On Tuesday, November 11th Lon Frahm graciously came to Manhattan from Frahm Farmland Incorporated’s headquarters in Colby, KS to engage in a discussion with the Risk Fellows about how he manages his large family farm. Lon started out the evening explaining the role the employees take on the farm, and how he encourages participation from the employees by including them in as many meetings, educational opportunities, and decisions possible. The employees are highly skilled and professional, and do much of the work that traditionally is reserved for the farm manager or owner. This method has encouraged many of the farm employees to remain on the farm for many years, even allowing some of them to purchase farmland of their own, which is then included in the Frahm Farmland Inc. operation.
Lon then delved into his methods for analyzing insurance decisions, stating that a risk taken is often an opportunity realized. Lon shared that over the years of using lower levels of insurance coverage, the farm has been able to save a substantial amount of money that has been used to help build the farm. The group then discussed how risk identification and analysis has a large impact on Frahm Farmland Inc. Lon followed the topic of risk with his views on government subsidy programs, and how the farm has used those programs to it’s benefit.
Lon then brought the group’s attention to the subjects of grain marketing and logistics, crop genetics selection, machinery management, diversification, land ownership and rental techniques, and how “it’s all about working capital”. Lon’s insight in those areas is second to none and gave the Fellows some wonderful information in an area of agriculture they had yet to be exposed to through the Center. The final topic of discussion was Lon’s passion for “Improving lives. Improving the environment. Improving communities.” which is the mission statement of the farm. The picture of the farm Lon painted showed the Fellows how all of the other topics covered contributed to the success of the farm and the farm’s mission.
The Center for Risk Management Education and Research would like to thank Lon for traveling to Manhattan and spending his time broadening the Fellows’ views of risk management techniques and the agricultural industry. Lon is a two-time Kansas State University graduate with both his bachelor’s degree as well as his Master’s of Agribusiness degree.