Last month I was speaking with one of my clients (we’ll call him “Jeff”) about a specialty crop he was growing and harvesting. Jeff had landed a “kosher” wheat deal where the crop would be grown specifically for a religious group. Without getting into the details, the client wanted the crop to be grown with special attention to detail and religious ceremony, blessing etc. Jeff had written sufficient profit into the deal to make the smaller acreage and attention worth his while.
When I spoke to him over the phone, Jeff intimated that now his client wanted to ride in the combine during the harvest of the crop, he even wanted to drive the harvestor in the field. Jeff was uncomfortable letting him do this and would draw the line there. My recommendation was to let the client ride and even drive the combine say on the trim pass of one of the fields as long as Jeff’s employee rode with him. Modern combines are designed to be very user-friendly, they contain sensors and contain equipment that adjusts the conditions to thresh the wheat from the chaff. In the old days (my father’s time) running a combine properly took an experienced driver setting the shakers and air flow etc.
Contract farming can have its benefits. Farming field crops is fine, but contract farming can be financially beneficial. We need to get out of the comfort zone and routine. That is, sometimes we need to let the Rabbi drive.