About 5 years ago when I was learning about how to advocate for the agriculture industry in Helena, the MT Stockgrowers put on a little get together to help educate members on how to navigate in the Helena. One of those evening Montana Livestock Ag Credit hosted a reception for our group and Tim Gill was the “bartender.” Tim impressed me as friendly and supportive but also as a person who had high expectations for himself and of the people around him. He gave the impression of strong integrity. I decided that day that Tim was one of the people that I would watch and learn from.
Tim received his B.S. in Ag Business from Montana State University. He began his career working for the MT Department of Agriculture for four years and then thirty-six years with Montana Livestock Ag Credit, thirty of those years as President.
Tim has also served for over 20 years on the Montana Council for Economic Education. The mission of the Montana Council on Economic Education (MCEE) is to provide the youth of Montana the opportunity to understand essential economic systems.
Tim Gill retired as of December 31st this year. We asked Tim to come to the Montana’s Next Generation Conference and tell us what he had learned in the last 36 years about succeeding in an agriculture business. Here is my take away from his speech.
- Have a plan.
- Be aware of reality and change that plan if you need to.
- Sell when the price is up but don’t be greedy waiting for the top as it can fall quicker than you can sell. i.e. getting offered $2.00 and holding out for $2.01 then selling at .75 is self inflicted hardship.
- If it is too good to believe…. Take a hard look and then don’t do it.
- Make sure you can live with your consciences.
- Paying some taxes isn’t all bad. It means you are profitable.
- Quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and stick it back in your pocket. In this age of instant gratification we need to learn to wait until it is financially wise.
- Lowering your overhead will gain you profit.
- Do what is right, financial, environmentally and morally. What you do affects us all.
- Learn from the survivors. You may avoid fighting the same battle, but if you do find yourself in that same situation; you will have the winning battle plan.
- Old fashion values are always in style.