A NEW FARMER ORGANIZATION?
D. Howard Doster, Purdue Ag Economics Professor Emeritus
Who says an 84-year old 2017 cancer survivor in a wheelchair, and his wife, Barbara, who own 123 acres, can’t help start a new farmer organization? Hear Howard try as he shares why you will want to help them.
Some persons have one speech; others have none. This is Howard’s third speech. You, your dad, or grand-dad may have been among the 7,000 mostly eastern corn-belt farmers in Purdue Top Farmer Crop Workshops who heard Howard’s first speech.
In his “Test Before You Invest” speech, he showed that, when used the same number of hours, timely sets of different sized field machinery are size neutral. That is, per acre cost of timely small machinery is about the same as per acre cost of big field machinery. But, per acre labor and family living cost is more when using small machinery.
Thus, if you are good enough and committed enough to crop farm, you want to figure out how to somehow spend your scarce plant/harvest hours operating a set of big machinery. Using the Purdue Linear Program Crop Budget, Howard helped many of you “Test, get better; Test, get bigger; Test, get better”, as you increased your farm sizes.
Howard’s second speech, “Big Ten Crop Farming”, is in the Proceedings of the November 21-22, 1983 Purdue On-Farm Computer Conference. While giving that speech, Howard introduced the term, “Site-Specific Farming”. Many farmers and others are now doing Howard’s first nine steps. He now wants to remind you how to do his tenth step.
As a part of that step, Howard and Barbara offer to help you start a new farmer organization. It would have three purposes.
First, we think farmers should own their own site-specific crop research and management education company, partly to fund Land Grant faculty/staff to do the site-specific research and management education that farmers want them to do.
Second, we’ll offer to help you find and work with a PEER COUPLE- a couple you respect professionally, like personally, and don’t compete with for land. You’ll commit to share balance sheets and budgets, meet on each other’s farms four times per year, and perhaps trade kids and/or key employees after the crops are planted.
Third, this is our way to help revitalize Land Grants. Barbara and Howard have five degrees from Ohio State and Purdue.
We are aware that others are offering different ways to serve you. We’re attending Farm Shows to learn what they offer.
We have much more to share, but we’ll wait until we qualify you, and we get started. We have key farmers and faculty/staff in both Ohio and Indiana ready to help you make this a reality.
For now, we want to learn if you are interested enough to contact us. Please do.