I believe the key to success is building a great management team. We use Purina, who has a dedication to research, for our livestock nutritional needs. Mike Langan, with Farm Credit Services, provides excellent financial advice. Kyle Gifford, Gifford & Cox LLC, does our tax planning. Brent Hauxwell, Hauxwell Consulting, supplies us with all of our agronomy work and recommendations. Mike Skolout, Farm Credit Services, handles all of our crop insurance needs. Dennis Smith, Archer Financials, gives us marketing advice. Waid Vontz, Farmers Mutual, keeps tabs on our farm and vehicle insurance. Dr Wayne Watkins DVM, Red Willow Animal Clinic, helps us with herd health. Janice keeps the books, separating our costs by entity, payroll, and health insurance. There are also many very good people we work with on seed selection, chemical purchases, fuel contracts, cattle buyers, parts retailers, and general suppliers. Cell phones have become a necessity instead of a luxury as good communication is very important.
We manage twelve different farms, and another five with Barrett, each varies in size from a quarter section to four sections. All inputs, yields, and soil samples are kept separate on each field of every farm. Our local elevator has accounts and splits for each farm with the same number as the Farm Service Agency, which helps when the reports are generated. Each farm is split by fields to where there is always wheat, corn and fallow in rotation. This helps especially in share crop lease so the landlord always has two crops to market each year. We report all yields and planting dates to the insurance team and the Farm Service Agency. In the event of a crop loss, payments are generated from these averages. We pride ourselves in maintaining high averages with minimal crop losses.
We are being affected by numerous changes in the demand for agricultural products, rising costs of production, rapid advances in agricultural production technology, and uncertain government policies. These and other issues facing our occupation are often complex and management strategies and practices must keep pace. With our management team we can meet these challenges, making our goals easier to reach.
Our shop is kept clean and tool and parts stored in a specific place so we are not having to spend time looking for what we need. With time management we become more productive and can accomplish numerous tasks with less effort. Time management facilitates reduction in wasted time and effort, therefore providing us with more productive time throughout the day. A list of things to do help the crew know what needs done and is updated constantly. Whatever time allows; whether it is a day for an inside job or outside job; everyone knows what needs to be done.
According to the National Safety Council, agriculture is the most hazardous industry in the nation. Dangers include chemicals, dust, electricity, grain bins, augers, hand tools, lifting, and much more. We have reviewed the OSHA regulations and have fire-proof cabinets for our flammables, fire extinguishers, required signs, emergency numbers posted, ground fault electric plugs where required, high pressure bottles chained, and much more. We have a spill prevention control and countermeasure plan in place. We also have a farm safety handbook that covers everything we encounter . Safety meetings are always a highlight (or not) but necessary for awareness of all of our hazards.
This all keeps us quite busy but there are more things in life than working all of the time on the farm. Janice finds time to sit on the board at Hillcrest Nursing Home in McCook and is the treasure for that board, also the secretary for the Nursing Home Foundation. She also is the secretary/treasurer for Trinity Lutheran Cemetery board. Phil is the president at Peace Lutheran Church and the president for Trinity Lutheran Cemetery board. He also is an alternate for the FSA committee and the county zoning board. There is always time for the things that are important in life especially our faith in Jesus Christ.