When the time changes, you can feel the excitement of spring and the season of renewal.

I kicked it off by confronting a rabid raccoon in our barn at 5 a.m. To make a long story short, he attacked my Labrador, and that was it! He is now in raccoon heaven or hell. The dog and I came out without a scratch.

The Management Experience

At 7 a.m. on Sunday, my boys and I were part of a team that moved a house. Our neighbors, the McPherson Brothers (like the Dukes of Hazzard), are house movers. The coordination and teamwork of 20 individuals to accomplish such a move down Main Street in Blacksburg is just amazing.

Lessons that apply to farm and ranch management from the two-hour moving experience:

  • It takes much preplanning with the authorities and people involved in the move.

  • Everyone has a role to play and you do it to the best of your ability.

  • Specific instructions for each team member are explained in detail.

  • Obstacles and roadblocks, such as telephone wires and mailboxes, are anticipated with a plan to overcome.

  • Occasionally the public becomes upset, such as a speeding car wanting to get to its destination, or a local neighbor who is afraid their mailbox will not get placed back where it belongs. The solution to this problem is to let your best public relations people deal with the public and make them feel good.

  • Finally, when the move is all completed, the brothers treated the whole team to a big Sunday breakfast. You have got to celebrate success!

A lot can be learned from everyday people and your neighbors, and something as simple (or complex) as moving this house. I hope those of you who manage people can use these perspectives that came to me so early in the morning.

Sports View

Baseball is here! Will Barry Bonds hit 73 again? He got a hot start.

It looks like the Yankees are the best team money can buy. "Hats off" to Joe Torre, the manager, for getting the most out of them.

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

Editors' note: Dave Kohl, Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist at Virginia Tech. He recently completed a sabbatical working with the Royal Bank of Canada. He is now back at Virginia Tech with his academic appointment, which is teaching, extension, and applied research.

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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