Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 1-30-12 |

Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 1-30-12

Recently I attended the Kansas Soybean Association annual meeting in Topeka for the sole purpose to listen to a long-time friend of mine give one of the keynote addresses at the meeting.

That friend is Loren Kruse, Editor-in-Chief, Successful Farming magazine and We go back to our long-ago days in college at Bea Wilder U.

Loren spoke on “12 Attributes I Admire Most in Successful Farmers.” After spending nearly all his distinguished career observing and writing about all things agricultural, Loren has a unique perspective on success in farming and ranching. 

With Loren’s permission, I share with you his 12 key attributes to success on the land and in life.

1. Successful farmers deal successfully with decimal points. They see farming as a business as well as a way of life.

2. Successful farmers honestly know themselves, who they are and who they are not, and focus on what they are good at and willingly delegate that which they are not.

3. Successful farmers are open-minded and flexible. They are effective in what they do, efficient is how they do it, and constantly seeking ways to be both.

4. Successful farmers accept the reality that learning takes forever. They accept the need for continuous learning and deliberately take action to acquire it.

5. Successful farmers take the long view. It takes deliberate, patient and incredible effort to keep growing a farm business to meet family income needs and allow for a successful transition to the next generation.

6. Successful farmers make successful mistakes. Their failures often lead to successes later on. In short, they learn from their mistakes.

7. Successful farmers deliberately seek and build friendships away from home. Genuine friendships away from home and/or farming lets them maintain broader world-views and provides healthier mental and emotional states.

8. Successful farmers remember who threw them the ball. They remember the parents, grandparents, teachers, church leaders, 4-H and FFA leaders and others who helped shape them. They willingly give back to those people and organizations, realizing that generosity leads to happiness.

9. Successful farmers have fun. They take days off here and there, or even extended vacations, to appreciate their families and to recharge their batteries.

10. Successful farmers grow by storm. They overcome adversities, hold tightly to their values and principles and make deliberate changes to improve their outcomes for life and career.

11. Successful farmers choose to be really good at what they do. They are high achievers because they have the discipline to plan for and then do what the vast majority of people may only think about, but never do.

12. Successful farmers brand themselves with a good reputation. They realize they are continually watched by others and accept their role as role models. They grow their positive reputations by being caring, kind, thoughtful and generous people.


A young farm couple returned to their home after an evening out celebrating their seventh wedding anniversary. They had hired a new babysitter to care for their children for the evening.

As they prepared for bed, the farmer’s wife announced that the new babysitter had apparently stolen two towels.

“Yeah,” said the farmer as he got out of the shower. “That wasn’t very nice of her to do. We’ll have to confront her about it tomorrow.”

“And the worst thing about it” his wife said “They were two of the very best towels we had … the ones we got from the MGM Grand while we were in Las Vegas attending the National Finals Rodeo.”


The online garden catalogs have begun to collect in my inbox. I took a look at one the other day and, I hate to confess this, I got taken in by an out and out scam.

The catalog featured a new device that promised to let me actually see the new seedlings in my greenhouse get larger and larger.

So, I spent $50 on for the device and the scoundrels sent me a magnifying glass. Instructions said don’t use in the dark.

Don’t be taken in by such a scam. It’s embarrassing.


And, on that thought, I’ll conclude this column with a few words of wisdom about being embarrassed. Christian Bale said, “But I learned that there’s a certain character that can be built from embarrassing yourself endlessly. If you can sit happy with embarrassment, there’s not much else that can really get to ya.”

Have a good ‘un. And if you embarrass yourself, relax. It could be worse.

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