Rain is a great metaphor for agribusiness

In Agribusiness on May 10, 2009 at 9:01 pm

You know, it’s easy to complain about the rain when it seems we’ve had too much of it. Here in South Central Kansas, we’ve had so much rain that even a few sprinkles seems to cause flash flooding in some places. But what are you going to do? Complain?

Well, we try not to complain, but it seems like the timing, if not the quantity of the rain could be a bit more opportune. But that’s not up to us, just as so much of what happens to us in business isn’t up to us.

It takes the combination of growing-degree days under the warm sun, moisture from the rain and the addition of nutrients to produce an abundant crop. But the wrong combination of those elements, that is having too much or too little of them, can mean a devastating loss.

But I think rain presents the most interesting and delicate of inputs. I’m guessing you’ve heard or said, “Man, it sure has been raining a lot, but I guess we can’t complain.”

Excessive rain, like many of the business challenges we face, must be thoughtfully managed. That’s because most of these types of challenges are not just problems to be dealt with but resources, reservoirs of knowledge from which we can learn.

A volatile commodity market, for example, creates more numerous opportunities for pricing and trading grain. But it also presents its own set of challenges. It takes a resilient, flexible and open-minded attitude to see opportunity where others see only restriction, just as it takes an opportunity-minded person to be happy when it’s raining for days on end.


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