Profitable Practices & Strategies for a New Generation

Profitable Practices and Strategies for a New Generation brings you the stories of people making a difference in rural America. These people have endured record low prices and a rural economy mired just short of depression. They have seen their neighbors move away and their home town businesses boarded up.

But they have not become victims of the times. The people we introduce you to here have the vision and courage to try something new, despite the risks. They have taken control of their fate and are working to make things better. “Better” not just for themselves, but for their communities, their neighbors, their children.

The first six stories profile strategies to increase profits in producing or selling crops and farm products. What is most amazing about these six stories is not the producers’ unusual ideas or unique skills. It is how they express their values and ethics through their farming. You’ll find that these profitable farmers and ranchers are far more concerned with being good stewards, neighbors and friends.

Next you’ll find eight stories of how beginning farmers found land and resources to start farming. They share their strategies for using programs and resources for a profitable start. In many cases, these beginners found more than the tangible assets of land and buildings. They also found mentors who care enough about them to help them get through the tough startup years. They show how important it is for beginners and landowners to share their dreams for the land that means so much them.

The final section highlights groups that share their equipment-and more. These groups have put together marketing strategies that pool raw materials and resources to bring high-quality products to their customers. The trust and cooperation demonstrated here are time-honored rural traditions, traditions that expect each to contribute his strengths and good reputation for the benefit of all.

The remaining three stories highlight groups that share their equipment-and more. These groups have put together marketing strategies that pool raw materials and resources to bring high-quality products to their customers. The trust and cooperation demonstrated here are time-honored rural traditions, traditions that expect each to contribute his strengths and good reputation for the benefit of all.

These stories are sometimes technical, as many of you farmers will want to know the details. They are sometimes rather vague, too, to protect privacy or fragile new markets.

Yet these people are overwhelmingly generous with their knowledge, advice, hospitality and encouragement. You’d be hard-pressed to buy food, share equipment, shake hands over an agreement or just be neighbors with better people.

In the spirit that these stories are offered, share them, along with your own insights, with a neighbor who could use some encouragement or a new idea.

Wyatt Frass
Assistant Program Leader, Rural Opportunities and Stewardship Program
February 8, 2002
Hartington, Nebraska

Access the full Profitable Practices & Strategies for a New Generation report here.
Or download the report by section,
Alternative Practices & Marketing
Capital Transfer (beginning farmers)
Equipment Sharing

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