So, we’re in year seven of a two-year agricultural downturn. (This is my private joke from an old H&G series called Weekend Warriors, where homeowners would embark on projects with a projected time frame of four days. It would show them on day 6, day 14….  I think day 67 was the longest one.) Weather, trade, and circumstance have created long-running low commodity prices. Government payments will account for one-third to as much as one-half of farm income this year. 

Special Set of Skills

But these payments don’t keep farmers farming, although they do keep them in business. Farmers farm because they have a very special set of skills: balancing costs and revenue, knowing when to plant and what to plant, deciding what products (of an ever-increasing array) to use, when to take risks, and when to play it safe. They make big decisions every day and live with the outcomes.

Farmers Are Resilient

In talking with farmers for over 35 years, it’s amazing how many of them have a story of near failure, being close to abject ruin, only to come back through a combination of hard work, smart decisions, and cooperative weather. These trials build strong character, commitment, and pride.

“Learn to code” is not an option for these warriors dressed in plaid shirts and seed corn caps. These warriors have a special set of skills found in few people, and those skills feed and cloth us every day.

By the way, as many of you already know (because I sent out an announcement), Millennium Research, Inc. has moved to a small rural town in Texas. Drive out a mile or two and there’s beef cows and round bales. It feels good to be out among the type of folks I’ve talked with over the years.

When you’re in need of market and customer insight, think of using a professional with another set of very special skills — unearthing the key insights you need to move your business forward.