by Gary “Aesop” Kroeger
there were two brothers who were dairy farmers. Each had been given by their father the same number of cows and acres and each had an old rundown barn. The brothers were very competitive but they shared a common goal; each wanted to be the most successful dairy farmer in the county.
On the left side of the divided acreage was Liberal Farmer and on the right was Conservative Farmer.
They were both producing the same amount of milk from their cows and doing just a little better than breaking even, but, Conservative Farmer soon grew restless and wasn’t happy with just getting by. So he did some math to increase productivity.
He concluded that if milk = profit, more cows would produce more milk and therefore, create more profit.
And so he put everything he had on the line; mortgaged his old farmhouse, and offered to buy half of Liberal Farmers cows.
“Maybe,happier cows…would make better milk.”
But, it was Conservative Farmer who turned out to be right! He had more cows, produced more milk and the profits were soon rolling in!
He built a bigger house, had wonderful parties for their lactose tolerant friends, and were soon the toast of the county!
Liberal Farmer was defeated.
“I thought I did the right thing, but I’ll never be as successful as my brother!” lamented Liberal Farmer.
But, as months went by…Liberal Farmer started to notice that his cows were producing more milk. Quickly he realized why: The cows had more grazing land!
The land was more fertile because fewer cows allowed for more grass to grow!
And that beautiful barn that he had built made milking the cows more efficient!
Soon, Liberal Farmer was producing as much milk, the profits were the same once again, and Conservative Farmer took notice.
“I’ll buy more cows!” said Conservative Farmer. “I’ll put him out of business!”
Liberal Farmer sat down to a glass of whole, raw milk from his best cow, Nancy, and thought about what to do. Finally, he said to Liberal Wife, “I could buy more cows, but that will diminish the land. I should buy more land so that future cows will have the same healthy grazing!”
And that’s what they both did; Conservative Farmer bought more cows and Liberal Farmer bought more land.
The pampered cows of Liberal Farmer were producing more and better milk from each cow and it cost less to maintain fewer cows, and soon his profits started to grow….and grow…and grow!
Before long, Conservative Farmer and Conservative Wife had enough.
“We’ve gotten rich beyond our wildest dreams and if we sell now we’ll get the most for our farm!”
So they put their dairy farm on the market and made plans to retire in Boca Raton.
Liberal Farmer leveraged everything he had and bought Conservative Farmers cows and land and became the most successful dairy farmer in the county!
Did Conservative Farmer lose to his brother?
And Liberal Farmer? He and Liberal Wife retired a few years later…and moved into that big, beautiful farmhouse his brother had built.