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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

long haul”.

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