Motivational speakers and coaches both emphasize the same point: to win, you must begin with the right attitude.
Just as champion athletes know that a winning attitude is the key to success, champion farmers know that the right attitude is the key to achieving maximum yields. In interviews and speeches, David Hula, the Charles City, Va. farmer who achieved the world record corn yield of 532 bushels per acre last year, emphasizes the first step to achieving maximum corn yields is a positive attitude.
Hula, 2015 winner of the National Corn Growers Association Yield Contest, says he learned the importance of a positive attitude from Francis Childs, the Manchester, Iowa corn farmer who was among the first to produce more than 400 bushels per acre corn a number of years ago. “Francis Childs said the number one thing to improve yields is you have to be willing to change. That really resonated with me when I first heard it,” Hula told me on his farm in March.
“Achieving top yields is a systematic approach which we have grown to understand over time. When you change one level of production, you have to elevate all the others. It may not be all proportional, but there have to be some adjustments,” Hula says.
Glenn Pendleton of Pasquotank County, N.C. also says achieving champion yields begins with the right attitude. Glenn and daughter Renee won last year’s North Carolina Soybean Yield contest with a state record yield of 93.3 bushels per acre, besting the old state record by .4 bushels per acre. Both father and daughter emphasize the importance of setting ambitious goals and working toward those goals. They are aiming for 100 bushel soybeans this year and are optimistic they will achieve it.
Pendleton emphasizes a team approach and credits the support of family, employees and consultants for reaching top yields. Like Hula, Pendleton says a successful farmer must be willing to change, learn from mistakes and build on successes. “Discern what will work for you profitably,” Pendleton emphasizes.
Visiting with champion farmers like David Hula and the Pendleton family is truly motivating. They teach us the importance of overcoming obstacles, being willing to change and keeping a positive attitude. This approach will help you be a champion, no matter what you hope to achieve.