Kim Anderson Sets the Tone for Lahoma Field Day, Encourages Farmers to Research Every DecisionFri, 11 May 2018 16:17:22 CDT
Intellectual Peter Drucker, whose writings contributed to the philosophical and practical foundations of the modern business corporation, once explained how there are no solutions with respect to the future - only choices between courses of action. Each choice he said was imperfect and came with its own set of risks, costs and requirements. Essentially, you can only do the best with what you have in working towards solving a problem. However, he added that the only way to increase your odds of being successful in making good choices on the path to achieving a goal, was to understand what alternatives were available for every decision. Oklahoma State University Extension Economist Kim Anderson led into his educational segment Friday morning with this concept during the OSU Extension Field Day at Lahoma where he spoke with farmers about how doing your research might save your farm. He summarized his talk with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn who was also in attendance. Listen to their complete conversation by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.
“There’s always an element of luck like we’ve seen over the last couple of years, and bad luck sometimes,” Anderson said about the varying success of the ag industry. “However, if you do your research, you’ll know that those times are coming and you’ll know from research how to be prepared and how to react - how to buckle your farm up and run it so you can survive those bad times, so you’ll be around to take advantage of it when the market hits a home run.”
Anderson says producers should research everything they can on any subject that might relate back somehow to the way in which they manage their business. Every decision that is made on a farm, Anderson says should only be done if adequate research has been conducted to make a well-informed decision.
“Everything we do, we’ve got to research it,” he emphasized. “We have to obtain knowledge so that we have the best knowledge available when we make our decision.”
While this may seem like a time-consuming task and it is - especially for farmers who often consider time one resource constantly in short supply - Anderson says it doesn’t necessarily have to be. One major point he drove home to farmers was, “Don’t do it alone.” He suggested that OSU and the extension team is always there to help answer questions and guide in decision making using expert research conducted by university faculty.
“I tell my students, I want to be exploited. In other words, a farmer doesn’t need to go out and do all these variety trials and stuff. OSU will do it,” he said. “They just need to come to the field day to see which varieties performed better, or come talk about soil fertility or weed control. That’s what they’re going to learn at the field day. We’re doing the research for them.”
Finally, to make it all work, Anderson says a farmer must do a lot of introspection as well - being honest with one’s self and coming to an understanding of what your specific goals are and what threshold of risk you and your individual operation are prepared to take on. This will help give you a benchmark to weigh your decisions against.
“If you’re worried about making a decision and can’t sleep then odds are you’re probably not going to make the right decision,” he said. “So, you need to know yourself and you need to know your operation and every person is different and every farm or ranch is different. There’s not a one size fits all.”
Anderson’s talk set the tone for the field day, preparing everyone in attendance to open their minds to learning as much as they could. Each segment had something different to offer producers which they could take back and incorporate into their own operations. Check back over the next few days as we bring you more discussions with extension experts from the Lahoma Field Day, offering more great advice and updated information that will expand your knowledge and help you to make better-informed decisions.
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