The mercury is finally dropping, the calendar is down to the last page, and yet the farmer’s work is never done. As we stand ready to move into a new year, the time is right to consider what changes we can make once January comes.
Back Up Your Brothers
Local farmers are a close-knit community, and a rising tide raises all ships. Connect with an advocacy group, like the Farm Bureau. When you support your fellow growers, you demonstrate that agriculture is still a force to be reckoned with.
Take Up Technology
Just like the motorized plow meant we didn’t need to hitch up the oxen, modern technology is revolutionizing farming. There are drones that can detect greening by flying over groves. You can control your irrigation with an app. Try something out. The new year is a great time to experiment.
Sow into Self-Care
While you’re looking after your crop, herd, or grove, who is looking out for you? Make sure you allot some time to step back and breathe. This doesn’t have to be a spa treatment if that’s not you. Play cards with old friends, book a deep sea fishing trip, take an afternoon playing with the kids or grandkids.
Tour a Trade Show
These shows are about more than vendors trying to sell you something—there are networking opportunities, professional growth sessions, roundtable discussions, and other ways to build up your practice. And sometimes, those product demonstrations are worth seeing. It could solve a problem you didn’t know you had.
Connect With Consumers
The rise of agritourism and the popularity of organic products have put the local farmer on the map of a wide range of new potential customers. This doesn’t always have to mean face-to-face interactions. Social media is giving local farmers a voice that carries.
BIO: Baxter Troutman is founder and chief executive officer of Labor Solutions, a staffing company with offices in Bartow, Winter Haven, Lake Wales, Arcadia, and Plant City. You also can visit his Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch online at www.DH-LR.com. A cattle rancher and citrus grower who served in the Florida House of Representatives, Troutman understands the challenges and concerns of today’s farmer.