Along with adding long-term value to the land he stewards, another part of Weiland’s management approach is tapping into information from a competent peer group. Twice a year, Reid and Don meet in person with like-minded farmers in a 650-mile radius. Led by a professional advisor, the group members hold one another accountable, “like a personal trainer,” Weiland says.

He also leans on a well educated brother in law with strategic business training. But if he needs advice in another field, like marketing, variable-rate fertility plans or succession planning, he considers the ROI of hiring a qualified consultant to be better than the stock market.

Investing in landlord relationships or building brand equity can never be too important, he says. Creating transparency and trust among existing landowners is an important part of his day-to-day role. "Sometimes adding value is communicating the value you've added to someone's investment.”

“We know how valuable feedback is to landowners; details like cropping plans, possible future projects, yields and which conservation practices we use on their land,” Weiland says. “Sharing photos of what we’re doing with their asset, for example, creates transparency and unifies our goals.

“We can’t control losing the lease on a farm we've operated for 30-years, but we can manage that risk.”