Ag News

Agriculture Demands More Business-Minded Producers

IABRN — The past few years have not been a “walk in the park” for America’s farmers/ranchers.

However, producers are finding ways to overcome difficult situations.

Jim Knuth, senior vice president of Farm Credit Services of America, recently spoke to former Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network intern Jenna Hoffman. Knuth spoke to the challenges agricultural producers face and the impact on farm financials.

“The talk is about trade and trade agreements. It’s certainly weighing on our markets today. I think farms believe the pain will be worth the gain in the long run, and I think that’s what we have to hope for. Our markets, especially our commodity markets, need demand. Not only domestic demand, but international demand,” Knuth said.

Jeff Swanhorst, Chief Executive Officer of AgriBank, says Market Facilitation Program payments made to farmers in 2018 and 2019 are favorable, while speaking to credit conditions and the general agricultural economy. He further adds, “In large part, (the payments) are a stabilizing factor for agriculture.”

Jim Knuth says Farm Credit Services of America has recently seen a shift in client behavior. Producers have become more focused on the “business of agriculture.”

“How they operate their farm from a business, financial and marketing aspects. Simply being a great producer and producing bushels is not good enough to survive and thrive in agriculture today. Production is important, but it’s the business side. In the long run, this will be good and healthy for agriculture,” Knuth said.

Knuth adds young professionals should thrive in agriculture, as they are business-minded.

“We see young people getting into agriculture all the time. They bring the passion of agriculture; they love it. But they bring a business mindset, and again, I think that’s healthy,” Knuth said. “They’re creative, innovative and entrepreneurial. I think young people in agriculture have an advantage today because they’re so business-minded.”

This article originally appeared on the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network