Mike Brady: our most successful farmers not to vegetate, but to see opportunities in the crisis

  • Mike Brady: our most successful farmers not to vegetate, but to see opportunities in the crisis
    FarmIreland.t. E.
    Many different types of people in the world. In fact, we are not groomed from the day we are born to be human, we grow in life.

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Many different types of people in the world. In fact, we are not groomed from the day we are born to be human, we grow in life.

The surrounding area is born in the family, school, society, sport, religion, etc. perspective combine to produce the values that guide us throughout our lives.

However, we as humans often tend to stereotype people depending on their upbringing. In the total population, farmers have a reputation for complaining about everything from the weather to the price. This charge applies to every farmer in the country or is it just those who most complain about you all the airtime?

We all know the reality is that agriculture is inherently cyclical business, weather and prices are volatile, so in any decade there will be times when all is well and “we make hay”, and there will be times when everything is bad and all we hear is “doom and gloom”.

Winston Churchill once said, “never let a good crisis wasted” in relation to conditions after the Second World War.

Our most successful farmers I think, like Churchill, they don’t wallow in doom and gloom, and they are not involved in pitching the farmer, the farmer, instead they see the possibility of crises like the British exit from the EU and the current drought on the development of their agricultural business.

They prepare well-researched business plans and just get on with it.

I once read a book by a Japanese-American, Robert Kiyosaki called the cashflow Quadrant, which perfectly explains the differences between people when it comes to successfully managing and/or owning a business.

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Mike Brady: Our new generation of farmers will seek to work smarter, not harder

Motivation is one of the most important attributes of successful farmers.

It is very revealing to look at the ideas of Kiyosaki from the point of view of the farm business. Kiyosaki has categorized people into four sides of the quadrant as follows:

* Employee

* Business owner

* Self-employed (you got the job)

* The investor (money works for you)


Employees exchange time for money. Not many farmers are, by definition, fall into this category, but many act as though they are employees of slavishly following the same routine day in and day waiting for things to improve rather than forcing them to improve. The limit of the employee’s income is the amount of time that they work.


A self-employed person is one who owns the work. In General, they work very hard, very good at what they do, poor delegate and the cemetery is full of them. At their funeral, you can hear the burble friends and relations, such as “he was a man for work”, “his children do not keep my coat.” The limit of income of self-employed at the same time they work. Many, if not most Irish farmers fall into this category.

Business owner

He/she hires people to they could do more. The ability to manage people is a prerequisite to be a successful business owner. This is a new breed of the Irish farmer, they work smarter, not harder. More Irish farmers should strive to get into this category.


The investor is someone who invests money in the business but not the owner of this business. This is a man who uses money to generate income. This is a new concept in Irish agriculture, but a real example is a scheme to stimulate employment, Investment (eiis).

This state program allows individuals to invest money for a term of four years in an approved farm business at a low annual rate of return, but in return, they receive full income tax relief on the amount invested in the amount of € 150,000 per person per year.

This allows the farmer a low cost loan for four years to Finance the new enterprise, while it up and running and the investor a nice profit on your money when tax relief is taken into account.

We need more of these schemes to Irish agriculture because it has the assets in such schemes.

Kiyosaki defines success as making money or increasing net assets; however, money is not important, but it is the lifeblood of any growing business and it is important for those with ambitions to grow the business. The thrust of the advice Kiyosaki if you want to be successful in business you must strive to be on the right side of the quadrant, those on the left side just to make money for those who are on the right side.

This strategy is unfolding before our eyes in many sectors of our industry at the present time. Pigs, poultry, vegetables, potatoes and grain industry is dominated by a small number of farmers who understand this concept. Currently the dairy industry is juggling with the question of labor to make the jump from the left to the right side of the quadrant, but it will get there.

As a farmer, to challenge yourself, which side of the quadrant you want to be. Perhaps you are happy to be an employee or self-employed farmer on the left side, which is fine if you are happy and satisfied. But next time you see your neighbor driving on his farm business instead of asking, “what is all this”, I think the cashflow quadrant and the question whose side he’s on.

In conclusion, there are only two types of farmers in the world today, happy farmers and unhappy farmers, whom are you?

Mike Brady, managing Director of Brady group agricultural consultants and agents, e-mail: mike@bradygroup.ie.

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