With 2008 coming to a close, I hope everyone had a safe, productive year. I've heard a lot of people were pleasantly surprised with their yields following such a difficult planting season.
That being said, it's time to do it all over again. Hopefully, next year will be even better. Since you can't always count on the weather or markets, perhaps you can do something to ensure a successful 2009.
A couple weeks ago, an Illinois farmer told me about his annual ritual. Near the end of every year, he pinpoints one thing on his farm and tries to do it better in the coming year.
Mind you, he has a couple ground rules. First, it has to be something he can realistically change within a year. Also, he evaluates the change at the end of the year. The point is, he hopes to make this one change and see a real payoff after harvest. He says this has made him a better, more efficient farmer.
Also, he's gone on stretches of changing and tweaking the same thing for several years straight, simply because last year's change didn't pan out.
I really like this farmer's idea. Essentially, it's a New Year's Resolution for your job. After some long deliberation, I've decided to make one change for 2009 in my job.
Here's my commitment: I will reorganize Prairie Farmer's archived files. By changing this one thing, I'll be more efficient when it comes to finding file photos, agendas, past articles, etc. Plus, it will be easier to unload my SD card after a photo shoot.
If this sounds like a good idea, chime in and let me know what you're going to change for 2009.
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