FCI Editorial Comment

...couldn’t put Humpty-Dumpty back together again, what kind of world power are we talking about here? “You’re attacking us? Here, here’s a wisk, go make me an omelet!”

By now you’re thinking, “Wonderful. More ramblings about training, what it can do for both my current and future business prospects, yada yada yada, and he’ll wrap it up with some cute tie-in to Humpty and his equilibrium problems. That’s about as exciting as watching paint dry.”

Close.

Actually, I planned to abstain from championing education this time around. Training and certification are important pieces of the puzzle, to be sure. But people much more qualified than I speak on their behalf, and besides, I’d been developing my own politically charged rant for more than a month, and it was time to unleash it upon the page.

Well, after a pre-dawn Saturday phone call to Miami from Janet Reno blew that idea out of the water, I spent the next few days scrounging for topics. Children roll eggs with the president on the South Lawn; Allen Iverson feels unappreciated; One of Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends (yes, I said “one of”) is joining the cast of “Baywatch Hawaii;” A football player got into – guess what? - legal trouble. Needless to say, the pickings were slim.

It was nigh time to venture into the realm of “A Boy and his Manual Nailer” when an Associated Press article caught my eye:

’Value-Added’ Concept Helps Farmers.”

seems that some practitioners of the oldest profession (no, not that one. Farming) are moving into the 21st century full speed ahead. Sounding more like dot-com CEOs than tillers of the earth, the members of a small Illinois farming coalition gather together to mull over networking, joint market research, niche marketing, and demographics.

The article, by AP Writer Jay Hughes, explains how value-added agriculture abandons the historic view of crops as commodities to be planted, harvested, and sold, focusing instead on methods farmers can use to retain ownership of their harvest further up the processing chain, hopefully gleaning a greater return on their product, as well helping them preserve their farms, which are essentially small businesses.

Hughes further explains how farmers are banding together in “new generation co-ops. Today’s average farmer is getting pushed into a shrinking corner of the marketplace by large agri-business and low prices.”

Sound familiar?

I’ve heard that one of the biggest obstacles the installation community has to overcome is a fear of change, especially where approaches to doing business are concerned. The value-added approach is simply a way to make an individual more marketable, more valuable, and, as a result, more profitable.

Installation professionals scrub the adhesive from their hands after a hard day’s work. Those farmers in Illinois scrape the earth from under their fingernails every evening.

Every day is a fight. It all comes down to how badly you want to win.