President’s Monthly Message

January 2015

by Henry Kempfer

kempferHappy New Year everyone. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I’m sure many of you have made New Year’s resolutions and set goals for 2015. Every year seems to bring different opportunities and challenges.  Some catch us by surprise and leave us little time to prepare, while others can be visible for months or years in advance.

I pray that this year will bring many great opportunities to all of you. For some it may mean getting to spend more time with your family.  Time passes way too quickly and it seems we, in agriculture, are always busy.  If we’re not careful, we’ll miss our children growing up. This should also be another exciting year to be in the cow business. It’s times like these that make year-end profit and loss calculations fun, and almost confusing.

I’m certain we will face our fair share of challenges too. One challenge that I encourage you all to face, is to not become too complacent with the strong market.  We, as beef producers in Florida, are enjoying these fruitful times.  However, we can’t be blind to the fact that someday, there may be a sharp decline in prices or a drastic spike in production costs. Unfortunately, we don’t have the privilege to set our sale prices, but do get the opportunity to closely manage our production costs. It’s always interesting to try new ideas that might improve efficiencies, thus impacting our bottom line. It’s easy to get comfortable and ignore the need to be conservative or “tight” as some would say.  I believe that we learn how to be better managers in a weak market, and sometimes tend to lose track of what might seem to be “minor” details when things get good. Always sharpen your pencil and try to somehow turn our challenges into opportunities.

Have a blessed and happy new year.