I was supposed to be in Wisconsin this past week, enjoying the -20 degree temperatures, and speaking at the 2019 Grassworks conference. I didn’t make it. My first flight out was cancelled, and rescheduled for later in the afternoon. So I checked my bag and went home for a few hours. When I returned, my second flight was cancelled. And try as they might, the airlines couldn’t find a way to get me to Wisconsin in time for my talks. I did not feel super that day. I was beaten by the Polar Vortex.
This is ironic because being super was one of the things I was going to talk about. To be a superfarmer/rancher, able to leap tall barns in a single bound, we have to be really good at a whole lot of very different skills and technologies. It’s something I’ve been talking and thinking about with some of our On Pasture authors over the last year. We began to develop a “wheel” showing some of the skills required, and then talked about how the thing we’re worst at is likely what’s going to hold us back. As Jenn Colby says, that’s the flat part of our tire and we need to find ways to pump it up.
An air pump, a can of Fix-a-Flat, and patching or changing the tire are all solutions for a flat tire. For our personal flat tires, the solutions generally involve learning and practicing a new skill, or finding someone who can help. And it’s not a one time deal either. As Jenn says, “Flat tires require constant upkeep to stay inflated!”
But, when our tires are inflated, a whole new world opens up. So, here at On Pasture, we’re working on tools and opportunities that can help us all help each other. We call it OPEN – On Pasture Experience Network: building success one skill at a time.We’re starting with things we’re already doing, like providing information to improve landscape management, economics and finance, and marketing skills. It includes our 2,000 article archive, the Special Collections I’ve put together to help you focus on a particular topic, and the handouts you can download, print, and share at conferences and workshops. Our future plans include supporting authors in publishing their books, and finding ways to encourage mentoring within the community.
I’d like to invite you to be part of OPEN too. If you have ideas about what would be most helpful, whether it’s a book a handout or a collection of information, or you have suggestions for how we can help you connect with folks that can help you pump up your flat tires, let us know. I’m pretty sure that 100,000 heads are better than 1!
Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing your ideas. We can’t do it without you!