A Domino Story

Backroad Ramblings

Did you ever get to the end of your day feeling like you were no better off than when you got up in the morning? Did you ever work really, really hard at something only to find out it didn’t matter? Did you get done with a project and feel like all you got done was to lose a few hours of your life?

If so, don’t worry about it. It’s agriculture. It happens. But if you think you have it bad, just listen to this story:

It seems a group of young people in Germany decided to take a crack at the Guinness Book of World Records by setting up dominoes. There were 20 people on the team and they spent two weeks setting up dominoes in a gymnasium. They got over 600,000 dominoes set up when disaster happened. Did someone move their elbow the wrong way? Nope. Did someone bump into someone else? Nope. Did someone breathe too hard? Nope. The humans were probably more careful and controlled than they’d ever been in their lives. The problem came when a fly landed on one of the dominoes and set off the whole chain. 

Can you imagine? All that careful work, done in by a fly. Now it might not seem like the most productive thing those kids could have done with their time for two weeks, but at least they weren’t out robbing banks. And they would have had to have a lot of discipline and teamwork to set up 600,000 dominoes.  

The article doesn’t say how many of them screamed or threw things or chased the fly around with a swatter or a shotgun, but it does say that they went on to set a couple of Guinness Records including the record for the largest domino spiral.  So apparently, they got out of the gym before going ballistic. That alone takes some self-discipline.

But this little story reminds us of something that we all know, and we are all reminded of daily but we all tend to forget. In agriculture, as in life, you can do everything right and things might go haywire. Or you can do everything wrong and things might turn out okay. The important thing, whether you are farming, ranching, or setting up dominoes, is that you have a good team with you. A good team can mean the difference between throwing in the towel or going on to set a world record. A good team is worth working for and taking care of. And of course, the most important thing any good team should have at all times is…fly spray. 

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