Sure, change can be good but I don’t have to like it, right?
Change is all around me and I’ll be the first to admit, it drives me crazy sometimes. As a parent of two teenagers and a pre-teen who is convinced she’s ready to live on her own, changes are dramatic. One moment they hang on your every word like you’re some wise mystic, a proverbial stacked-trait soybean with tons of value. Now, it seems my end-user audience finds my valid driver’s license as the only “value added” component of any utility to them.
This is why I have such respect for elevator and mill managers and biofuel refinery operators. Not a day goes by where you don’t deal with change of one sort or another. Changing quality of inbound loads requires some on-the-fly managing to meet customer needs; feed customers who need customized rations requires the quick-change skills of a magician; and even the most miniscule change in fermentable starch content can affect a shift’s worth of ethanol production. You folks make it look easy.
As is pointed out in this issue’s Merchandisers’ Corner the times are indeed a-changin’, and woe be to whoever isn’t prepared to meet changes in managing risk head-on. In our cover story, the globalization of the feed and grain industry has created an intensely competitive market for grain and feed products. Are we ready to move away from a grain-as-a-commodity mind-set once and for all, and embrace new methods of quantifying and marketing the full value of each and every kernel produced? I hope so because it’s evident that much of the world is ready to move in that direction, with or without us.
Even FEED & GRAIN has undergone some changes with new designs in our Industry News and Focus on Biofuels sections. You’ll also note our product request system has changed from the old cardboard product information insert to an online e-inquiry system. That change is indeed a good move which saves you postage and saves us the ever-rising cost of paper. There, now that’s a change that isn’t too painful!
I hope all your changes find you well prepared and eager for whatever they bring. As for me, well I’m being told to get changed myself; somebody needs a ride to baseball practice. And so it goes…