The basics of business

Ever been thrown a curve ball? Whether in business or on the farm, right now it is something we all have in common with the Great Bambino.

As ag producers and business owners, we get served a “breaking ball” on occasion, and they aren’t easy to work through. Today we are trying to do a lot, in very little time, with very few resources in every segment of agriculture and, ultimately, it impacts everyone up and down the supply chain. The bottom line is it squeezes the bottom line.

Whether you use agricultural products or are a supplier or manufacturer, together we must find a way to refocus on the basics of what made our businesses special. Recently, I spoke with an ag equipment manufacturer who shared they were 70,000-plus parts behind. Additionally, they cannot source employees, despite offering $40 per hour and 80-plus hours a week. Think about the cascade this paradigm has on the market. Not only is the primary manufacturer affected by sales and overhead exposures, but their individual suppliers, supplement OEMs, and dealers are too. Not to mention, the growers impacted by parts and equipment shortages. Plus, we know when lead times are stretched the cost of acquisition rises. The only genuine reaction to this mess is, “Yikes.”

The basics are the things we can control, but as we know there are two sides to every coin. Have we lost our patience as consumers? Have we conditioned ourselves that inventory is unlimited and available at a moment’s notice? Do we abandon business loyalty and quickly change to whoever can deliver right now?

The answer requires understanding for both customer and supplier. What if businesses and patrons adopted a similar harmony? What if we all focused on a conventional basic of business: experiences and customer connections. Like we used to.

Consumers want simple and consistent, but also need new ideas that help overcome challenges. How can we draw more attention to the elements we can control versus dwelling on those we cannot? Can we offer additional services or try something new to show customers how their patience will be rewarded? In agriculture, fall is the busiest time of year. Take the time to understand the things they are willing to accept and what they cannot afford to live without.

For High Plains Journal, the basics of business have always been about the connection with our readers. Through erratic markets, a changing U.S. Postal Service and a new media world, our responsibility is to invest in people and products for you—to improve, be relevant and grow. This fall, watch for a new program requested by you, HPJ farmers and ranchers. All Aboard Fall Harvest is a program with parallel design to the popular wheat program; however, this time enjoy soybean, corn, sorghum and cotton harvest at

We listened to our customers who asked for All Aboard to continue. It’s a commitment and one we hope you enjoy. Let’s appreciate the relationships we have with our partners in business and together our brands will be built to last.

Zac Stuckey can be reached at 620-227-1833 or [email protected].