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Successful Farming November 2018

Successful Farming magazine serves the diverse business, production, and family information needs of families who make farming and ranching their business. Get Successful Farming digital magazine subscription today and learn how to make money, save time, and grow your satisfaction in the farming business. True to its name, Successful Farming magazine is all about success. Every issue is packed with ideas readers can take right to the field, barn, shop, and office to increase their profit and to position their farming business for growth and success in the competitive and global industry of agriculture.

United States
Meredith Corporation
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13 Issues


access_time2 min.
do the best you can

Theodore Roosevelt said it so well: “Do the best you can, where you are, with what you have.” That message resonates with farmers when faced with low prices for the fifth straight season and producers are finding it tough to rub two nickels together. My travels this summer took me to Colorado, Montana, Michigan, Washington, D.C., Illinois, and several points across the Midwest. When strangers asked me about the farming business, I answered, “It’s tough.” I told them some farmers haven’t made money for years, and others are struggling to cover their costs. When I talked to farmers this summer, I often relied on Teddy Roosevelt. “Do the best you can, where you are, with what you have.” That adage also relates to farm succession planning. This issue marks the introduction of our newest…

access_time1 min.
about our cover

You may not know Jay Vigon, but chances are you’ve seen his work. Especially if you like rock ’n’ roll. Vigon is a well-known artist and designer of album covers. In his 40+ years as an artist, he’s done memorable work for musicians like Prince (the Purple Rain typography), Bon Jovi (the band’s trademark logo), Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Van Halen, and more. With 100+ album covers in his portfolio, we could think of no better designer to create our “Heavy Metal” cover art for Successful Farming magazine. Creative Director Matt Strelecki was excited to give Vigon, of Des Moines, Iowa, a call and work together on a project. The major stories in the November issue were ideal for a design that reflects SF readers’ interest in heavy metal –…

access_time3 min.
susan macisaac

Growing up in an agriculturally rich area of western Canada, Susan MacIsaac was always interested in science. Yet, she wasn’t quite sure how that passion would translate into a career. Pursuing a degree in basic biology at the University of Saskatchewan, she thought, would help define her path. At the time, the university was on the cutting edge of biotechnology and agricultural research. It had a major impact on MacIsaac and, ultimately, her choice in a profession. Today, she is the discovery science lead at The Climate Corporation, where she works to develop digital tools that help farmers select the right hybrid and manage it for optimal yield in a specific field. SF: What do you enjoy most about your current role? SM: My favorite thing about working at The Climate Corporation is being…

access_time7 min.
riding the ethanol roller coaster

After months of Washington infighting, President Trump gave the go-ahead for year-round sales of E15, a potential outlet for the huge stockpile of U.S. corn. Ethanol advocates expect a regulatory race against time to get new EPA rules in place ahead of the driving season next summer, not counting the possibility of a lawsuit by the oil industry or environmentalists to tie up progress. “It’s a tight time line, certainly, (but) it’s doable,” says Emily Skor, head of trade group Growth Energy. Corn Growers President Lynn Chrisp says higher biofuel blends like E15 will “improve economic conditions across rural America. NCGA will be taking an active role in the regulatory process, urging EPA to move forward with making the president’s commitment a reality by next summer.” Trump’s order to EPA to rewrite…

access_time4 min.
taking the plunge

Two years ago, I wrote about the 200-acre wetlands restoration project my husband, Bob, and I were launching on the Iowa farm we own with my parents [“Starting a Wetlands,” December 2016, page 66]. It’s time for an update. You know the saying, “If you only knew what you were in for, you would never have the guts to do it.” I guess that applies to most of life, actually. Not only have we forged ahead with our sizable wetlands conservation project, we added 80 acres of quail habitat this year. Part of that project involves planting a 20-acre food plot for the game birds. The pictures here show that our decision to convert the river-bottom land on this 400-acre farm into wetlands and quail habitat was the right one. With the…

access_time3 min.
first trust, then sales

On her drive home from Bozeman to Three Forks, Montana, JaTanna Williams often calls her best friend, Natalie Kovarik, a Montana native living in Ord, Nebraska. Despite the distance between them now, the two have many things in common. Both grew up in Three Forks. Both are pharmacists. Both married ranchers. Both are moms. One day last September, Williams called Kovarik, as she had many times before, to commiserate about work and kids. This time, the conversation had a different outcome. “There’s got to be something else we can do to limit the number of days we’re away from our families,” Williams said that day. The answer: Start their own company selling beef directly from their ranches to consumers. This business opportunity also opened up the door for them to share their love for…