How Do You Stack Up?

Recently I had the pleasure of conducting two young and beginning farmer and rancher leadership institutes for East Carolina Farm Credit and Farm Credit of Central Kansas. If the cold winds of winter have got you down, you should enroll in one of these seminars because they are very motivational and uplifting.

I asked the young producers a series of questions to get them to discuss issues as a couple or group.

One question pertained to family living cost. It was interesting to watch couples discuss their living withdrawal and the perceived amount. At East Carolina, the average living cost was $40,416 with nearly half of the group reporting less than $30,000 and approximately one in five reporting more than $60,000.

Analysis of the data from the Kansas participants finds the average was substantially lower, at $30,500, with a third of the group less than $25,000 and 20% at more than $40,000.

The average number of hours worked annually was 2,828 for East Carolina and 3,316 for the Kansas participants. More than 75% of the spouses indicated that their partner was working too hard, and only 10% said “not enough.”

It was quite surprising that few of the young farmers visited their Farm Credit Web site, with 37% of the East Carolina group and only 20% of the Kansas group accessing their lender on the Internet.

As you read this column, how do you stack up? Keep in mind that “busy” measured by numbers of hours doesn’t mean productive.

Also, the more you make, the more you spend!

My e-mail address is:sullylab@vt.edu

Editors' note: Dave Kohl, The Corn and Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist specializing in business management and ag finance. He recently retired from Virginia Tech, but continues to conduct applied research and travel extensively in the U.S. and Canada, teaching ag and banking seminars and speaking to producer and agribusiness groups.

To see Dave Kohl's previous road warrior adventures type Dave Kohl in the Search blank at the top of the page.

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