Attitude as a Function of Marketing for Farmers and Ranchers
Charles H. Rust
Keywords: Marketing, systems, skills, management, marketing objectives, price, profit, cash flow, risk, marketing plan, attitude
Marketing of grain and livestock is an indispensable part of the farm and ranch business in Montana and must be dealt with daily. Successful marketing is as much a function of attitude as it is of skill. A positive attitude toward marketing grain and livestock will help build enthusiasm and allow the time needed to develop new skills and set realistic marketing objectives.
Most would agree that marketing is one of the most difficult and frustrating challenges facing farmers and ranchers. It is frustrating because there are unanticipated forces such as weather changes or government action that can quickly drive prices upward or downward.
For the marketer who has a positive attitude and realistic objectives, fluctuating markets provide opportunities, but for others they can be frustrating. Grain and livestock marketing systems are highly complex. Prices are affected by actions and events at all levels of the system.Attitude Factors
Important attitude factors for successful marketing are:
Marketing objectives usually reflect the attitude of the producer. Some marketing objectives commonly considered to be important by many producers are:
Obviously, a successful marketing program embodies more than one of the goals or objectives listed; it may involve several. Farmers and ranchers must develop the proper mix of goals to suit their individual situations. After the goals have been determined, a marketing plan can be developed to achieve the goals. The marketing plan will likely be different for each farm or ranch and it will incorporate the various production, financial, and marketing skills of the operator and his/her family. Occasionally the operator will set the objectives and then contract with someone else to assist in developing a marketing plan.
To develop an effective approach to marketing, the owner/operator must keep a positive attitude toward marketing and know what he/she can and cannot do. Then the owner/operator must develop the skills and strategies that will best fit the farm or ranch operation.
H. Rust is a member of the Western Extension Marketing Committee and an Extension
Marketing Specialist at Montana State University.
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