Barbara & Howard
Doster

Howard<at>dhdoster.com           © Copyright 2013 D. H. Doster          Click HERE for Howard’s Blog

Retired Purdue University Management Teachers


Peer Advisory Couple Coaches Since 1975

A SERIOUS 4-H FARM MANAGEMENT PROGRAM?

It’s For High School Kids and Their Parents Who Crop Farm


MANAGEMENT SKILLS ARE LEARNED.

With about the same resources, some persons realize more of their goals.

We say they are better managers.

To paraphrase the 4-H motto, do you want to “make your best better?


LEARN, DO, TEACH, IN FUN WAYS

as you do real life on-your-own-farm exercises

using agronomic, engineering, & economic principles, & management processes. You and your parents are the target audience,

if you are a high school kid and they crop farm.


WRITTEN OR UNWRITTEN, EVERYONE HAS A PLAN FOR USING HIS RESOURCES.

That’s why you still have each of your resources.

When you think you’ll be better off, you trade resources.


EVERY DAY,

YOU START WHERE YOU NOW ARE,

you use the resources you now have,

to get what you now want most.

WHEN A SURPRISE OCCURS,

you identify the problem/opportunity,

determine the cause/reason,

test alternative solutions and their consequences,

pick the best for your new plan,

do the new best plan, and monitor it,

looking for the next surprise.


That’s the problem solving process.

Management is both deciding and doing.

 

Management can be defined as the problem solving process of deciding what to do, & doing it, as you use what you now have to get what you now want most.


Use the process, knowingly, from now on, to manage yourself; including when you decide to take this project now; pick 4-H crop land site now; decide tillage system now; select seed, fertilizer, etc. recipes now; scout crops; spray now, decide whether to price your crop now, trade machinery now, rent more land now, start farming part-time or full-time now, or exit farming now; whatever.

 

Note the emphasis on “now”.  When you trade for a new combine, you expect to retain it for several years.  But, you are committed to keep it for only a “moment”, the time it takes you to trade.  Thus, when a surprise, such as more land becomes available to rent, you may test whether to get a bigger combine “now”, if you rent the land.


Because past production performance is the best indicator of future production performance, you’ll study your own yields and others’ past test plot yields.  Because price changes may affect best rotations or crop recipes, etc., use expected revenues and costs, not past revenues and costs, as you decide what to do now.


ORGANIZE YOURSELVES

  • Suppose you see the benefit of somehow participating in Extension education programs.
  • Suppose you are or would consider being a 4-H member and/or a 4-H club parent/leader/teacher.
  • Suppose you would dare to share the learning/doing/teaching process with another family.


PARENTS, FIND ANOTHER COUPLE

you respect professionally, like personally, and don’t compete with for land.


Agree to share business organizations, balance sheets & budgets, meet on each other’s farm multiple times as you monitor each other’s physical & financial performances, plus the 4-H’ers performances, for at least two years, and,


Host the other’s HS kid for up to three weeks in June to learn/do/teach crop scouting & crop related management assignments, and again the next August to plan a “First Draft” for “How to bring in the next generation; effectively-do right things; efficiently-do things right; enjoyably-have fun farming together.”


Then, find five families who share your goal, and become a Serious 4-H Farm Management Club of 20+ persons, a right size club.  For the first year, maybe kids can enter the “self-determined” 4-H project.  


Now, find the right Extension person to help you get appropriate subject matter and perhaps to teach some of it.


Also offer to help Extension to create appropriate recognition for 4-H management club members.  


Over 100 years ago, A.B. Graham, a western Ohio teacher, started a corn club for his HS students.  The teacher, the parents, and the students all learned about corn, and about learning/doing/teaching, in that first 4-H club.   Here’s your opportunity to LEARN/DO/TEACH in the first 4-H Farm Management Club.     What fun!


Our Commitment


Howard Doster is a former Ohio State 4-H Achievement winner, county 4-H summer intern, Ohio State Extension Farm Management Specialist, and Purdue Farm Management professor emeritus.  He and his wife, Barbara, a retired Purdue Management teacher, are volunteering to help create this serious 4-H farm management program.


We’ve previously created & carried out a three year 4-H Entrepreneurship Club; Howard co-authored The Creative Young Entrepreneur, a HS Vo Ag text;

and, for 17 years, we each owned 12 ½% of Dan-D Acres, Inc.,

our four kids 4-H 5-acre u-pick strawberry business.


We want to teach some of the materials a few times

before turning the program over to others,

perhaps including you.


Please join us as together, we make our best better.


Barbara and Howard Doster


www.dhdoster.com; howard@dhdoster.com; 765-412-1495