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hardnox
Advisor

for youngsters

I know a guy my age who has done pretty darn well for himself in farming despite not having started with much of a leg up. I think a major part of that was that there was a wise old bird who took him under his wing and gave him some good advice along the way.

 

I'm a lot more circumspect about offering advice than I once was but I think it will serve you well to sell forward as far as you comfortably can following short crops. It may turn out to be wrong once or twice but over a long career of say a dozen of those events it will treat you well. If there are a dozen of those events that means there are 24 years comprising the two years following an event and doing better than average on 24 over 60 years will add up.

 

Beyond that, active marketing is a pretty tricky game and studies have indicated that active marketers don't necessarily do better. I think that is the exception.

 

The psychological hurdle to that is that coming off a short crop you're probably feeling bad about not hitting the big one. Don't, even a lot of the guys at the coffee shop who claimed to didn't either. Turn the page.

 

As the old Pennsylvania Dutch saying goes, "we get too soon old and too late smart."

 

 

8 Replies
hardnox
Advisor

Re: for youngsters

Of course with da guvmint extending (semi?) permanent tenure to ultra large operators, maybe there won't be any young farmers to speak of, at least in the commodity space.

 

Guess they can still join 4-H.

 

Sorry, just had to get my rant in.

 

Gonna go do something productive, or at least that's the intent.

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k-289
Senior Advisor

Re: for youngsters

nox  -  another  is  more  truth  than  poetry  --- 

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425Cat
Advisor

Re: for youngsters

Can't the little guy keep costs down and still survive. Or will it become economy of scale and small margin

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hardnox
Advisor

Re: for youngsters

The vast war chests that have been accumulated over the last decade and then protected by da guvmint will be used to beat them into submission.

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hardnox
Advisor

Re: for youngsters

That is the nature of commodity businesses.

 

Particularly if "downward mobility" isn't politically acceptable.

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425Cat
Advisor

Re: for youngsters

Trying to decide whether to encourage my son to farm or use his business degree elsewhere. What will things look like in five years.
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hardnox
Advisor

Re: for youngsters

My opinion, fwiw.

 

Surely depends on your position to set him up to be competitive in a landscape that is looking a lot like the conferral of hereditary status on a few nobles.

 

Lacking that I think the opportunities will be there but they'll be more unconventional in nature. I'm sure there will be people who do very well with things that I never would have dreamed of.

 

As far as the business degree goes, I think that is great and my observation is that most entrepreneurs didn't just wake up some morning with a brilliant idea. They were involved in something along the lines of what they create and in a lot of cases even get their start with a bit of business that they're on the inside track for.

 

So I'd say thinking along the lines of the food/marketing space might be more fruitful than commodity production?

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hardnox
Advisor

Re: for youngsters

PS.

 

That would be the reason why for everyone else who isn't in a royal hereditary line (i.e., almost everybody) the best public policy is simply to not subsidize commodity agriculture.

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