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AlO-Lancaster Farming, Saturday, December 30, 2000
New Year’s Resolutions
The end of the year of our Lord 2000 is near. What a short time
ago, it seems, we were talking about Y2K and all the anticipated
problems with computers and their inherent garbage-in, garbage-out
limitations. But we got through it. A lot of money was spent and a
lot of money made, depending on which side of the program up
grades you were on.
This year, we have the national presidential election to talk about
at year’s end. But for farmers, not much has changed. We are still
concerned about low commodity prices and the environmental re
strictions that are an increasing part of the mix needed to stay in the
business of farming. The opponents of agriculture now hire private
law firms to take ag enterprises to task because they believe govern
ment moves too slowly to enforce regulations. You can sometimes
spend more time in jail for disrupting the habitat of an “endangered
species” than for human murder.
And yet, a little travel to underdeveloped countries to see how
they handle food makes those who think scratch their heads in dis
belief. Unrefrigerated meats in the market place and vegetables
washed in sewer water are the norm. U.S. food safety and environ
mental standards are extremely superior. We can only hope our ag
riculture is not forced offshore into those kinds of conditions. Then
“what’s for dinner” will really be inhuman and unsanitary.
Truly, we live in a wonderful country. At this time when it’s nor
mal to make New Year’s resolutions, let’s resolve to do our part to
build up America. It’s not perfect. But it is still the best place in the
world to live. And agriculture is a big part of the reason we can wish
everyone in the nation a prosperous 2001.
Happy New Year!
Solanco Y'"ng Farmer Mi “
Accelerated Calf Grower, So
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.ancaster wounty a obacco
Show, Farm and Home
Farm Financial Management
Using Computers, Cumber
land County extension office.
thru Jan. 4.
Pa. Holstein Central Region
Convention Meeting, Pa. Hol
stein office. State College, 11
ing, Mason-Dixon Farm,
Pa. Tobacco Marketing Associa
tion Auction, Solanco Fair
grounds, 9 a.m.
Schuylkill County Dairy Day,
Schuylkill County Ag Center,
Da*' Feedir - Employee Train-
ing, Mason-Dixon Farm,
Franklin County Dairy Day,
Fresh Cow and Transitional
Period Protocol, Robert and
Linda Fenchak Farm, Knox, 1
Pennsylvania State Farm Show,
Farm Show Complex, Harris
burg, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., thru Jan.
Pennsylvania Hereford Associa
tion Meeting and Banquet,
* Farm Calendar ♦
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Membership Banquet, Holi
tany Lion Inn, University
Park, thru Jan. 18.
Pa. State FFA Convention,
Farm Show Complex, 4:30
Octorara Young Farmer meet-
ing, Octorara High School,
Fairgrounds, thru Jan. 11.
Eastern Pa. Turf Conference
and Trade Show, Valley
Forge Convention Center,
King of Prussia, thru Jan. 1..
Ephrata Area Young Farmers
Introduction To Ephrata
School District Demo Farm,
Ephrata High School, 7:30
Great Lakes Vegetable Growers’
Convention and Farm Market
Show, Grand Center, Grand
ationai iSo-Tillage confer
ence, Omni Netherland Plaza,
Cincinnati, Ohio, thru Jan.
North American Berry Confer
ence, Sheraton Fallsview
Hotel. Niagara Fails.
Rescue Hose Co., Greencas
tle, Franklin County exten
sion office, 9:30 a.m.-ll a.m.
Organic Grain Marketing, Kutz
town University’s The Blue
Inn at Reading, Wyomissing,
6:30 p.m., thru Jan. 13.
Susquehanna Regional Vegeta
ble Meeting, Carriage Corner,
Mifflinburg 2 _ - __ —
UHL A ban
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As the New Year approaches,
tradition has us making New
Year’s resolutions. One resolu
tion you may want to consider is
increasing your business skills.
Most farmers have done an ex
cellent job learning and master
ing their production skills and
developing and managing enter
prise budgets. But most farmers
need to develop and enhance
their business skills.
These are the executive skills
that every business needs to be
successful. These skills include
strategic planning, human re
source management, financial
management, and legal and risk
management. Profits just do not
happen, they need to be planned
for. If you do not have a business
plan, you should consider devel
Your business plan serves as a
road man for vou to achieve vour
I have never heard of any
churches named for either St.
Simeon or St. Ana. In fact, not
really being up on the official
saints, I’m not sure if these two
have ever been accorded official
status as saints.
But I think it would be quite
appropriate to name a church
after either or both of these peo
ple who play notable roles in the
They appear in the Bible in
only one place Luke 2:21-38.
Their appearances are only brief,
but these cameo roles are no less
Christianity has certainly ben
efited greatly from the works of
spiritual giants such as St. Peter
and St. Paul. But there are others
who have made fine contribu
tions despite their walk-on roles.
Simeon and Anna have several
things in common, in that they
are humble people of devout
faith. Of Simeon, Luke writes:
“... and this man was righteous
and devout” (2:25). Turning to
Anna, he says: “She did not de
part from the temple, worship
ping with fasting and prayer
night and day” (2:37). Both ex
pected God to send a messiah.
Simeon looked for “the consola
tion of Israel” and Anna, giving
thanks for the infant Jesus, come to the temple at the precise
“spoke of him to all who were moment when Jesus was
goals. My vocational agriculture
teacher use to say “Plan your
work and work your plan.” The
same is true with your business
plan. Also, you might want to
consider establishing an advisory
committee for your farm. This
committee should include key
people who may help you in
meeting your business goals.
Professions to consider are
your accountant, attorney, bank
er, nutritionist, veterinarian, crop
adviser, insurance agent, non
farm business owner, and human
resource manager. Another way
to develop your business skills is
to serve on a board of directors of
a nonprofit organization.
Remember, change is inevita
ble but success is optional. If you
do not plan for profits in your
business, they probably will not
To be a competitive farm
today you need to know your
competition and trends that are
occurring in society.
Who is your competition? It is
your neighbor, farmers in other
parts of the U.S. and the world,
business in town, and producers
of alternative products to yours.
Have you developed benchmark
data for your farm? If you have,
how does it compare to the in
dustry average? Are you in the
top 10 percent? If you are not,
how are you going to become a
member of the Top 10 Club?
The days of the open market
are over where you produce a
product and take to market to
see who will buy it and at what
price. Alliances are being formed
between suppliers of inputs,
farmers, and marketers. This is
being driven by consumers.
Thus, it is important to know
your customers’ customers and
your suppliers’ suppliers. Also,
Both these terms “consola
tion of IspteT and “redemption
of Jerusalem” —''implied actibn
by a messiah.
Simeon, Anna, Mary, Joseph,
and the infant Jesus were
brought together in the temple
by the provision in Leviticus
12:1-8, directing that a newborn
son was to be circumcised and,
34 days after that, taken to the
priest for naming and dedication
to the Lord. (A daughter re
quired 66 days).
Unable to afford to sacrifice a
lamb, Mary and Joseph were
permitted (Lev. 12:8) to offer ei
ther two turtledoves or two pi
Because Mary and Joseph
were careful to observe the reli
gious traditions, they profited
from some unexpected blessings
and a prophecy. While it is true
that ritual and tradition may be
come substitutes for faith, we
often forget that, when regarded
rightly as “earthen vessels,” they
can also be conduits to authentic
Anna appears after Simeon, we
will look at her first because his
account is fuller and more signif
icant. All we know of the wid
owed Anna is that her name
means “grace,” that she is a
prophetess, and was at least 84
years of age. Unlike Simeon, we
do not have a record of her
words and we know only that
she “gave thanks to God, and
spoke of him to all who were
looking for the redemption of Is
‘God Has Heard’
Promised by divine inspira
tion that he would not die until
he personally witnessed God’s
messiah, Simeon was inspired to
you need to study consumer
trends, both in purchasing power
and the type of products they
want. Once you have done your
homework, you need to make ad
justments to your farm business
to meet these changes. This is an
ongoing process. The successful
farms will be the ones to antici
pate change and make the right
Remember, your profits are di
rectly related to your customers’
profits. Anything you can do to
enhance his profits will help
To Keep Learning
Time management becomes
more critical but harder to do
each year. If have not already
done so, this next year should be
the year you manage your time
instead of other factors manag
ing it for you. Sit down and set
the major priorities or goals you
want to achieve for next year.
One of those goals should be
achieve balance in your life.
If you have not read Stephen
Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly
Effective People,” you should.
Budget time to continue your
growth and development
through education. Attend pro
fessional meetings and manage
ment seminars. Develop new
One excellent meeting coming
up is the Lancaster Chamber of
Commerce Farm Business
School Jan. 31 at Leola Family
Restaurant. Dr. David Kohl, Vir
ginia Tech, will be conducting a
full day workshop on global com
petition, benchmarking, alli
ances, establishing advisory com
mittees, and alternative
investments. For more details
and registration information,
contact Brent Landis at the
Chamber by calling (717)
397-3531. Remember to take
time and invest in yourself.
recognized this humble couple’s
infant as the fulfillment of that
’♦ promise. > -
The name “Simeon” means
“the deity has heard.” Although
there were many by this name, it
was particularly appropriate for
this devout and patient man.
God had heard and now answer
ed his prayer.
Note that Simeon proclaims
that Jesus was sent by God, not
only for the glory of Israel, but as
“a light for revelation to the Gen
tiles” (2:32). This child would not
be just the messiah of Israel, but
for the whole world.
Further, Simeon delivers a
prophecy which must have
chilled Mary’s heart. By this
child many would be saved or
condemned and “a sword will
pierce your own soul also” (2:35),
a foreshadowing of the cross at
Simeon’s concluding words,
“Lord, now lettest thou thy ser
vant depart in peace...” (2:29),
are called the Nunc Dimittis
from the Latin translation of the
first words of this quotation.
They have been used as Chris
tian liturgy since at least the sth
Century AD, and possibly even
The aged Simeon did not have
to see the fulfillment of the King
dom of God. The same faith by
which he had waited for the mes
siah was enough to permit him
now to die in God’s peace.
And what is your Nunc Dimit
Published Every Saturday
Ephrata Review Building
1 E. Main St.
Ephrata, PA 17522
Lancaster Farming, Inc.
A Stemman Enterprise
William J. Burgess General Manager
Everett R. Newswanger Editor
Qppycigfit 2000 by Lapfaetqr Fargvng
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