Author: admin

MONEY versus LOVE

Dear readers:  I would like to share with you a very special and thoughtful essay written by a friend of mine some time ago. Her words are timeless, and speak volumes. MONEY versus LOVE Lord, Help us remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do laundry and spend a few precious minutes with her children. Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can’t make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.  Encourage him to learn to make change without a calculator.  That way, no one else will be able to cheat him when he buys something with cash. Remind us that the scary-looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day may be a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmare. Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slowly through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year they will go shopping together. Remind us each day that of...

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Minerals – to share or not to share?

09/01/2011 Dear Michael: We have been ranching in eastern Montana for going on sixty years. Our son has been working with us for the past thirty years, along with his wife and children. We have a fairly large ranch and it’s a lot of hard work. Recently, however, they’ve discovered that our minerals are going to be drilled and there’s a possibility that we may see a large revenue stream from this source… In our will, we had the land went to our son and we also had the minerals going to him as well because we didn’t want the minerals split up. We have three other children who know the situation, but don’t seem quite happy with it. Do you think it’s the right thing to do to keep the minerals with the land or do you think they should be split up upon our death? – Mineral Aches   Dear Aches: I applaud you for making provisions so that your son, who has stayed with you for so long, is going to be able to take over the ranch operation.   However, when dealing with my clients, I try to think of all the ‘what if’s?’ that can occur during a person’s lifetime. What if your son inherits the land and then gets an offer for it the next day and sells the entire ranch? What if he...

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Irrational Attachment To A Farm Brings Unhappiness

A farm woman describes the small foothold she and her family made in starting again in farming after having lost their farm to bankruptcy. They are now renting a tractor and several small parcels of land.  Reflecting on the emotional turmoil surrounding the loss of the farm, she made this comment. We were guilty of feeling so strongly for our farm. Never again! It is only a business and a piece of property. If it doesn’t ‘pencil out’, get out.”   That family learned a great lesson. To love something that much and then lose it is to endure great pain. In the end, they found that the farm was a means to an end–a vehicle to generate income in order to sustain a loving family and lifestyle–rather than an end in itself.   Irrational attachment to the farm. A farm, like a child, can absorb attention, resources and energy. There is joy in watching it grow, improve and take on beauty and power. Like a child, a farm makes time demands that correspond to needs that are biologically driven–not by an eight hour day.   A farm, especially one that has been in the family for generations, can be the object of great attachment and adoration. It assumes a mythical quality and a life of its own. “The farm must be kept in the family.” Too many people have...

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Teamwork: Keeping the Tugs Tight

There has never been a greater need for teamwork within our workforce than there is today, nor a more demanding use of my time than that of speaking on the subject of teamwork; about the importance and value of all of us working together! As the economy continues to struggle, the size of the work force continues to dwindle… There has never been a greater need for teamwork within our workforce than there is today, nor a more demanding use of my time than that of speaking on the subject of teamwork; about the importance and value of all of us working together! As the economy continues to struggle, the size of the work force continues to dwindle. This means the same amount of work needs to get done with fewer people and less hours; making the challenge of success far different than it has been in the past.       This is as true in agriculture – particularly livestock operations – as it is in any other segment of labor-driven enterprises. Though the pitch fork and shovel have been replaced with skid-loaders and the like, there is always waste and inefficiency caused by a lack of teamwork and the non- selective positioning of attempting to put a square plug in a round hole. Before considering any important personal management decision you should first tum to your dictionary...

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The Power Of Teamwork

After a lengthy hospital stay, under the care of the Mayo Clinic, I came to realize that the “medical field” is more about people than it is about medicine. Like the fields of any other kind of production, the yields will be in direct relationship with human input and individual decisions. It takes a great medical team to accomplish the life changing experience of revived life, and there would be no way to express this sentiment to each and every individual that participated. The care and compassion of the nursing staff was unbelievable, but one in particular will probably never be forgotten, as she beamed with agriculture and spoke my language like that of a seasoned marketing expert. When Elles Niessen spoke about her life back on the second largest dairy farm in Indiana, there was more to this lady than just milk and cows. She is an attractive individual that conveys achievement to the core of her very being, so I was most pleased to meet this special lady and have the honor of being her first patient, as she began her nursing training at Mayo. Elles and her family are from the Netherlands, further contributing to her many unique qualities. So, it was no surprise to hear that she is the reigning “Dairy Princess” for the state of Indiana. This is perhaps just the tip of the...

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