This Durango Herald article titled Colorado Agriculture Plummets and many factors indicate agriculture has a rough road ahead, again. Do you agree and what do you think is the most important thing for family farms and ranches to consider during this period?
As an agriculture loan officer in the southwestern part of Colorado in the early 2000s, my worst nightmare was having to call a loan of a family that had worked hard to build the ranch for many generations. Fortunately, I personally did not have to call a loan. However, I know of families that have had to go through that process over the years. Those situations are, at best, challenging to business and family relationships but it doesn’t mean the operation can’t survive with good management decisions.
These economically difficult times will cause some families to consider options they never want to consider even if it isn’t
about the loan at the bank. Things like; sell cows, sell land, what expenses can we cut, how could we diversify, who takes a job in town, do we borrow more money and hope for a better year next year, dissolve partnerships, etc. There will be high stakes, strong emotions, AND differing opinions among family members in conversations about these options.
The definition of dialogue is to take part in a conversation or discussion to resolve a problem. Great things can come from difficult times if true dialogue is had and ideas and concerns of all impacted parties are evaluated. Good management decisions and stronger relationships can be the result. I encourage anyone who may face these situations to read the book “Crucial Conversations – Tools for Talking When Stakes are High“.
I would love to hear success stories from those of you who have made it through the tough years and tough decision making. How did you engage your family and partners that helped you to come through it? What were your greatest challenges and what was the easy part?
You want the best possible outcome for your family and business. One of the best ways to ensure success is to improve your skills in handling those really tough conversations. If you are interested in Crucial Conversations® training where we work in small groups to learn these important dialogue skills in a safe environment and with coaching, visit E-Z Consulting’s Crucial Conversations page for more information on trainings across Colorado.