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Life on the farm

Agriculture.com Staff 01/19/2007 @ 2:25pm

I had just finished selling some grain, changing the oil in the tractor, and purchasing my crop inputs. I had over 50 cows and a nice little nest egg of money. I was clearly doing well, and on my way to retirement.

I continued at this pace for a little while not gaining any ground and before I knew what had happened, my daughter Alyssa retired with 70 cows and over $39,000 to win the board game called "Life On The Farm." This was the scene in our livin groom last Sunday afternoon.

I had been out the night before until almost 2:30 am hunting coyotes with my stepson Ryan, so on Sunday, we were all a little tired, the weather was cold and snowy and it was an NFL football playoff weekend. So what better to do on a Sunday afternoon in January in Michigan than lay around the house with my wife and kids and play board games, watch football and eat fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies and snickerdoodles?

In our daily farm operation, I spend a great deal of time figuring crop inputs, watching the markets and making major decisions that will greatly effect the future of our family and our farming operation. Of course, I calculate the risks and hope for great rewards. We all do right?

Somehow, playing a board game about farming seemed different in many ways, but yet similar in others. In the game, my daughter and I were both in a hurry to acquire at least 60 cows and $10,000 dollars because that is what was required to win the game. Because we were trying to do this before the other player, we took great risks in hopes of great rewards. Sometimes the risks paid off and other times they didn't.

I have got to say that when I sold some corn for $2.00 per bushel, I was a little disappointed and told my daughter that it wasn't fair as I had just sold some REAL corn for $3.60 per bushel two days prior. My daughter didn't seem to care, and was in no way willing to allow the grain market in our game to fluctuate, especially to the highs that we are all seeing right now.

There shouldn't have been a fixed $2.00 price on the corn in the game, they should have made us roll the dice to determine market price. That's what we do in real life right? Roll the dice: You win some, you loose some.

The game was fun and it did really help me realize how much we risk in our daily lives and also how many unexpected things may happen to us along the road in our daily routines that we may benefit from or suffer from. There are truly risks and rewards, but most of all, there is still a lot of chance in what we do!

I hope that it also showed my daughter a little bit about how much risk and how much chance are involved in real life. Especially because now that she won the game, she thinks she can run a farm better than me. Maybe she can.

Whether she can or not, my hope for her, and for all of you, is that you enjoy what you do whether it's playing board games with your kids or living the real "Life On The Farm." For me, I am just happy playing the game!

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