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Esteemed Advisor

Maybe you should accept the TRUTH

Well, raining again this morning so I have a few minutes to waste on this site. Apparently, no one is willing to debate factually, or strategy wise on this site anymore, just lots of drivel.

 

My response will offend 95% of you guys, so if you have enough courage, keep an open mind to the reality as it is, not as you want it to be. If your mind is closed, save yourself the antacid  tablets and skip this one.

 

First, if you think Kip is going bankrupt you are a delusional. He has not grown like the "family farm" model of rapid growth. He has grown his business gradually over the last 30 years. (Admittedly, adding a few thousand acres one year might not be gradual for some but it was back before prices took off. He also added it in high revenue, low risk ways, like irrigated seed corn, both here and in Argentina.) He has actually dropped a few acres recently. So, he would qualify for a PEAK TOM rant from MT.

 

Second, the fact he uses the subsidized crop insurance that all of you use is not a cause for condemination. As a percent of revenue it is FAR lower than yours. Oh, by the way, he also lobbies for an end to the crop insurance subsidy I think. Crop insurance is not very valuable in his business as he does lots of specialized stuff that is not insurable. So, the subsidy actually helps his competition more than it helps him.

 

Most importantly, his business is the way of the future. It matters not if you like it. You can call him names if it makes you feel better but it won't solve the economic reality. He is a agressive manager of assets in an ASSET driven industry. He is a aggressive marketer of his family's skills at managing a production process (like seed, or vegetables, or potatoes). He also gives alot of resources to charity and alot of his time to public service. He operates a family business. His is a FAMILY FARM by any definition.

 

And yes, we have tried to imitate him in some ways. His focus on process control and benchmarking is world class for any industry. His people skills are excellent by any standard. And yes, he has a flair of confidence that is politically uncorrect these days.

 

So, I would suggest that you gents may want to study the future and learn from it instead of crying in your watered down beers. You might not want to hear it, but I can list at least 30 indiana farms that are similar to Kip's. All with tons of equity and integrity and a hard core focus on providing outstanding returns for the stakeholders (we include landowners as core stake holders btw). Just some recent names in the news, Anson, Villwock, Unger, Neal, Belstra Milling, Fair Oak,  the list is pretty long frankly. Heck, I didn't even include those in our peer groups.

 

And yes, all of those families have some weaknesses, or have made some mistakes, no one is perfect, not even you guys.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senior Advisor

Re: Maybe you should accept the TRUTH

Great Post Time ! 

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Veteran Advisor

Re: And you thought i was an

I think his principles of management are what we should be talking about. The size of his farm gets him noticed. But his mgt. Style is why he is there. But I will admit that the world looks down on someone of lesser size. That may not be entirely the truth of the matter. But it did rub me the wrong way when he kinda put down guys who milk their own cows. I like to do that. I do not enjoy managing people. But I also use technology when it makes sense and I have more to learn and use. I watch watch my inventory as he does using a different method but I still do it. And I know people in washington DC also.
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Senior Contributor

Re: Maybe you should accept the TRUTH

Good info, right now, with cheap and readily avail money , it is pretty easy to grow a farming business big, very fast by aggressively managing your assets (borrowing up to the hilt).  $10 million spent in one year on new iron is a load on anyone's balance sheet.  Lets see how bullet proof he is if these ag receipts drop in half and interest rates bump up a couple of points in another year.

Good article, though, and thanks to Time for his 2 cents.

 

Edit:

As far as talking to Tom Vilsack, I met and had a nice visit with Christy Vilsack (Tom's wife) once at the Iowa State Fair. Does that mean anything?

And, sounds like he is in the bIg M's pocket. I sure wouldn't be crazy about that.

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Highlighted
Veteran Contributor

Re: Maybe you should accept the TRUTH

Oh... I have accepted the truth as a realist! I am in the peak corn corn camp as well. But with a twist. Peak oil will beget peak corn. A PURGE is coming again. It will not be the Joe farmer that will be purged. It will be these Wall Mart Mega farmers. And Landowners listen up! Your setting in tall cotton right now with your exhorbant cash rents under multi year cash leases, but when the ship goes down, what chair on the deck do you want to be in? I wonder how many of his landlords has leans on his crop annually. My bet is "0" because he is "just to smart to fail". I hope his moment of purge will be swift and violent, because you know he has had to step on some young up and coming farmers dreams to get where he is at. The Government subsidies has did this to our american agriculture. Yes I say, $250,000 Gross Income and you recieve "0" government  subsidies. For every 1 of these mega farmers I know 5 Young men that need a chance. F%$* him! Working as a hired man for him at minimum wage is just another form of slavery. Independance and Freedom are not what this guy is about! He is a globalist and in pursuit of a one world government and currency, so he can continue to build his empire. When is enough..... enough? Greed is killing our nation.

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Maybe you should accept the TRUTH

Thank you Time, couldnt have said it any better!

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Advisor

Re: And you thought i was an

Seems to be pretty proud of himself. How often one forgets his Creator who allows him to take his next breath.
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Senior Contributor

Re: And you thought i was an

If you think bigger is better would have to disagree. I see in my backyard the bigger are the ones who have the most prevent plant. The bigger are still the ones with lots of beans to combine. The bigger are the biggest a $$ holes . The bigger do nothing for rural america buy there inputs direct support no local businesses. Leave miles and miles of fence unfixed with pastures empty. If you want to see rural America keep imploding and schools shuttering and unemployment keep increasing then you are for a corporate America. Myself would like to see a few neighbors left. You must be awful stuck on yourself if you think you need to farm and own everything.
Honored Advisor

Re: And you thought i was an

Not knowing the guy, I have to wonder about the writer of the article. 

 

Is the grower really like this or is the writer just a small tater in the patch that is so enamored with anybody fairly big or does he have a way with words that just turns everybody off towards the main character in the article? Maybe has an adjenda of his own?

 

Very poorly written in my opinion.

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Veteran Contributor

Re: Maybe you should accept the TRUTH

Time,

 

I have no doubt that Mr. Tom's is a great manager with great people skills.   Obviously to get to that size you have to be smart and organized.  I would also applaud him for being able to work with the corporate big boys.  

 

That being said he is either on the EWG crop insurance list or he's not.   The big boys like Monsanto that he is working with expect him to take advantage of every program out there.  They expect 90% of the benefits to be passed thru to them, however.   

 

The bankers and the corporate hacks buying his products aren't Liberterians I can guarantee that.

 

Been there done that and currently settling for the sedate life of owning and tiling my land.  Farming for myself and not the corporate boys anymore.    Oh and playing amateur economist on ag.com and poking at MT every once in a while.

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