Over 50% of todays farmers have employment off the farm ... and families ... and lives away from the farm ... so dealing with things (or distractions) pulling you in a variety of directions is a challenge that many farmers face. Learning to balance faith and family (which aren't really distractions ... because they are way more important than the farm) with the farm and town job makes things stressful, but not impossible. Recognizing your priorities and sticking to your values and goals is the key.
Livestock get out of the fence, crops fail, weather doesn't cooperate, things break, animals die, customers get angry, animals get angry, and a million other things that you don't (or do) have control over happen all of the time on the farm. Sometimes it's not a big deal, but other times you question everything you are doing on the farm. It is important to learn the lesson from your disappointments ... make the changes that need to be made ... and move on because if you dwell on the disappointments your farm will wither under your worry.
I have always hated when people say that the best way to make a million dollars as a farmer is to start with two million dollars. The idea that farmers can't or won't make any money just frustrates me, but that doesn't mean that the "dollars" of your farm operation aren't important. You need to know where your money is going ... where it's coming from ... how much each enterprise uses ... and how you keep track of everything throughout the year. Running out of "dollars" will ruin your farm in an instant, but if you don't keep a handle on your "dollars" your stress about them will ruin the farm just as quickly.
My hard lesson this week ... it's an embarrassing one ... deals with that one time that I totally killed the tractor. I mean killed it to the point where it would never drive on my farm again. It was one of those disappointments that almost killed my farm. I'll share a little bit about why it didn't and what I learned from the whole ordeal.
I would love to hear your questions, show ideas, or comments about the show. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail! As always you can follow along with The Beginning Farmer and Crooked Gap Farm by checking out these links ...