Throughout our lives and in business, we are all seeking a better understanding of events and issues that take place.
Those who can combine their mental, physical, emotional and spiritual intelligence give themselves the greatest opportunity to form a better world view of events.
Even having done that you still may fall short in understanding unless fully immersed in a situation.
All the education, training, peripheral experience and common sense cannot prepare you for situations that you will encounter in life.
One ambiguous statement rings in my ears from time to time, "experience is not experience until you have experienced it".
Nothing can prepare you properly for bushfires, floods, droughts, mouse plagues, fatal accidents and the like. Even after experiencing them, you can still fall short because no two situations are the same.
Perspective is a critical element in forming opinions and, in a lot of cases, we don't have the right to form an opinion because we don't have all the information, facts and research to have a proper perspective.
One hot topic in farming circles at the moment is the large jump in land prices. Many will judge what another farmer paid for land at a farm auction as absolutely ridiculous. Farmers still try to justify the price of land by what it can produce, which is an important factor, but just one of many.
Most farmers perspective of the higher price paid is deeply rooted in what has happened in the past, but the success or otherwise of this decision is in the future. No one understands the goals, resources, managerial abilities and future plans of the newly-acquired farm, other than the buyer.
At auction, it takes two to bid the price to what it eventually sells for, so there may be two reckless people in the room. An interested onlooker can only say that in their situation, considering all angles, the price of land is too expensive for them.
I, for one, do not like seeing land values jump rapidly in price - we need an affordable land trading system for the majority of farmers, particularly for the ones trying to get a start. The last thing we need in Australian agriculture is a farming situation where the young ones don't see a future in the industry.
On the flip side the person who paid the very high prices at your local auction has most likely done you a favour, enabling you to write many thousands of dollars of revised land values onto your balance sheet without you spending a cent. The value of land can make up 80 per cent of your asset base.
In farming, we don't have enough local debates on many important issues that face us. It would be great to see well-read, knowledgeable and respected farmers taking opposing positions in a robust debate on the pros and cons of land prices and other important issues.
You should never turn away completely from someone who does not share the same opinion - but you must make sure you play the ball, not the man.
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