Think like an economist

This weekend, I had another meeting in Kansas City for AFA. This trip focused on conference prep, but as always, personal develop. With that, we conducted a lunch visit with UMB Bank. I have become more adapt to reading the financial articles on LinkedIn and the occasional Wall Street Journal. But when talking with businessmen and futuristic economists like Peter DeSilva and Mike Hagedorn, they brought in a whole new perspective about the agriculture industry.

UMB Bank
AFA Student Advisory Team at UMB Bank.

Sometimes, you need to think like an economist. That is why many farmers are doing to be profitable and successful business people. Today, many farmers are specialized. One example is my father. Nearly 10 years ago, my dad transitioned from conventional to organic farming of his corn, wheat, soybean and hay crops. For reference, my dad has been farming since the age of 15 and attained personal acreage at age 18. In his mid-50s, this was quite a change from the usual farming routine he had for over half of his career.


He currently farms around 200 acres of crops around northwest Ohio. This example depicts my dad as an economist. I don’t always believe it when I see his disorganized mess of an “office”, but because of his production methods, he provides for our family the best he can.

Corn field
Down the lane near one of my dad’s fields.

My dad is not the only farmer or rancher who uses these methods. There are many around the nation who find niche marketing opportunities –domestically and internationally– and excel at them. I think that is amazing how efficient and thoughtful agriculturalists can be. This makes me excited for the future of our industry.

Do you have a story of how a farmer you know thinks like an economist?