Do we pick our farm renters like we pick our NCAA bracket?

What if landlords picked their farm tenants like they picked their NCAA basketball brackets? Basketball

I don’t know about you, but I love this time of year. Growing up in Indiana, I have shot many baskets on a rim in the barn and basketball was a big part of life. Even today I still get abused on the basketball court. Or maybe I do the abusing? When it is tournament time, I am guilty of scheduling myself at home during so I can be close to the action on TV.

But are there some comparisons between choosing the farmer renting your land and picking your March Madness bracket? Let’s have some fun with this and you can decide what best fits your scenario. Game on!

Pick the team you’ve heard of!

Do you pick your team because you have heard of them? Many, many brackets have been busted because a team no one knows about just knocked off a power conference slam dunk. This year’s tournament has been fun to watch because of that. What gets these well-known teams in trouble is that their opponents have not been scouted at the level they have. Who is going to take the time and scout a UWIN? Then they just come in and play their game.

Landowners can fall into this trap of renting to a farmer just because they have heard of them. This is most common when the landowner resides in the same community of the farmer. But by doing this, they could be limiting their options of finding a renter who is in line with their long-term goals. Because some farmers are not as large or well-known, many landlords overlook them and settle for notoriety.

Pick the one and done!

One trend in college basketball today is that schools are recruiting players who will play collegiate ball one or two years and then move on to the NBA. Many of these recruits have a God-given talent so they are fun to watch. As a coach, they don’t have time to develop them into better players or build team chemistry. Many teams who fall into this category will make a successful run, but many will fall short.

For the farmer who is looking to rent more land, learning that the one and done just picked up a piece of land can be disheartening. Many of these one and done farmers are quick to pay a rent much more than the market can bear. On the other hand, they aren’t as concerned with stewardship or leaving the land better than they found it. In most cases no one wins, especially not the landowner. Unless you follow college basketball and get to know these teams, you don’t know who the one and done teams are. As a landowner, identifying this type of farmer can be next to impossible unless you do your research as well.

Pick based on the mascot!

Another very common way pick is “what is the mascot?” I can’t say I have ever picked a team based on mascot or color (OK, maybe I do stay away from cream and crimson that include the letters I and U, but that is a whole other topic.) For many who don’t follow college basketball but want to join in on the fun, this can help them sort through the 64 teams.

I know this happens to landowners as well. I have heard many landlords talk very favorably about the farmer because of aesthetic reasons.  What type of equipment is being used, are they working their ground, what technology are they implementing, etc. Many of these visible qualities can be good but make sure the paint and glitter doesn’t keep you from seeing the overall picture.

Sorry, I could resist this video.

Pick just by guessing!

I will say, even though I follow college basketball, I don’t know every team. Even though I have seen many tournament teams a limited number of times, in many cases I will make the best guess I can to fill out my bracket. But since my niece is winning our family bracket and I am last, she has done a much better job at this. Or maybe she has some skills I was not aware of?

Even with all the fun of March Madness, let’s face it. Farmers are not college basketball teams and picking one isn’t bracketology. Determining who will rent your land is a very big decision.  There is no game film, stat sheet or scouting report that is out to help you make these decisions. Sorting through possibilities can be daunting. But Bird Dog is here help you find who is right for you long-term. Let’s determine what your goals are, and Bird Dog will go to work finding farmers who will work for you.

Bird Dog exist to give farmers opportunities and landowners options.


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