Mr. Brown was serious and hard working. He was an excellent
employee. He was superior to Mr. Johnson as a mechanic. He
understood the feeding and care of livestock better than Mr.
Johnson. To the superficial observer he was a better farmer than
Mr. Johnson. His machinery was in better repair. His livestock
always looked good, sometimes almost too good. Why, then,
did he fail when Mr. Johnson succeeded? The answer lies in
one of the most important concepts in being a successful farm
manager. Mr. Johnson was more flexible. Whereas Mr. Brown
kept the same enterprises throughout his career. Mr. Johnson
adapted his operations to changing economic conditions. When
crop prices were low, he selected cattle enterprises that utilized
cheap feed; he was quick to adopt new farming methods that
held promise of reducing costs.
Successful farm management decisions must “pay off over the