In fact, this season often meant extra chores, and him doing chores alone as everyone else had the day off. I remember taking two vehicles to Grandma’s so Dad could go home right before Christmas dinner and do chores. I remember waiting for him to return before we could eat, before we could open presents. My brother now leaves for those two to three hours in the late afternoon to do chores, and we wait for him to return.
I’ve wondered, are chores different on the holidays? Livestock needs to be fed and tended to. They don’t know it’s Christmas. I’ve wondered, is the mindset different during those two to three hours on Christmas than it would be on a normal day?
The mindset may be more toward hope, and being hopeful for a new year. Some of the hope I believe our customers are thinking about this Christmas may be the following:
Understanding and Focus. There have been a lot of new toys, technologies and trends showing up on the ag front lately. It’s a little like opening – and then having to assemble – some presents on Christmas morning. How do farmers understand and merge all of these things together in a cohesive way that actually benefits production and the bottom line?
Credit. Both the kind that comes from the banker, and the kind that comes from consumers. Sometimes farmers feel like they’re working their tails off trying to make everyone happy and that demand cycle just gets crazier each day.
Wisdom. Many farmers today are operating family legacies from the generations that came before them. The pressure to keep the family business going strong for another generation requires the wisdom to understand all of the people involved and what they bring to the table and where the business can excel, while still keeping family at the center. I think this is heavy on their minds as they do Christmas chores.
Vision. So many things about agriculture would be easier if farmers were able to peer into the future. Not all the time, but just now and then to make some important decisions. What will change in business moving forward? Do I have the right people in place? Will this technology take us in the direction of our goals? Are our goals the right ones? And how are we doing in painting this picture for everyone involved?
As we pause the next couple of weeks, reflect on your plans for the new year. How are we working with our customers to help them with what’s on their minds this Christmas season? I may be investing those two to three hours with my brother this year, helping with Christmas chores, and maybe understanding just a little more about how we can help each producer as we enter a new year.
Merry Christmas everyone and a Happy New Year!