Doug and Justin Durdan of Streator, Illinois work with Water Street Solutions in multiple areas of their operation. They talked about how working with the company has impacted their farm:
"A lot has changed in the last five years in farming. The market has become a lot more volatile - not just the price of grain, but with inputs, rents, machinery, and the cost of land. In that short time, there's been as much change in farming as there had been in the past 30 years put together. With greater volatility in the markets, we wanted to be more in control of our marketing and reduce our risk. Our market specialist opens new perspectives to us, especially strategically. He knows our numbers and understands our financial position so he bases ideas for us off of that.
Looking at our financial analysis makes us more aware of our cost of production. It's not only on an annual basis but more of a weekly basis because the actual cost of production changes frequently. I used to create my own analysis, but the Water Street financial analysis takes everything a step further by including machinery costs, land costs and more. It shows our cost of production going into a growing season, and all throughout it - so that helps us make plans and market our grain.
In an operation with a lot of moving parts, getting a legacy plan in writing is really crucial. You don't ever want to think that something bad could happen to anyone, but it can. If something happened to either of us, the plan will make sure the business continues. It would be sad to work your entire life building a farm business and then not be able to pass it on due to lack of planning. I think everyone starts out wanting to pass the farm on to the next generation. It's not really fair to anyone if you don't take the time to make sure that the transfer will be successful."