One week ago today marked the beginning of open season on CFL free agents. Anyone not under
contract by 11am that day was available to be courted and signed by any team in the CFL, or the NFL for
that matter (Matt Jones, a Stampeder free agent from Weyburn already signed with the NY Giants.)
Every Friday since early November I’ve been missing Friday Night Football on TSN; the Superbowl is
barely 2 weeks gone. Yes I am a football fan, not fanatic, just a fan. The point: free agent day means that
Training Camp is in view. And for you too; here are 2 camps to consider.

Camp Black

  • Knows COP on each field.
  • Clear on equipment cost/ac.
  • Managing current and future tax.
  • Market Maker.
  • Plans for, and expects, a profit.
  • Plans for contingencies.
  • Manages Risk.
  • Has clear goals for 3, 5, and 10 yrs out.
  • Invests time in HR strategies.
  • Conducts regular meetings with family and with staff.
  • Has an exit plan formulating and is seeking expert advice.
  • Manages ALL farm data.

Camp White

  • Has an idea on seed/chem/fert costs.
  • Believes equipment can build equity.
  • Wants to pay no tax, ever.
  • Market Taker.
  • Hopes for profit.
  • Hopes for no breakdowns.
  • Avoids Risk.
  • Thinks he’ll still be farming in 5 yrs.
  • Believes good workers can’t be found.
  • Holds anything that isn’t essential to share very close to the chest.
  • Can’t ever quit because “What will I do?”
  • Records seeding dates on the calendar in the kitchen.

Which camp are you in right now? Which camp do you want to be in? Maybe you’ve got a little of both
camps in you, Camp Grey perhaps? (With 12 bullet-points listed for each camp, that’s over “2.7million
shades of grey”…why stop at 50?)

A big part of determining which camp you’d like to be in is “mind-set.”

We broached mind-set a couple
weeks ago using a local junior hockey team as an example. Getting out of a mind-set that is typical of
those in Camp White can be difficult, and can take a lot of time. It usually begins with some hard
lessons, for example:

  • Can’t get more financing because bank says we’re not profitable enough.
  • Find good people, but they leave after a season…to go work for another farm!
  • Coming to the realization that land equity doesn’t pay bills, cash does.

It’s time for you to register for training camp. The crop season is getting ever closer, and before long
we’ll be putting management on the back burner so that we can focus on process, the process of getting
the 2015 crop in the ground. In what areas of your business do you need training so you’re ready for the
long, grueling season ahead?

I need training in efficiency. I usually tend to over-think and self-criticize. Those behavioral habits eat up
time like it’s no one’s business. I’ve hired a business advisor who keeps me on track, and lets me know
when I truly need criticizing (teaching me I need to be kinder to myself.) Of course, there are other
opportunities for professional development and continual growth, but that’s between me and my


Direct Questions

Are you getting ready for training camp by examining your strengths and your weaknesses?
What do you need to do to ensure you’re physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared for the spring
seeding season? What do you need to do to ensure the same for your family and your staff?
Will you be able to eliminate the factors that prevent you from joining Camp Black?

From the Home Quarter

Planning on your farm is a lot like building a play book for a football team. The coach has a roster of
players who each have strengths and weaknesses. The coach has to put the right player in the right
place at the right time. The opposing team will create situations that require the coach to make
adjustments. He’ll call plays based on his team’s position on the field, the down, the look from the
opposing team, the score, the time clock, etc. etc. etc…you get the picture. If he calls the wrong play
based on all that, he won’t succeed.

It’s the same in your business: you’ve got to make decisions and adjustments based on crop conditions,
markets, the look the weather is giving you, bugs, disease, family needs, etc., etc., etc. The best time to
start building your 2015 play-book was probably early 2014. The second best time is right now.