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Profits and progress

Frequently there are reports in the news about how much income was received by a given company. Unfortunately it's not followed by reporting the expenses. In the U.S. certainly, and likely worldwide, there is a stigma that keeps people from giving a full review of financials, including expenses and profit.

Most individuals will not even share that information with a close friend. Therefore readers of the news, who have not owned businesses or have no idea what goes into running a business, come away with the idea that the income is all profit. Then the company is maligned for being too well off or charging customers too much. Knowing the skeptical public, companies realize that even if they told all there would still be those who would scoff at the totals, simply because the company released it. You just can't please everyone.

Speaking from personal experience, the check proceeds are not profit. Several years ago my brother, his wife and my husband and I were partners in a Grade A dairy. Every month we received a sizable check. Being good stewards of the money and knowing our obligations, the bills were paid first. Whatever was left, each couple got half. Some months there was nothing left to share. Had a nonbusiness owner seen the check amount, they may have been impressed. If they had seen the books, which my sister-in-law kept up-to-date, they would have known the entire story. And so it is with payments we receive for hay or corn sales. Never mind that much of the check has been spent, in essence, before it came in the mail.

Such is the dilemma of agricultural companies that strive to improve products and spend big bucks to do so. For years there were those who complained bitterly about insecticides and herbicides, so what did the agri-chemical companies do? They created strains that do not require application of herbicides or insecticides, yet allow fields to remain clean from weeds and bugs. This reduced the number of passes tractors had to make, thereby reducing fuel consumption, labor and compaction of the soil. Yet some of the public didn't like that either and they came out against these modifications. Here we have all of these "experts" who have never gotten a finger into the dirt, telling agricultural producers with hundreds of acres of crops, how to farm.

“It amazes me how so much the ‘know’ is not true. Their information comes form the Internet and those who claim to be ‘educating’ other low-information followers.”

It amazes me how so much they "know" is not true. Their information comes from the Internet and those who claim to be "educating" other low-information followers. It is truly the blind leading the blind — but they all believe they are seeing clearly.

They only trust science when it enforces what they espouse. If those in production agriculture did that, we would still be back in the dark ages. Instead look at how far farmers and ranchers have come in the ability to produce enough to feed 155 people each day. It is science-based and it is called progress. ❖