• Josh Flint

    Removing the Human Element From Business Transactions

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on April 15, 2013

    Computers: love em, hate em … eh? Regardless of how you feel, they’re part of everyday life…for the most part. By in large, when folks are conducting a business transaction in person, they still prefer a human cashier. Case in point, the automated cashier lines at grocery stores, lumber yards and the post office are typically ignored by the masses. It’s quite the oddity in a nation where one of the largest retailers (Amazon) doesn’t even have a…

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  • Josh Flint

    Illinois Fence Law May Be Different Than You Thought

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on March 8, 2013

    Every so often I’ll get a call from a reader who has a legal question that I have no idea how to answer. In most instances, I’ll suggest calling a lawyer. At one point, we had the resources to investigate this sort of thing. Not so much anymore. However, the Illinois Farm Bureau does a terrific job of keeping up on farmers’ legal queries. At the Governmental Affairs Leadership Conference, livestock program director Jim Fraley explained a facet of Illinois fence law…

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  • Josh Flint

    Hey Dad, What's the Estate Plan?

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on November 21, 2012

    Tomorrow, there will be turkey, gravy, potatoes, football and pie. Somewhere in there, you’ll also have time for family discussion and fellowship. With the uncertainty surrounding estate taxes, you may have an opportune time to approach this difficult subject. For many in the older generation, this may be the last thing you want to discuss. After all, it does remind you of your own mortality. However, if you’ve got a son or daughter farming with you, you’re not just…

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  • Josh Flint

    Sometimes You Just Want To Know If It Will Work on Your Farm

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on June 24, 2012

    University research is a terrific thing. Great academic minds take the time to limit variables and replicate trials over numerous years and sites. Still, after years of testing, it may not answer your one burning question … will this work on my farm? For this reason, I love the format of Beck's Hybrids' Practical Farm Research program. Led by Jason Webster, this team, which also includes Clayton Stufflebeam and a slew of interns, is out to answer that one burning question for their…

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  • Josh Flint

    Tips for Marketing Your Farm to Potential Landlords

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on January 17, 2012

    Most folks define marketing as how well you sell your crop. In the February Prairie Farmer, we’re looking at a different type of marketing. How well do you market your farm to potential landlords? This series of stories started with some fairly simple farm resume questions. Pretty soon, I was collecting advice for young farmers on how to gain acreage. It’s a huge topic with a lot of “fine lines.” For example, experts agree it’s o.k. to send out introductory…

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  • Josh Flint

    Reacting to Washington's Whims Is No Sunday Picnic

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on October 27, 2011

    When President Obama visited Wyffels Hybrids several months ago, Holly Spangler noted the first question came from farmer Rock Katschnig. In essence, Katschnig voiced his concern about additional regulations hindering the way he does business. In a very political manner, Obama asked for further clarification on the question. Then he somewhat sidestepped the question by saying Katschnig should work closely with the USDA on this topic. Well Mr. President, I wanted to revisit this topic…

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  • Josh Flint

    Can Baseball Teach Us Something About Farming?

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on July 5, 2011

    A lifelong fan of Major League Baseball (St. Louis Cardinals), when a friend told me about a book called Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis it quickly leapfrogged to the top of my reading list. The book looks at Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s novel approach to building a baseball team. Faced with a scant budget in the early 2000s, Beane seeks to build a team based heavily on statistics, rather than scouts’ projections. For example…

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  • Josh Flint

    Consolidating Specialty Acres Could Present Opportunities for Growth

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on March 10, 2011

    If you ever get the chance to hear Texas A&M’s Danny Klinefelter speak, you should definitely take advantage of it. I had just such an opportunity last week at his brother Skip’s farm in Nokomis. Too often, some of us are guilty of narrowing our focus to exactly what is going on in our state, region, county or township. Danny does a great job of analyzing global and national factors and showing you how that may affect your farm. Last week, Danny made a great point…

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  • Josh Flint

    What Are You Willing To Pay More For?

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on February 18, 2011

    A month ago, I installed a new radio in my car. I’ve replaced the radio in other cars, but this was the first time I did it myself. Previously, I was under the impression that paying someone to install it was well worth the expense. This time, it would have cost roughly $70 to install it. Considering the radio retailed for about $125, I didn’t see the value in bumping my bill up to $200 for something I could do myself. It took me about three hours, but I got it done. It…

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  • Josh Flint

    Winter Meetings Yield Important Take-Home Points

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on January 14, 2011

    Tis the season for winter meetings. I hit three meetings/seminars/conferences in one week. Lots of excellent info at each one, but there’s always several tidbits that seem to hang around in your mind, days after the actual meetings are over. It’s just good common sense stuff. Things that maybe you’ve never thought of before. Or, stuff that’s obvious, yet it’s been a while since you considered it. For example, at the Farm Futures Summit in St. Louis, Purdue…

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