I must say that I live in my boots. I like all kinds of boots, cowboy boots – fancy and plain, dress boots – tall and short, snow, rain, muck and work boots – yup I like them all. I feel comfortable in my boots, they are part of my everyday life on our family farm. But there are many times every year when I trade the comfort and casualness of my boots for the not so familiar formality of suits. – Deb Gangwish, From Boots to Suits
Deb and her family raise corn, soybeans, and cattle in central Nebraska on two different locations that are three hours apart. While the distance creates some challenges for the logistics of her own operation, Deb says some of the greater challenges for Nebraska agriculture today include labor, asset utilization and making sure to plug the right people into the right positions to do the job to the best of their ability. Sound familiar for most small business operations?
While the Gangwish operation is a family farm, they’re still a large operation and have learned that advocacy is an important part of conducting business in 2017. Deb advises that an investment in advocacy isn’t always a monetary return. Sometimes that takes the form of reaching out to our customers through the work of organizations like Common Ground, and at other times it includes building business relationships in the community.
For Deb, advocacy is a two-way street, which includes bringing the farm to those who may not have the opportunity for that experience. Working with state and national legislators is an important form of advocacy for farmers and ranchers so that they can hear personal stories to better understand the impacts of policy and legislation.
When we find ourselves in situations where others disagree, Deb has good advice, saying it’s important to take a breath and seek to understand where common ground may exist.
As a part of the Bayer blogger program, I am not compensated for sharing this information, but am thankful for Bayer Animal Health helping me contact experts on important topics impacting our cattle and livestock business today. As always, thoughts shared are my own. Learn more about Bayer’s efforts to support agriculture advocacy by joining the AgVocate Facebook group.
I hope you enjoy this episode of the Agriculture Proud podcast. Check out all my episodes at AgricultureProud.com/podcast.
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