I recently wrote about the book Good to Great in which the analogy between being a fox and a hedgehog was mentioned.
The hedgehog does ONE THING great. All thoughts, actions and planning is directed toward making that one thing great.
So often, in this busy technology-filled world we think of business in terms of widgets and forget that the same principles used in manufacturing, marketing and service can be used in one of the oldest professions – farming.
I come from a farming family – well, indirectly. All my cousins lived on farms all in the same valley in NY. In the summer, this city girl, would get up at the sound of the rooster, milk the cows and feed the chickens. With a world of fast and processed food it can be easy to forget that there are still farmers bringing the foods we eat to the produce sections.
Dairy farming is still in my family and the fourth generation of farmers just hit the news. My dad sent me the link to an article that appeared in the local paper back home. It was funny because it starts off naming two cousins I didn't remember. And that's because they are the grown up grand babies of my first cousins – oh time flying.
Since they were 14, Matt and Chad had a vision of dairy farming just like their granddad.
They remained focused, looking for opportunities to train and gain experience, selecting a school that would further their knowledge, saving their money for their first dairy cows, renting a local barn and having to transport the necessary hay and feed to keep the cows healthy and milk-producing.
They are modern day hedgehogs.
They enlisted the help of neighbors and friends in the area to help with their business, ever focused on the ultimate goal of having a dairy business.
"In June 2005, we found a barn with a good milking system in place to rent in Van Etten. We brought our cows in and that's when we began selling milk as Frisbie Bros. Dairy," Chad said.
They've grown their business to 40 cows since then and the article announced that they have purchased my cousin's farm and 40 of his cows to double their production and move their operation to a 500 acre property that has been producing milk since long before I can remember.
Side note, when I was growing up my other cousin Bob had thefarm across the street and the very happy bull that serviced both farms.
I guess I just thought it was interesting that the same principles used in making Walgreens a great company are being used in the farming business.
Certainly that must mean the same can be used in our own business as well.
I'm just thinking…
Deborah Chaddock Brown
Writer, lover of milk