he would have cost me an extra $52 K for what I eventually learned was a bait-and-switch ventilation package for a dozen buildings.  He got several guys who trusted too much.  That experience alone taught me not to waver on this policy.  Also, why I say this kid will be used and abused. 

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