Written by Amy Asmus
Hello to you all and Happy New Year! I know, it’s already half way through January and I can’t believe how fast time flies! Here at AFS, we are already through our first pay period. I love this time of year because as I walk out of my office I can hear the conversations as they are happening downstairs between our agronomists and our friends who come to figure out strategies as they embark on another year of production. I love to talk our new and old friends as they come to the office and continue the business partnership they share with Asmus Farm Supply. I love seeing how passionate growers are about doing the best they can in their farm businesses. It is a real joy for me to see the successes that together AFS and our customers can create.
Several years ago, I attended a user conference for our accounting software system. The keynote speaker, Ron Farrell, said something that has been rattling around in my head ever since. He was talking about the demand on U.S. grain production for food and fuel. His comment was, “If growers are going to meet the demands of the market today, they are going to have to stop thinking of farming as a way of life and start looking at the business of production agriculture.” In some way, I understood what he was saying, but I prefer to believe that we can be successful managing our crops and yields without removing ourselves from enjoying the little things and the passion that makes it a way of life.
My life and the life of my family have been enriched by the community of farming. Small town Iowa has taught us to find community in our faith, our neighbors, our co-workers, our customers, and ourselves. Large events are planned around things like planting, aphid spraying and harvest. People come together to celebrate joys in the community and to support the community in times of sorrow. Friendships have grown out of working relationships, and some of the life I am passionate about is not in the business decisions, which have to be made, but in the little things.
Playing in the dirt… a little thing that never gets old, whether it is in my garden or in the field, I love to get my hands dirty, smell the dirt and check to make sure the seeds I sew are safely and securely tucked in the bed of dirt, ready to spring forth with new life in the spring. When we used to plow in the fall, I would love to turn and look at the lathes turn over the dirt everything being black behind the equipment. (Yes, I wish we still did that because with the technology of today, I wouldn’t have to sneak a look in between actually driving the tractor!)
Harvested corn and beans running through my fingers…another little thing. I love enjoying the fruits of the harvest, whether again, it is from the field or my garden. The kids loved it too. I am pretty sure my kids learned to farm on the carpet in the living room. A Tupperware of corn or beans was always in the toy box along with their little tractors and wagons, at least until the vacuum ate the last bit of grain. It is this love of the harvest that reaches out into the community as well as we would pile the back of the van with the harvested cucumbers, tomatoes and other crops and run uptown stopping at several homes to share what we didn’t need.
When we built our house, I was standing on the second level with one of the construction workers with the ever changing landscape. We looked out the newly placed windows and he commented that we had a great view and it was a great view, the planter had just rolled through the field to the east of our house and the nice rows made a wonderful pattern across the black field (we still plowed back then…) So I agreed with him that it was indeed beautiful, and then added, “just wait to see it when the crops are actually growing, there will be a new view each day!”
There is a new view each day as we move through life. We all chose a job in life, and sometimes that job is running our own business, and sometimes it is working for someone else’s business. My wish for all of you is that whatever business you conduct in life, may you be passionate in that work and it IS ALWAYS a way of life for you.