ReachOut: More Rules

ReachOut: More Rules from Central Valley Ag on Vimeo.

Mike Zwingman

Mike Zwingman

For my newest readers, a brief explanation: Every now and then, I endeavor to share my perspective—my own rulebook—on how to thrive in our industry.  My Rules offer a quick glimpse into the workings of my own brain as I support you and your operation.  If you like what you see below, you can visit my last installment of rules here:

So, in no particular order…

Rule #5: Don’t be a slave to convenience.

Choosing to do something or be something or buy something because it is easy often leads us astray of the “correct” decision.  For example, convenience has led us to feed ourselves and our families McDonald’s for dinner instead of cooking ourselves something much healthier and much tastier.  Convenience has led us to the abject horror that is a microwave burrito.  It has also led us to apply nitrogen in the fall when our workload is light but when potential for loss is greatest, and it has led us to use things like default planter settings, which is the greatest horror of all.

Rule #23: Process over product.

If you’ve built a way to raise corn or soybeans or whatever it is you raise, don’t destroy it.  If your system works, stay in it.  Don’t take away from it.  Don’t make it cheaper—make it better.

Rule # 31: It’s your farm, so lead.

I talk about trusted advisors.  They’re good people to have around, but use them for what they are: trusted advisors.  In other words, make the decision yourself.  Don’t leave the destiny of your operation in the hands of another.  Have advisors, and trust them, but make the final call yourself and own it.

Rule #45: We don’t live in a vacuum.

If only!  We live and work in a time where boat loads of information about our operations and industry is available to the general public.  We live and work in a time where any geek can fix a Go-Pro camera to a drone and buzz it over our fields.  Whatever.  The problem arises when we let these others tell our story for us.  We need to tell our own story.  We need to, at times, stand up and defend our industry.  Your voice rings just as clearly as theirs.  Use it.  (Teaser: more to come on this topic in 2015.)

Rule #11: When the job is done, walk away.Blue Box

No explanation necessary: it’s done, so be like a Beatle and let it be.  Move on.

Rule #43: The answer is in the “and.”

I can go to the gym and watch the Cowboys game.  You can be happy and successful.  You can plant late and have great yields.  None of these things are mutually exclusive.  Pursue the genius of the “and.”

(But Rule 43B: Sometimes you do have to choose between being right and being happy.  Something I’ve learned over nine years as a Cowboys fan…)