Honored Advisor
Posts: 7,659
Registered: ‎07-18-2011

Re: The next phase in agriculture

I don't know much, and I may fail this time around the "farming" woodshed.  A disturbing time we go through every few years, like the 30's, 50's, 80's, and the whiplash we are trying to survive now.


But I followed my dad's thoughts and worked most of my life trying to get in a place where I could have good relationships with financially strong businesses that need the things I produce.  I will even change what I produce to accomplish that goal if need be..... because I think marketing is "having a buyer for what you produce" discussions always concentrate on price..... ...

I still think what we need is a buyer who wants your product.....

And a coop has never appeared to me to be a "financially strong business.  They are in fact the place where the grain goes when it doesn't have anyplace to go.


The world has changed or maybe we just weren't part of it...... Look at Hogs or poultry ....... or cattle for that matter.  Lets take tyson for instance since we been hashing that one a bit.

Who gets those contracts for buildings, feed ingredients, fertilizer, trucking,,,, etc......  Do you really think a business like that builds in a community and looks to rely on a struggling farmer, or the guy who needs a job for his old truck?  No ... A strong financial business looks for other strong businesses they can depend on getting the job done or supplying quality product or service.  That is why those contracts are usually not that easy to get.


Now lets focus........ My dad lived out in potato, mellon, and fruit areas of colorado when he was young, one of his thoughts is "never produce a product that cannot be sold publicly".  He had seen the devastation of contract forming and lived through days in the pre ww2 when the potato company could reject your crop and still make you lock the doors on your contracted production.  Where farmers unlocked them at night so the neighborhood could get something to eat. 

Without  the financial strength to reach a fair agreement and deal from a position of respect, or be able at any time to say no to an agreement that is stacked against you...... contracting does not work.

Do we really assess our areas well enough to understand the commerce being done? or do we just concentrate on our little world?  Isn't there some business in that area that is doing well, growing,  using products.  Are we the one the ethanol plant calls when it is a few loads of corn short?  And what does it take to be on a first name basis with the guy who makes the call?  Would these "Grass fed, home grown, know your source of food" times we live in justify a few feeding pens down on the corner to market a little grain.  or even one of those chicken houses.  It worked before.  But nothing works without a relationship with the buyer or an agent or distributer for the buyer.