Happy New Year, dear friends. And so I begin Year Two of ReachOut articles. I aim to bring you timely, pertinent, and actionable articles this year. I hope to make you laugh as I keep you informed. And I am resolute: no mixed metaphors.
This is the time of year of College Bowl games and the NFL Playoffs. Many of the shiniest stars of January are the quarterbacks, and regardless of the rules that spare them the absolute melee of defensive ends, you have to admire their jobs as they decide, command, and execute the game on the field.
In the brief 35 seconds between plays, a quarterback must make dozens, if not hundreds, of decisions based on what he sees in an opposing defense. Who is lined up where? Over what? What formation are they in? Am I gonna get blizted?
He makes an audible, checks to ensure that receivers are in the right routes, and that running backs are in the right protections. Then, Omaha Alert Alert Blue 42 and Hike.
It’s a position that requires a high level of aptitude, adaptability, creativity, and training to parse situations quickly and make the right decisions.
Much like an FSA. That aptitude, adaptability, creativity, and training are vital characteristics that help FSAs maintain a level of situational awareness to help you succeed in your operations. They spend time in important training sessions to keep up on the proper implementation of new and innovative products so that they can deliver the right solutions to your farm exactly when needed.
Thought that you were the quarterback? No. You, friend, are the coach, the Grand Orchestrator of the game. What skill the quarterback brings to the game you match in vision. Working together, the two of you can meet and perhaps exceed (it’s the New Year—we can dream a little) your operational goals and aspirations for 2014 and beyond.
Just as a strong personal and professional relationship between coach and quarterback can launch a football team into the stratosphere, so can a strong relationship between you and your FSA accelerate the success of your operation. Face to face planning with your FSA in 2014 will assist you in the development of your long term goals and direction and the discovery of your challenges and limitations. Working together, you and your FSA will find opportunities to increase your yield and profitability and build a comprehensive game plan that optimizes your investments, assets, inputs, and labor.
This comprehensive plan will not only guide and direct the game that is the growing season, but will also serve as the predetermined audible when field conditions demand a course adjustment. You don’t need me to remind you of the ever changing whims of weather and nature. With your comprehensive plan in place though, whatever the insect, disease, hailstorm, or cold snap, everyone, from you to your FSA to the people handling your billing will know the new play. The transition from what was best to what is best now will be seamless, elegant, and will position you for the biggest gain possible.
There is nothing better than seeing a well-executed play. Unfortunately, as a Dallas fan, I don’t get to see those very often on the football field. But as your agronomist, I aim always to produce them in your growing fields. Me and the FSA team at United Farmers Cooperative have a deep commitment to bringing your operations new ways to increase your productivity by 5 bushels in 2014. With communication, knowledge of your operation and situation, and the right planning, you and your FSA can team up to make the coming season your most successful yet.