It's National Ag Day!
We are proud to help feed the cows that feed a hungry nation and world. We love this industry and the people who care for our favorite animal. They make milk, beef, cheese, leather, ice cream, (and, *sigh*) butter possible!
Farmers, and those that work with them, are facing difficult times. Too many years of low prices and high input costs wear on the spirit and the finances. Fending off critical, often unfounded opinions, negotiating through and complying with labor, taxation, and environmental regulations take a toll on the industry's soul. For many of us, farmers and industry alike, animal agriculture is a way of life that we have known - all our lives. Frankly, suicide hotlines and rural mental health programs are poised to rescue those that need it.
We all face challenges, some similar and some different from each other. We don't claim to have answers to the myriad of difficult situations, but we are sharing a tool that has worked for us in rough times.
CTC - Control the Controllables.
- What challenges are in your control?
- What challenges do you have some control over?
- What do you have no control over at all?
Sit down with three pieces of paper, writing a header for each - Control, Some Control, and No Control. Start writing!
I've got this!
Acknowledge the variables that you do well with - that you have under Control. Maybe your breeding program is dialed in, or your labor situation is up to snuff. Maybe your kids are doing well at school and you're in the best shape of your life! What protocols and procedures are in place that make these items work like a clock?
I could do better.
What do you have Some Control over or could do a better job with - things that get done but barely? Are you battling sick cows from bad feed? Are daily gains not where they should be but are "just good enough." Do you have trouble with employee morale, and is the shop organized well enough to find that one 5/8" wrench or do you have to look for it a while? Are you late a few minutes, always. Do you have some weight to lose or a friend you should reconnect with?
Nothing I can do about this.
Before you list everything as No Control - are these things truly uncontrollable? The weather comes to mind first... no control over that unless you move away from it (but you'll probably run up against some other weather). Time... no control over that either. Everyone has 60 minutes per hour, 24 hours in a day, 365 days in a year. You might be in other situations that allow you little to no choice right now, but things can change.
How much you choose to alter your lists depends on your tolerance, your finances, your abilities, your resources. We all have choices to make, but for now, make a plan to keep up your controlled items, choose what you can have better control over, and just don't worry about what you can't change or don't control. Let it go!
Do the best you can with what you have. Control what you can. CTC.
One final note: There is no shame in seeking help. Please ask a friend, relative, or pastor to help before you get to a breaking point. There are so many resources out there that can show you the way, and would love to do so.
We have developed a CTC checklist for your forage and high moisture corn program. You are welcome to use it as you make your plans - please request your copy here.