Utility Players In Agriculture: Working the Infield and Outfield
It’s time to start gearing up for baseball season, and while I rarely have time to actually sit down and watch a game, I keep up with the Kansas City Royals through notifications on my phone. When service is available in the Flint Hills and the notifications about who hit a big home run stream in, I of course get excited. Conversely, the bleeps about injuries and a lost game are not my favorite. On the bright side, it's sure nice to feel "in the loop." With thoughts of baseball swirling in my head, I started to ponder similarities between baseball and agriculture.
PLAYERS: There are many "players" who may factor into an agriculture operation. A livestock operation needs a reliable team behind it, including a manager, ranch hands, a sale barn contact or buyer, work horses, veterinarian, commodity providers and so on. A farming operation needs variations of a "head honcho," seed provider, mechanic, field man or agronomist, and harvest crew to name a few. Both use a smorgasbord of machinery, which is handy when it works! Moreover, the "players" often have to take on multiple positions, depending on the line-up or "game plan" for the day. The "players" work together as a team to complete the job at hand and try to prepare for what tomorrow may or may not bring.
PREPARATION: Any agricultural operation does "scouting reports" by paying attention to market, news and weather reports. Depending on the type and size of the operation, this information may be interpreted differently by each farmer or rancher. Internal reports and bookkeeping is kept up to snuff. The seasons come and go, but information continues to be analyzed. A well-seasoned agriculturalist understands their unique position in the marketplace in relation to others.
GAMES: When "game time" comes, both types of personnel gear up with equipment, work clothes, and a specific line of skill sets. Both must accept their occupation as a lifestyle if they wish to be successful. They are aware that there will be moments when risks have to be taken, some with larger consequences than others. They have to also revel in the exhaustion their hard work often produces, climbing into bed with the satisfaction that they gave their best effort.
FANS: An average spectator at a ball game roots for the home team! A newcomer might ask questions as the game plays out or decide to learn cheers. Spectators not only soak in the sights and sounds, but a consistent follower may also track stats. The atmosphere by itself can be enjoyable in itself.
Share the love of the "game" or take a swing at learning more about the role of agriculture in our society. It's a "Royal" industry and honest lifestyle, rich with great people. Play ball!