Thursday, September 26, 2019

Takes One To Know One

The rain keeps coming. There's nothing wrong with the rain...except the timing is off for farmers.  September means harvest.  It's not the beginning of September but in a few short days October will be here.  The forecast holds no promises of good weather.  In fact the opposite--rain and snow flurries.  Swaths lie in the field alongside some standing crops.  Not a good news story for farmers whose business depends on getting the grain from the field to the bin. 

Farmers understand farmers; and I fall into this league.  I am switching gears and putting on my farmer cap. My parents were farmers; my husband’s parents were farmers.  And so are we.   We farm in East Central Saskatchewan.

At a young age, I was introduced to intricate details of farm life. Pigs and chickens needed to be fed. Cows milked.  Grain hauled from the combine to the bin. Manure pitched by hand from corrals in the summer. Hay and straw bales stacked. If you grew up or visited a farm, you know these intricate details too.   

Yet there’s no place on earth I would rather live, be, and work…than on the farm alongside my husband.  As I look at the calendar, feelings of anxiousness mixed with concern and helplessness overshadow the joys of farming.  Because I am in charge of the bookkeeping for the farm, I can see the financial numbers will not look good when this harvest is done.  

The best we can do is look at our past years’ averages (5 or even 10-year average) and know better years will come again like they did in the past. 

In one of many blog posts, Kim Gerencser writes about the importance of knowing your financial numbers.  Not everyone enjoys the financial side of the farming spectrum but your financial statements tell your story to your bankers. And you also benefit from knowing where you stand financially. 

If you are a farmer, I direct you to Kim’s website, Growing Farm Profits, and encourage you to read his insightful messages.  He always ends with an inspiring call-to-action titled “Plan for Prosperity.”

Comrades do battle together. When we are in the farming trenches, we understand the uncontrollable and unforeseen elements and risks.   The best we can do is equip ourselves with knowledge, skill, and unwavering tenacity.  I might also add a heap of faith.     

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