Heart of a Leader

Leadership Matters

Down on the Farm

One of the promises for this expanded Blog is to write about the consequences of external events/ situations. In this writing, I will give you insight in how these consequences affect you so that you will have less occasions to be surprised about the world you encounter!

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I was sitting here on the farm worrying about the future. You see, we are leaving here by the end of the month because the farm is being sold. Shouldn’t be a problem, you say. You can surely buy or lease a farm. Not so easy we are finding.

Why is this the case? It seems that my little problem has bigger implications than where my family lives. If you have been paying attention to the price of any commodity (corn, soybeans, cattle, hogs, sugar, wheat) in the food area, you will see that the futures price of all these items is rising. While rising oil prices and speculation in the commodities are contributing to this situation, a hidden and far more important factor is the dramatic increase in the price of farmland.

During 2011, the price for farmland rose at a faster rate than at any time in the past 30 years (see this Huffington Post article).  What does this mean? It means that more and more land is being controlled by large farm organizations and foreign interests. Small farmers, who make sure we have healthy produce and fuel the economy of rural America, are falling away.

I invite you to be aware of the impact of this upcoming reality on your business, and the options you have at home. Even businesses that are non-food related may be affected, as less of the customer’s household budget is available for items other than food. You may wish to shift your focus to goods and services that are less susceptible to this new household budget reality.  At home, we can explore alternatives such as growing some or most of our own food, buying from small farmers at farmer’s markets, and belonging to real food cooperatives.

Be alert – the future will truly be different. If you take steps today and prepare for changes such as this, you will continue to experience a peaceful and prosperous life.

Until later,

Thomas

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