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Retired Farmers Breaking New Ground
Retired farmers in a community, drawing on their experience and know-how, could set up a consulting farm management service for hire, keeping themselves enjoyably and profitably occupied. They'd want to incorporate, and publicize their consulting service to younger farmers or absentee landlords.
That's the opinion of Jerry Pratt, age 82, vice president of Experience Incorporated, a Minneapolis, Minn., firm employing primarily retired agri-businessmen and agricultural college professors and administrators.
The company has been in business a number of years and has dozens of retired persons who are available "on call" for assignment to projects in the U.S. and foreign countries `Last year, Experience Incorporated's billings exceeded $2 million. Pratt and his partners work to stay active and to enjoy life in retirement.
Asked if a group of retired farmers in a community could expect to sell a similar "experience for sale" service to younger farmers and landlords, Pratt replied with a resounding, "Yes": "The first thing they would need to do is sell themselves to potential customers - convince others that they could provide something of value, worth paying for. They could advise on such things as seed selection, fertilizer applications, bookkeeping, and business management.
"Such a group would have to get themselves known so that people could turn to them for help when needed," says Pratt. Also, he feels a company using retired people should hire some younger people "for their energy, and to help sustain the company. Experience Incorporated has several people in their 30's and 40's on staff."
"Fees charged could be based on hourly work or by the project. Or, a group of farmers might charge so much per acre, or per head of livestock," speculates Pratt. "Such a company would want to have an attorney on its staff to deal with the liability of bad advice, he cautions. "And don't get too big or unwieldy. Have a designated chief, a president, and a board of directors."
Pratt believes a group of retired farmers could set up such a service on their own, or they could hire his company to help them get started.
For more details, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Experience Incorporated, 1930 Damn Tower, Mmnneapolis, Minn. 55402 (ph 612 3335231).

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1980 - Volume #4, Issue #4