Farming full time, a new beginning and an end.

I mentioned before that I was selling my company and taking up farming full-time. Well Lord willing, today is THE DAY. We have a signing around lunch time today and if everything goes correctly, I’ll be a free man after that. I think we’ve set a record for how quickly we went from starting the negotiations to finishing the deal and even with that, it can’t go fast enough. Nothing this large is clean cut, so there are multiple true up periods with both Deere and the buyer so in reality the closing will go on for many months and the deal itself is structured over years but today is the day everything gets signed and I lose my day job. Sarah, my assistant, my “work wife”, and our HR manager is going to do the paperwork to terminate me as well so I will try to get a picture of that. I’ve never been fired before so I want to record the moment.

Termination paperwork
Termination paper from RW Moore Equipment Company. Doug Queen the controller and Sarah Bohlin the HR manager and my “work wife.”
Termination paperwork
Keys turned in and paperwork filled out. I’m officially unemployed.

Knowing I had a new focus in life coming, over the Christmas and New Years holidays I was able to try out a new routine as a man of leisure. By the end of the week off, my days had settled into this.

Wake up about 3am. Go over to the barn where I have my workshop and my home office. Work either in the office or in the shop till 7:30. At 7:30, greet Miguel when he arrives. Quickly discuss the days plans then head over to the house where the family is awake, or at least making signs that they will be. Make breakfast for everyone. Clean the kitchen then head back to the shop/barn/office about 8:30-8:45. Work with Miguel all day till about 5:30. Head back to the house and have dinner with the family, usually prepared by SWMBO from something we grew or killed here on the farm. Head back to the barn/office and finish up some work, usually something boring like bookkeeping that I don’t do during the day. Get back to the house before bedtime, about 8. Take a shower, kiss the kids, pass out. Wash, rinse, repeat. I think I was averaging about a 14-15 hour days each day and according to the pedometer on my phone, I was walking about 15,000 steps per day. This compares to the 2000 steps I take when I’m behind a desk at work. Yep, this life of leisure sure is relaxing! Actually it is, I can’t stand just sitting around.

This past week has been hectic for me because besides all the details of the ongoing deal, it was time to move out of my office at work and fully into my home office. We’ve been in business for 52 years, we’ve been in the same office for about 30. I was pulling records out from the 70s. Heck I even found the records we had from the grading company in the 50s buried in the file cabinets. All of it had to be sorted, boxed, and hauled out. It then had to be resorted here at home, labeled, and filed. I also had to take down all the wall hangings, gather the mementos, ¬†and move the furniture out. Prior to all that, I had to clean out my home office, also known as the man cave, because it had become the home for misfit furniture and spiders with nothing better to do than spin webs. It felt a lot like moving into the dorms in college.

Yesterday I brought home the last load of stuff from the office leaving my office empty and sad looking. Everything has been hauled up to my home office and now I only need to put away a few more boxes of stuff and the 200 plaques and awards and pictures I took off the walls. I’m not much of a decorator and unlike college, I can’t just thumb tack everything up. I need it to look good because, one, it’s my office and I want it to look good. And two, it’s the world headquarters for Ninja Cow Farm LLC. When the international bankers show up to discuss high finance, it can’t look like a dorm room.

I’m really sad about leaving my employees behind, and walking away from a company that’s been in business for 52 years. However, the buyer has kept everyone except for four people out of 125 so that is really good. They are also taking the business forward and everyone remaining will have opportunities that they wouldn’t have had otherwise. All in all its a positive move for everyone except Miguel. I told him recently that he is now my new work wife. He’s certainly not as pretty as my current work wife but he sure can cook!

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