Friday, February 26, 2010

Young Farmers Get Advice

Wabash Farmer Passes Tips to Younger Growers
Kip Tom includes more in message than sows and plows.
Compiled by staff
Indiana Prairie Farmer
Published: Feb 26, 2010

Kip Tom is one of those people who can speak from experience. He's put together a large farming operation, and even farmed in South America. Part of his success lies in paying attention to detail. He would tell you another part of it derives form paying attention to which direction the winds are blowing in agriculture, and doing what he can to help agriculture move in the right direction.

Tom was one of the speakers who motivated 50 young couples at an informational and leadership conference hosted by Co-Alliance, Danville, recently. The meeting was held in Indianapolis, and covered an entire weekend. This is the third year that the large co-operative partnership has sponsored this type of event.

Tom, Wabash, has amassed a 15,000 acre farming operation today. But it wasn't just how to grow corps that the young farmers and their wives wanted to ask him about. He fielded question son issues such as balancing the farm with family, and how to succeed in business in an increasingly competitive, regulated environment.

"Run your operation like a business," he encouraged. "Be a vocal advocate for agriculture." That theme was repeated by other speakers and through discussion amongst the participants themselves throughout the conference.

"Be a student," Tom continued. "Invest in yourself and an on-going education. And of course, plan ahead." Read More

There’s always plenty we can learn from the older and wiser generation ahead of us in agriculture. But what impressed me most in this article was the emphasis on off-farm activities such as advocacy work and family time. Both of those things are essential for a successful business. We haven’t always viewed it that way in agriculture but that attitude is now changing.

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