Pinicon had the 2018 Pre Harvest planning meeting last week. As you can imagine, the format has evolved over the last twenty years.
The first gathering had eight in attendance, all white, male and born within 50 miles of McIntire. I would have scribbled a page or two on my yellow legal paper, listing goals and broad strategies. Get the crop harvested before the snow flies. Don’t fall asleep on your 36 hour shift and run the combine through the fence. Odds favor a bad ending if you loose control of a 500 bushel wagon at 25 mph because the hitch pin bounced out. Basic, common sense stuff that get’s fuzzy under extreme duress.
The 2018 version was presented in Power Point on a 50″ flat screen to a diverse, multi national group of attendees. Danni, our “Senior Content Producer” built the presentation from the final 23 page document Bert dictated to Lindsay. With Bert’s direction, Lindsay assembled the Harvest Plan booklet which is distributed to leadership..
From the table of contents to the Fall Farm Improvement list, it is a comprehensive over view of fields, expected production, logistics, storage locations, Team assignments, fertilizer application, tillage operations, and strategy.
The “Harvest Plan” has become embraced as the blueprint for a safe, coordinated, efficient and profitable last chapter in our production cycle.
If only I could find a way to institutionalize environmentally considerate office thermostat set points and incinerator trash separation, I could die a happy man.
As always, excitement for harvest is high. It will be the second crop for the new ownership Team. Even though there are numerous short term threats which will make achieving profitability difficult (rising interest rates, tariffs, chronic over supply, prices below the cost of production), Bert, Ben, and Alex are gaining confidence in our model.
Past emphasis on land improvements, judicious growth, lean methods, diversification, and building trust with our partners taken together provide that incremental boost that allows us to keep our heads above water.
The next few months will pass in a blink. I will do my best to keep you informed of our progress.
With steady leadership and friendly karma on our side, I expect to be able to report completion of an accident free and abundant harvest by Thanksgiving Day.
Seriously, your interest and support make a difference. We appreciate it!