This past week I spent time in Green Bay, WI, conducting parts of the Advanced Agrilender School. I was enjoying the Packer training camp, just like past years, that runs at the same time. My room was in a townhouse with the Packer coaching staff. I saw most of the players at breakfast or dinner, which is always a great treat.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
My discussion with lenders about travel often leads to talking about "KT’s", or "Killer Toys." You know, the ones often observed in a site inspection by Agrilenders. Now everyone has to have a few toys. But the control of the toys, particularly in the good years, can be a cue for success or failure in the downtimes particularly as it relates to cash flow and liquidity.
Let’s trek around the country and develop our list:
In the North, snowmobiles, Harleys, ice fishing houses and trophy spouses to get them through the long winters appear to prevail.
In the South, stock cars, bass fishing boats (Barbzilla’s husband had a Skeeter! He traded it for a Harley!), and expensive hunting trips are high on the list.
Out West, (I sound like the Beach Boys song), airplanes, soccer and children activities are quite prevalent.
In the East, antique tractors and political aspirations (not necessarily in that order, or related to each other) will lead the list along with owning more than three horses.
The point here is to keep an eye on the toys as they can drain both time and money, and then focus on the business. Do you run the toys or do the toys run you? Do you spend so much time with the toys that you cut into your money making time? Are you killing your goose that laid your golden egg?!
A reader from Canada wrote me a note with a statement that I believe rings very true: "A BMW SUV doesn’t haul a lot of silage from the field to the yard."
By the way, speaking of Killer Toys, you should see the Packer parking lot. But I liked the player with the souped-up 1966 Dodge Charger. This guy had class!
A farm panelist in Vermont indicated that many producers were mining the farm of its equity. I will use this as a base to build on a Soybean Digest article later on in the year.
I did talk with the Green Bay Packer trainers. They reduced practice sessions because of the heat. Be careful! And Virginia Tech has their new turf grass in and ready to go. Grass in a tray. Imagine that!
Next week? South Dakota and a bunch of really nice people.
Thanks to the guy who responded to my question "What does April, August, and Arizona mean to you?" Rod, from Manitoba, you are right! Some farmers are home from April to August and then off to Arizona for the rest of the year.
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Editors' note: Dave Kohl, Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist at Virginia Tech. He currently is on sabbatical and working with the Royal Bank of Canada.
To see Dave Kohl's previous road warrior adventures click here
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