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Across the Editor's Desk: May-June 2009

Agriculture.com Staff 05/13/2009 @ 1:46pm

Which mentors, encouragers, and supporters were most important to you as you began your farming career? Parents and grandparents most likely would be on that list. Perhaps a neighbor, FFA adviser, or lender as well.

The Web has extended the possibilities for the list worldwide. The 25 discussion groups on Agriculture Online connect you with farmers and other experts, most of whom use anonymous made-up handles for names.

Recent huge growth in social media, such as Facebook, has significantly personalized online discussion and created deeper interaction and relationships. The Farmers for the Future social network is a great example.

The site is a gathering place for young and beginning farmers to learn from each other. More than that, the site is a comfortable hangout to just keep up with the lives and activities of fellow members and peers from around the nation.

Networking certainly opens the door to more ideas and awareness of opportunities. The value of the online network is that it expands your spiderweb to catching ideas to the whole country and beyond. That's an advantage in the tough business of starting and growing a farming operation. It is a great addition to your prime network of parents, grandparents, and other key mentors close to home.

Almost all of the decisions you make in running a farm business involve money. Those decisions in spending or selling add up to determine your profit and success as a business.

The editors of Successful Farming magazine are committed to providing you information that can help you make those decisions with greater clarity and confidence. I'd like to highlight just a couple of those decision topics in this issue.

  • One issue that comes up repeatedly as families wrestle with estate and transition planning decisions is how to treat on-farm and off-farm heirs. If you are struggling with that decision, see "Can their problem be solved."
  • Which mentors, encouragers, and supporters were most important to you as you began your farming career? Parents and grandparents most likely would be on that list. Perhaps a neighbor, FFA adviser, or lender as well.

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