Never at a loss for ideas: a veteran freelancer shares an approach that has led him to multiple sales–not to mention an alligator farmer, a chicken catcher, and a renegade wild hog

June 10th, 2014

To get article ideas, you must have your mind right. First, don’t let your writing career depend only on what you know. Second, be a writer: Decide that you can write about any subject at any time, if you contact the right person to interview. Here are some tips and examples.

Don’t forget your daily gold mine. You’ll find your daily newspaper, especially the features section, a gold mine of freelancing ideas. If you live near a large city, every issue will have featurearticle ideas you can research and sell to magazines. To put dollars in your pocket, you write a marketable query, conduct your own interviews, and take your own photographs.

One morning, I read a newspaper article about an alligator farmer two hours away from my home in Alabama. I didn’t write for farming magazines but thought the idea had merit for some other markets. The article said the Alabama farmer had the second-largest alligator farm in the United States, and every year sold alligator hides to European tanneries. At that time, alligator boots cost about $400 a pair, an alligator wallet $400, and an alligator briefcase $3,000 to $4,500. You could see how an alligator farmer could earn a good living selling alligator hides. Well-written and full of facts and figures, the newspaper feature told readers that raising alligators required 2- to 3-acre ponds enclosed by 6-foot-high chain-link fences, and that this alligator farmer earned $80,000 to $100,000 per acre.

I took down the name and information and started querying farming magazines, including those emphasizing farmingequipment, rural lifestyles and specific crops. When I received a $1,500 assignment to write the article, I called the alligatorfarmer and asked if I could interview him and photograph his farm. The visit took less than a day.

farming magazines

I also sold some other versions of that article and reprints to smaller magazines for five times what I’d earned initially. Then the children’s channel Nickelodeon bought, for a fine price, some of my alligator photos for one-time use in its magazine.

On another morning, I read a story in our local newspaper about a commercial chicken farmer. The writer described how professional chicken catchers came in at night, caught the chickens, and put them in crates to be taken to the chicken processor.

I didn’t know any professional chicken catchers or understand what they did. I wrote some queries, however, and when I received the assignment, I called the chicken farmer and set a date to meet with him. During summer months, I learned, temperatures increase greatly in a chicken house. To stress the birds as little as possible, the catchers catch the chickens at night. Often, as many as 5,000 to 10,000 chickens live in one chicken house and, when confined, tend to pile up on top of each other and smother to death. For best efficiency, four men work in chicken-catching teams, including the stirrer, who forces the chickens to move around with a stick to keep them from smothering, and the catcher, who catches the chickens and carries their feet between his fingers, generally eight at a time.

I sold that article to farming, ranching, poultry, rural-lifestyle and general-interest magazines, making chicken catching one of my most profitable writing ventures ever.

Everyone is the world’s greatest something. To successfully sell a story about someone, determine what they’re the world’s best at doing. One day I asked my wife’s aunt, who loved to sew, “Aunt Jean, what are Fairy Pockets?”

“Fairy Pockets is the name of my sewing business,” she told me. “We make Tooth Fairy Pillows, clutch balls for babies, and all types of little hand-made children’s toys out of cloth–many like those used in colonial times.”

As I questioned her, I learned that her husband, an engineer, had built machinery for Aunt Jean that could cut out multiple patterns on large amounts of cloth at one time for her children’s toys. She farmed out the sewing to 20 to 30 ladies in her neighborhood who wanted to make extra money.

Her business caught on like wildfire. With some of her toys featured at a Smithsonian museum gift shop and distribution through many retail outlets, I realized that Aunt Jean was someone people would like to meet through an article and photos. She created handmade toys that didn’t exist anymore, used her entrepreneurship to enable other stay-at-home moms to sew the toys and make money, and had become a nationally distributed manufacturer. I queried and wrote the story of her business for a women’s magazine.

Another time I had assignments to write three fishing articles at Lake Seminole in Bainbridge, Ga. I spent two and a half days gathering information and shooting photos. With a half day left, I asked the lodge owner, Jack Wingate, a gentle man full of mischief, if he and I could go fishing for fun, since I had completed my work. While out fishing, I asked Wingate, “What’s the story on Ole Ripper?” The restaurant at Wingate’s Lodge had a huge mounted wild boar with long tusks and a sign in his mouth that said “Ole Ripper.”

Wingate smiled and told me, “Ole Ripper was a renegade wild hog that broke into pig parlors, set the sows free, and destroyed fences. People hunted him for about four years and never could catch up to him.”

As Wingate reminisced about Ole Ripper, I interrupted him and said, “Wait a minute, Jack. Start over, and let me turn on my tape recorder.” I was totally fascinated by the story Wingate, a master storyteller, told me.

Once I had the story, I called the editor of Outdoor Life, the largest magazine of its type. I told him I would send him one of the most exciting outdoor stories I’d ever heard. I explained I’d ghostwrite it for the teller of the tale.

I wrote the story and sent it to my editor on speculation, which I normally never do. He not only accepted the article but paid an artist to paint a picture that ran over two pages to help illustrate the piece. I cashed one of the best checks I’d ever earned for writing one article with no photos.

If you listen and question, you, too, can find great people to write about.

Maintain your personal ‘continuing-education program.’ I have an advantage as a writer because I’m an average Joe in middle-class America. I’m the guy you’ll meet on the street any time you go downtown anywhere. The things I don’t know, or the subjects I want to learn about, are probably shared by several million other interested people. To get one or 50 story ideas, I simply learn something new or interview someone who interests me.

Today, Tracy Byrd is a well-known country-music artist. But when he was a struggling singer, I discovered that he liked to hunt quail. I set up a quail hunt for us. During the course of the hunt, I took out my tape recorder and asked Byrd, “What do you have to do to be a successful country-western singer?”

Byrd answered, “You’ve got to sing in a lot of little-bitty bars all over the country, if you’ll ever sing on the big stage.” From that day with Byrd, I gleaned information for four magazine articles for the outdoors and country-music markets–and made a new friend.

Head to the bookstore. When I feel totally brain-dead, I pursue great story ideas by going to bookstores with my notebook and pen. I look at the type of articles various magazines run at specific times of the year–most will run similar articles the same month of the year, every year. In October, November and December, for instance, you’ll see holiday-related articles. I can then relate new story ideas to that same month the next year. If I spend two or three hours perusing all the magazines on the shelves, I often can discover 20 to 50 ideas in one afternoon.

One November I saw that several magazines on the stands included Christmas presents in their lineups. I queried some magazines for the next November on articles about what to buy outdoor youngsters for Christmas and sold the idea. Another time I noticed that women’s magazines and even People featured holiday meals. I queried and sold articles on a number of related topics, including how to incorporate wild game into Thanksgiving and Christmas menus, and how to have more fun on the Fourth of July by catching your own crappie and catfish that day.

Encounter a problem, solve it, write it. Make problems your new best friend. Every problem you or your acquaintances have is an opportunity to sell a story. Find a method for solving a problem and write up your insights and techniques to benefit others.

During a recession in the 1970s, I wanted to raise vegetables but lacked enough sun at my home. A nearby business, U.S. Steel, leased unused land for only $20 or so an acre for a year. Doing something my grandfather had done during the Great Depression, I leased five acres, marked off garden plots after having the land plowed, then asked each person who took a garden spot to return a third of what they grew to me. I wrote up the idea for Mother Earth News and a couple of alternative lifestyle magazines, too, while my family enjoyed a wide variety of fresh vegetables.

An inquisitive mind, a desire to learn, an awareness of where to find story ideas, and a belief that every person you meet is the world’s greatest something make not only for an interesting life, but a great career as a writer.

John E. Phillips

A full-time freelancer for 38 years, John E. Phillips, of Birmingham, Ala., has written more than 30 books. He also provides regular Internet content for eight companies and writes for about 40 different magazines each year.

Coming food price crises in Canada and the hoarding fear it may create

July 22nd, 2015

These days when you listen to the news you really feel scared because people can be seen stealing gas. It is happening because the price of the fuel has gone up to fifty bucks and if the latest news is to be believed there is a huge turmoil going on for world food supplies.

imageAfter reading this horrifying news, I have taken this as a warning. I have also noted the sudden spike in articles and food prices in Alberta. Most of such news is regularly appearing on the internet and as a result many countries have started to hoard their food and essential item supplies. Normally, these items are exported but now these are hoarded. Canada is one such country which will face this onslaught in future.

A recent article was published on the net and it talked about ‘stealth hoarding’ for Canadian’s. It is expected that the food prices will spike up to a new level by the month of May and I have started stocking up my larder. Here are some other options that can be considered in such cases.

One of the best things to do is to consider the organic idea garden. Few of my friends believe in taking this concept to a new level. They are planning to develop some of their own land as organic plots and these will be then rented to anybody who is interested in organically grown items. Well, this is for sure that I am going to be their first customer. The best thing about my friends is that they have vast land and have ample knowledge about how to grow quality organic produce.

I will also make sure that I bring seeds and rental fee because I have some experience in growing different items. My friends also know about how make the organic garden weed free which I think is another great advantage. I think I will be at the advantage because when the summer or autumn season comes, I will be ready to reap the rich harvest and will stock up my freezer and pantry with the much needed items. As you know that it is difficult to purchase fresh produce, especially at the time of crisis.

Apart from daily use items, my friends would also be growing fruits such peach, mangoes, apricot and a lot more. I can also preserve these items for the future and enjoy the tasty delights. I can also enjoy the fresh meat because of the local small butcher shop and the best part is that animals are bought live. I can also get a nice bargain at these local butcher shops which I think I cannot get on supermarkets or any big chain retailers. I can easily buy half or full animal as per my choice and stock up my freezer for the remaining part of the year. It all depends upon the amount of meat you consume and it can be the best opportunity for you.

Apart from fresh produce and meat, there is one more important think that you should consider and those are staples. Different staples such as grains like cereals and oats, dried beans, peas, corn meal, pasta, rice, oils, baking breads, eggs, butter, sauces, soup, dried fruits, vinegars and a lot more. Canned food items such as tuna, salmon, vegetables, stews and do not forget the jams and peanut butter. I have also been trying to increase my stock of items such as essential toiletries like soaps, shampoos and conditioners. I also own few pets and I have also added pet food items in my stock room.

Though it may sound like hoarding but it is not because it is like taking emergency precautions in advance. If you have stocked up months supplies in advance then you will not face any issues at the time of crisis. Life is becoming tough and money is everything and hence, I don’t want to pay for the rise in the cost of the above said items during the emergency time. It is almost certain that the food price hike will hit Canada in future. Being prepared is one of the most sensible decisions and you must watch latest news and keep yourself updated. It is always good to get ready for the unexpected.

As you know that the gas prices and food prices are spiking and it all started in 2008. A person with a wise approach will always be prepared in advance and will be appreciated for his timely action. Instead of getting into a mad scramble for essential food items in Canada in future, it is always good to enjoy the stock that you have accumulated over a period of time.

Do you want to be a wise person or another one?



How to Easily Find an Ideal Type of Air Compressor Online

February 22nd, 2015

There are numerous types or air compressor that can be found online. In fact, these types or air compressor differ from one another based on its uses, functions, prices and some other aspects. The unique identity and characteristic of an air compressor are the reasons why it also differs from one another.

If you want to use an air compressor for your DIY projects or even for professional works, then you have to choose a friendly product that would give you the privilege to experience the great results. One of the best ways on how to easily find the ideal type of air compressor for your projects and works is through reading different air compressor reviews. Probably you are asking yourself if what you would get out of reading reviews online. Well, reviews that can be found in some reliable sites would be very helpful for you when looking for the best and high quality of air compressor.

Air Compressor Online

Here are some of the essential things and impacts of several reviews which you may find in the market:

  1. These provide great and accurate decision making on or before buying the product.
  2. These give you the chance to meet all the best types of air compressor in the circulation.
  3. Both positive and negative reviews would improve your purchasing techniques, especially if you would like to consider numerous features, uses and functions.
  4. Through reading more reviews, you will be aided on how to choose an air compressor which is relatively good and beneficial for you. Thus, you can surely end up selecting a high quality type that would provide long lifespan.
  5. Reviews would be your primary or secondary opinions about the good, better and best products that are being offered in the marketplace. Hence, you can never purchase those imitated products which would give you no assurance when it comes to quality.

Once you are already done reading several reviews, it is now the time to make your decisions too. You have to start thinking which particular product you will choose and use for good. If you have already decided to purchase an air compressor for your projects, then make sure that you are on the right company.

Probably, you want to place an order through online because it is one of the easiest ways on how to purchase a product. So, always consider a company or a site that gives real or authentic information when it comes to their products and services. Don’t just shop a particular product wherein you don’t know yet the background of the company. As much as possible, do an extensive research about your company provider so as to make sure that you are on the right site or place for the selection of the product.

For more assurance, you should always start reading several useful reviews that you may use for your great selections. There are some online sites that give different information about a specific product that you want. In fact, you can also find some other information or details about other products which you may use for your other projects. Some of these are farm tools, different pieces of equipment for your gardening and many more.

What to know when choosing ceiling fan for your farm

January 24th, 2015

Several centuries later on, in 1882, Diehl introduced his innovation of the electric ceiling fan. By the end of the 1880s, the “Diehl Electric” was brushing up the country, and by the late 1920s, no self-respecting dining establishment, medicine shop, ice cream shop, or sophisticated dining space, was without a ceiling fan as component of their decor and also method of air flow.

Ceiling fans could lessen cooling expenses. In the summer season, a breeze produced by a great ceiling fan can make you really feel between two and six degrees cooler. You can read this best ceiling fans reviews article to find out ceiling fans that fit your farm.

There are many ceiling fan designs and styles, and it is important that one considers the following options carefully before purchasing a ceiling fan for your farmhouse:

  • Fan Size: It is important that the fan will suit your space. You need to consider the height of the ceiling and make certain that the blades have ample space in which to rotate. It is advised that the blades are no closer compared to 2 feet from the nearby wall.
  • Fan Motors: Good ceiling fans have an electric motor size and also preciseness ground electric motor windings matched to the length of the blades. This ensures that the fan relocates the air successfully, even with continual usage, as well as uses much less energy to run. If the motor or cutters are improperly balanced, vibrations will take place, even at slow-moving rate. Fans that are constructed for outside usage have electric motors that are specially designed to withstand moisture and changes in temperature. Hunter Fan Company have WhisperWind motor and they are the best!
  • Fan Blades: Fan cutters come in all kinds of fantastic forms as well as designs. The number of blades in a ceiling fan ranges from three to five, but this number has little impact on the quantity of awesome air the fan generates.
  • Fan Mounts: There are three main varieties of ceiling fan places – downrod place, flush place, as well as tri-mount. Fan Downrods can come at any length and are specially designed for rooms with higher ceilings, bringing the circulating blades of the fan down into the living room where it is most effective.

Patio ceiling fans are another important sort of ceiling fan, as well as although normally less common compared to indoor ceiling fans, patio ceiling fans are taken into consideration important in the warmer, moister areas of your farm location.

Explore the Good Things about Boost Your Bust Reviews

January 22nd, 2015

increase breast sizeIf you are tired of exploring the different ways and strategies on how to elevate your breast size naturally, then you may start reading some helpful reviews about the Boost Your Bust by Jenny Bolton. There is nothing you can’t do with regards to breast size enhancement if you will ultimately discover the best things and effects of this book for you. This book – Boost Your Bust by Jenny is indeed a helpful book which provides the best insights towards your goal, which is to enhance your breast size without difficulty.

Probably, you are asking yourself about the remarkable things which are written on this book. So, why don’t you try to read this book and you see the ideas by yourself. Here are some of the things and new ideas that you may get and know out of reading these Boost Your Bust Reviews:

  • Enhancing your breast size through eating foods – There are lots of foods which you need to eat so as to gradually increase your breast size and maintain its size up to your desired type. Some of the nutritious foods that you have to take along with your dietary program are green leafy veggies and some essential fruits. Some of the veggies and fruits in the market are carriers of estrogen which is basically helpful for the improvement of your breasts.
  • Helping yourself to reach your goal through the use of natural methods like exercises and different routines – The book of Jenny Bolton is really one of the essential providers of different techniques or strategies to be utilized for your breast enhancement. You may do some sorts of exercises and daily routines that are quite easier for your body status. Aside from that, you may start to learn some basic Yoga plus that you may use for your daily living. You may also opt to use these basic Yoga techniques during your leisure time.
  • Health promotions and undertakings to be done through the aid of special plants and herbs – It is indeed a great privilege for you if you will also  learn how to be aided with some special plants and herbs based on their functions. If you want, you may tend to use fenugreek seeds and some other recommendable herbs for effective results.

How to Find the Best Information about Boost Your Bust

Looking for a certain review through online is quite trickier than what you are expecting. So, what you have to do is to do an extensive research before you stay in a specific website or page. Here are some of the useful tips and advice that you may have once you are seeking for the best and reliable information about the Boost Your Bust ebook:

  1. Doing a research is the first thing that you need to do so as to know if the information on the site is true and reliable. As much as possible, try to know and explore if what they are saying about the product and strategies are really helpful or not.
  2. You may also consider the people’s point of view by viewing their testimonials and comments about the product and specific techniques.
  3. You may ask some notions from the experts if what sites to visit so as to end up having the right avenue for you. Don’t forget to take the pages which were commonly visited by the customers.
  4. Be meticulous enough about the pros and cons of it. Good reviews should not only present its advantages, but also its drawbacks.

With these mentioned tips and suggestions, you can surely find the right Boost Your Bust through online basis. Be guided with those things for your own benefits.

The Present State of Farming as Part of Agricultural Industry

October 9th, 2014

Nowadays, you may notice that there are lots of people who are engaged in the industry of agriculture. One of the most prominent livelihood sources by numerous people all over the country is the so-called farming. Because of this, these people are seeking for some related information on how to upgrade their lives and experiences in farming industry.

One of the best factors that a farmer should consider when they are operating such farm is the suitable farm shop that would bring them towards success. Make sure that you can establish your own farm shop so as to gain more benefits out of what you are doing.

In fact, farm shop can be utilized for many purposes such as:

    1. Farming
    2. Housing livestock
    3. Equipment storage
    4. And many more

You just need to be well-knowledgeable in establishing farm shop so that you will end up having more benefits as what you want to expect from what you are doing. For m ore information about the other factors to consider and the right things to do to create better farm shop, you may also take a glimpse on some reliable sites online. Perhaps, you may also need the best weed eater for your farming procedures. So, you can definitely seek the ideal type of it through online searching. Always consider those reliable sites only so that you can have a full guarantee about quality results.

Things to Seek for in Establishing Farm Shop

Farm ShopAs what mentioned earlier, there are several things and considerations that you need to take when seeking for a farm shop. If you want an ultimate outcome that would guarantee success, then you have to prioritize the following things:

Materials  used

One of the most essential features  that you need to prioritize in buying or building a shed or farm shop is the material types to be utilized. Make sure that the materials to be used for your farm shop are durable enough and can last longer. As much as possible, try to make use of the materials that are only light weights which are also made up of aluminum.


You need to decide if what particular size of your farm shop – on how big or small it is. But as much as possible, try to bigger depending on the stocks that you will put on your farm.


Almost all farm shop vary in styles. That’s why it is really desirable to select a specific one that is quite overwhelming. Always remember that you have to choose a farm shed or shop that is strong enough and can easily be combined with your ideas in order to enhance its styles and designs.

Trusted builder 

Always go with a reputable and trusted builder who will work or do your farm shops.

Always consider the best things that you know in doing and establishing the best styles for your farm shops. You may also seek some pieces of advice from experts who are presently working on farms and in any related fields.

In the 1930s, the people of the southern Great Plains suffered through one of the worst ecological disasters in history

October 6th, 2014

Long after it was over, many people recalled how beautiful that April Sunday in 1935 started out. But that morning a cold front swept south from Canada through the Great Plains, picking up loose soil. Over hundreds of miles of flat land, the wind whipped up earth dried out by years of drought into an immense black cloud.

By the time it got to a section of the Oklahoma Panhandle called No Man’s Land, the cloud was thousands of feet high and 200 miles long, traveling 60 miles an hour. “It was like a tornado that was on its side,” a farmer’s son later told filmmaker Ken Burns.

Close by in Liberal, Kansas, 11-year-old Lila Lee and a friend frantically sought refuge from the angry mountain of dust in a house. “I was sure I was going to die,” she told historian Paul Bonnifield.

While all over the region, people voiced a similar fear: “It’s the end of the world.”

That day would come to be known as Black Sunday. Robert Geiger, an Associated Press reporter who witnessed it, knew how the area’s farmers had already suffered from the long drought. “Three little words … rule life today in the dust bowl of the continent,” he wrote. “‘If it rains.’”

In his article, Geiger coined a phrase that gave a name to a region and one of the worst ecological disasters in history: the Dust Bowl.

Dust Bowl

“Wrong Side Up”

The Dust Bowl covered about 150,000 square miles–mostly in the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles and parts of Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico. The tragedy that unfolded there in the 1930s had a number of causes. But most experts say it was the actions of humans that made it so bad.


Reasons for farm workers to be optimistic

September 30th, 2014

As farming operations have become more and more concentrated and industrialized over the past two decades, conditions in the industry are becoming more and more similar to those experienced in traditional industrial settings. The capacity of farm workers to organize has thereby increased. Furthermore, the evolution of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms has given labour groups one tool to challenge their exclusion from govern mental protections. These changes, combined with ongoing grassroots organizing by groups like the FCW, Justicia for Migrant Workers (J4MW) and KAIROS (an ecumenical social-justice group), in conjunction with formal legal challenges, have began to reap some benefits.

farm workers

The biggest victory to date was a Liberal announcement last year that, starting in June, 2006, farm workers will for the first time be protected under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The change will extend existing health-and-safety provisions that most workers already take for granted–like the right to be notified of workplace hazards or to refuse to work in unsafe conditions. But both the UFCW and Osgoode Hall’s Eric Tucker are quick to point out that the lack of agricultural-specific regulations and limited resources regarding enforcement could limit the importance of the change.


Farming as One of the Beneficial Agricultural Works in Your Place

July 4th, 2014

Agricultural works are one of the backbones of the economy of some countries. And one of its main subdivisions is through farming. With the different correlated works in farming, many people tend to become profitable and progressive to their lives. As long as that they have a spacious farm where they can do farming, they can have a full guarantee that they can end up having a better lifestyle.

There are some people who wish to setup their business along with their agricultural lands. So, what they are doing is that they look for some alternatives and additional works which can be simultaneously work together with the farming tasks.


Some health promotion activities after hours of laboring on the farm:

I found that strength training after hash hours of labor is necessary, it helps us maintain the physical state with the most prolific. Here is several methods to help them get into the best state of physical, mental:

- Exercise sports such as badminton, football, volleyball, …

- Those who want to have strong bodies, healthy muscle should choose fitness training. There is a suggestion to promote the efficiency of bodybuilding by using drugs enhanced with Testosterone or foods, fruits including in natural testosterone supplements. If you want to use testosterone enhanced with drugs rooting from natural origin, read Testosterone Booster Reviews on reliable sources on the internet to get the best choice or consulting your doctor directly. Enhanced Testosterone properly also helps users get the best mental state after the stressful working hours, fatigue, renewable labor.

The Essence of Farming Related to Your Lifestyle

Farming Related to Your Lifestyle

After having your day-breaks; you can again go back to your usual routines. Since farming could be your primary works, you can enhance your life through the different essential projects related to this. Make sure not to neglect your farm since this could make your life more worthwhile and progressive.

Actually, there are several benefits and advantages that you may get out of farming. Through several works in farming like raising cattle or livestock and planting root crops or some vegetables, you can easily look for means in order to live. Here the two main benefits that you may get out of farming:

  • Source of foods and income – With all the farm related works that you have, you can even get foods from your farm. Also, you can sell some of its products in the market and turn the products into cash. In this way, you can have a source of income.
  • For entertainment and making yourself busy – Some people do farming because they want to make themselves busy. They don’t want to have idle days; but instead, they are looking for more useful effects on their lives.

You can also do some sorts of farming activities since there are lots of faming tasks which you can explore.


Farm Loans – Development the agricultural economy

June 28th, 2014

Things have been heating up in Minnesota and far more than the summer’s heat wave is involved.

Farm Loans

“Concern over the ag economy has gone from people being a little concerned about it to people being scared about it,” says ag banker Steve Lindholm, president of $31 million-assets Farmers and Merchants State Bank, Clarkfield, Minn. As July came to a close, Lindholm called Prairie Grain, one of the local elevators, just two blocks from the bank, for the prices on soybeans and corn. They were down again: corn at $1.46 per bushel, and beans at $3.89 per bushel.

The news was discouraging, but no big surprise. With some compensating factors for distance to market (called “basis”) and such, the local elevator’s prices pretty much follow the direction of the national price level, which is to say, below production costs for most farmers. The record harvests that have been predicted for both crops have pushed grain prices down. Drought in the East has prompted some scaling back of yield predictions, but not enough to affect prices significantly.

In Clarkfield, however, Lindholm is still expecting excellent yields. “I’m not expecting them to equal last year,” he says, “but we’re almost there, absent a bad wind storm or a hail storm.”

But there is a feeling, almost, of dis-connectedness about price levels. “Most farmers are able to get the Commodity Credit Corp. loan rate out of the grain they have in inventory now,” points out Lindholm. That and the loan deficiency payment program, worked in combination, can get the farmer better prices than the cash market.

However, “better” isn’t actually “good.” “They can’t make money at $1.75 corn and $5.06 beans,” says Lindholm of the CCCloan prices.

A system with eyes

In the meantime, Lindholm and his loan officers are keeping watch over the ag portfolio. One big assistance is the way Farmers & Merchants sets up its loan relationships with farmers. A “note control” system for grain farming has been used for years by Lindholm and his father, Paul Lindholm, now of Security State Bank of Fergus Falls, Minn.

After harvest, an “inventory loan” is set up tied to the value of grain on hand that is to be marketed over a period of months and paid by July or August the following year. Any short-term debt that cannot be paid from the loan value of grain inventory becomes the “machinery note.” No payments are expected during the production year from this note, so its due date is set subsequent to harvest the following year. Finally, the “crop production” note, a closed-end line of credit, is set up for all of the borrower’s anticipated crop production needs.

Lindholm finds a number of advantages to this approach, but a key point is that it works hand in glove with the bank’s approach to funding farm loans, outlined earlier in this series: It always evaluates a farmer with the intent of banking all of his operation, not half of it. Thus the amount of operating credit granted in the closed-end line is based on the likely costs of the entire season. Hence, exposure is contained and a borrower would have to come to the bank should funds run short.

“So far, because of the way we evaluated the loans in the spring, we’ve seen nothing out of whack,” says Lindholm. Out of all of the bank’s farm loans, only one has caused unexpected trouble.

Ties that bind

The one problem case, while unusual, could be a bellwether. It involves a farmer whose son, also a farmer, but in different market, had been turned down for desperately needed credit. To help his son, the farmer used a big piece of his own operating line from Farmers & Merchants. Problem is, Lindholm’s staffers know what it costs to run a farm, and their projection was correct-so that the older farmer began to run short of operating cash and had to ‘fess up’ to the bank.

Lindholm’s experience tells him this may be the first of a line of such situations.

“Technically, what he did was fraud,” says Lindholm, but the banker is not inclined to demand his pound of flesh. “We will try to fix the problem,” he explains.

“When money gets tight,” he explains, “people do things that make sense to them at the time but may not be permitted under the loan documents and that put the bank at risk through exposures that the bank didn’t intend to take.”



Vital role of farming

June 13th, 2014

Agriculture plays a very crucial role in our economy. It is the main and leading source of currency for developing countries as well as employment opportunities are vastly in demand. Because of the rising world population year by year, it was reported that there is a crucial need for development of farming for efficient use of resources for farming use.

Vital role of farming

There are essential reasons why farming is important. First of all, it provides us food to eat; it helps in the promotion of biodiversity, reduction of farm pollution as well as toxic substances in the environment, better soil and good preservation of the culture of Agriculture, it plays a significant role to the International Trade, marketable surplus, foreign exchange resources, food security and great employment opportunities. Thus, most countries rely agricultural products as a main source of income.

Without farming, every person would be forced to hunt and gather their own food in order to survive. Nowadays, scarcity of food is possible as population increases. For that reason, individuals must learn that farming plays a vital role in our day to day living as it supplies our daily needs of family’s food intake everyday.

Farming before and after

Way back before, farming needs more than a hard work. Farmers are not yet equipped with knowledge and tools regarding new technologies when it comes to farming techniques. There are no available machines before, that is why farming task before was never an easy job.

In most countries today, farming was made easy by the use of different technologies. Farmer’s life is made easy in terms of mechanization, rural electrification, general upgrading of the technology and scientific methods, thus making farming less laborious at the same time living was made easy and enjoyable for farmers.

Technology at its best

With the aid of technology, many areas of the world have improved drastically. Through mechanization and system upgrading, there are a lot of farming tools that have had arises which are available at the market today depending upon its application. Hitachi and Dewalt are among the tool brand manufacturers that are well-known and trusted brands in the market today. And it varies based by its durability, weight, quality, prices and of use.

Tools like standard saw, best compound miter saw, and sliding compound miter saw are only few of the tools that are commonly used by the farmers of today’s modern world and are classified as safe and easy to use tools. For better tool suggestions you may visit for more information for better choices.

Vital role of farming


Farming plays a vital role in our lives. Thus it builds a role to the entire welfare or living of the society, providing our daily needs such as abundant food supply, fresh food and other necessities for people around the globe. These days, fresh foods are not easy to produce, that is why farming is essential and farmers do play a very important role.

With the evolution of inventors and the rising demand of the technology of the farming tools that are present in the marketplace today, the production output of every farmers where doubled as well as tripled as the capacity of the machine or system used increases relative to the amount of labour that is employed therefore, making farmers work load more easy, hassle free, timesaving and productive.