Farming is Family Business

and this is for the family that can’t be with us.

Loss is an unfortunate inevitability of life but every year and everywhere, people are forced to deal with the fallout of its reality. However, loss in 2020 feels much more significant than most years, especially for our family. In July, my dad (Kirk) passed away, a month later, my grandma (Priscilla), his mom. Suddenly, we are all now left picking up the pieces together, trying to cope, trying to mourn amid the pandemic. If you thought working remote and distance learning sucked, take distance mourning for a spin. It is certainly not fun.

However, in some ways oddly rewarding as it forces you to take the time to remember your loved ones at a much deeper level and reflect on your relationship with them. That process doesn’t just remind you of them, funny stories, memories, etc.. it also provides you a much deeper understanding of yourself, of who you are, and what you are all about.

Both my Dad and Grandma had a deep passion for agriculture and especially grain markets. There was rarely a family gathering that didn’t feature a highly contested debate about the price of things, the price of farmland, cattle, corn, and the marketing strategies around them. As a kid, I failed to see the entertainment value of it all but today here I am, working in agriculture with a deep passion and dedication towards creating positive and impactful change for farmers.

If I’m being honest with myself (not something I’m in the habit of doing) a lot of the reasons I founded the Digital Grain Elevator was to make them proud. I suppose, at the end of the day, no matter our age or circumstance, we’re all just a bunch of kids running around trying to make our parents and loved one’s proud.

When going through Dad’s place following his passing, I found a letter on his coffee table from my grandma outlining some of her philosophical marketing ideas. I had looked forward to eventually sharing that fact with my grandma as I imagined she would have loved knowing it was both cherished by him and likely one of the last things he ever read. Unfortunately, I didn’t get that opportunity so I will share it here in hopes they have Wi-Fi upstairs and others can hopefully benefit from the wisdom she shared.

Dear Kirk

I am enclosing a list of philosophical marketing ideas. Some are ag specific but I use the rest for the stock market.

1. Never store a short crop: always store a big crop

2. Short crops peak early and have a long tail

3. The trend is your friend

4. Trends usually last longer than expected

5. The market often anticipates things that never happen

6. Bull markets need bullish news to keep going higher. Bear markets need no news at all

7. It is not the “facts” that are important in a market. What is important is what people THINK the facts are.

8. Facts in a market change infrequently. People’s opinions of the facts change constantly. That is what causes price changes.

9. Don’t concentrate your efforts on how high or low a market can go. Concern yourself only with identifying the direction of the price trend.

10. Know your invisible stress point. Live up to it but don’t exceed it.

11. Those who brood over their mistakes almost always miss the next opportunity.

12. It is better to be out of a market wishing you were in than in wishing you were out.

13. Commodity marketing is an art, not a science

14. All market action is man-made

Hang on to the list. This is one of the reasons I always want to know the RSI (Relative Strength Index).

Love, Mom”