Successful Farming - - CONTENTS - Dave Kurns Ed­i­to­rial Con­tent Di­rec­tor [email protected]­ Twit­ter: @dav­ekurns

Theodore Roo­sevelt said it so well: “Do the best you can, where you are, with what you have.” That mes­sage res­onates with farm­ers when faced with low prices for the fifth straight sea­son and pro­duc­ers are find­ing it tough to rub two nick­els to­gether.

My trav­els this sum­mer took me to Col­orado, Mon­tana, Michi­gan, Wash­ing­ton, D.C., Illi­nois, and sev­eral points across the Mid­west. When strangers asked me about the farm­ing busi­ness, I an­swered, “It’s tough.” I told them some farm­ers haven’t made money for years, and oth­ers are strug­gling to cover their costs.

When I talked to farm­ers this sum­mer, I of­ten re­lied on Teddy Roo­sevelt. “Do the best you can, where you are, with what you have.”

That adage also re­lates to farm suc­ces­sion plan­ning. This is­sue marks the in­tro­duc­tion of our new­est con­trib­u­tor to the “Can Their

Prob­lem Be Solved?” monthly col­umn. Mark McLaugh­lin joins our Tran­si­tion Team of Jo­lene Brown and My­ron Friesen in shar­ing their sto­ries of farm fam­ily com­mu­ni­ca­tion, busi­ness struc­ture, and suc­ces­sion plan­ning. It’s one of the most-read pages in Suc­cess­ful Farm­ing mag­a­zine.

Like a lot of farm­ers fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of a leg­end, McLaugh­lin of Ankeny, Iowa, has some big shoes to fill. Don Jonovic, who wrote the col­umn for more than 20 years, re­tired ear­lier this year. (See the May is­sue, page 65, to read Jonovic’s farewell col­umn.)

McLaugh­lin’s ex­pe­ri­ence on his fifth-gen­er­a­tion Iowa farm helps form the ad­vice he’s given to farm fam­i­lies for the past 14 years. They are not al­ways easy con­ver­sa­tions. Dur­ing times like these, it’s best to rely on Teddy Roo­sevelt: “Do the best you can, where you are, with what you have.”

That’s McLaugh­lin’s ad­vice to a fam­ily wait­ing for just the right time to start talk­ing about tran­si­tion­ing the farm (see page 72). His an­swer? Don’t wait!

“You don’t have to know ev­ery­thing to have an ef­fec­tive farm suc­ces­sion strat­egy. You just need to take your next step,” he says.

To or­der the T-shirt on our cover, see page 10.

Mark McLaugh­lin

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