By Bill Garton

Yes, I am back for one more year. For those that know me, I do listen to educational radio such as the Jeff & Larry’s Comedy Roundup on SiriusXM radio. Humor is good medicine and sometimes even brings ideas one can use in the business. Daniel Whitney’s phrase of Git-R-Done is an appropriate lead into 2021. Daniel’s stage name is Larry the Cable Guy.

We would all like to see the pandemic be done in ’21 and return to a close to normal lifestyle. An appreciation to go back to school, see and visit people you know, meet new people and see what they look like, restaurants and travel industry opening back up are all good things to look forward to. In the meantime, it’s a tough haul for many.

Many businesses are struggling, and one thing I have noticed is the appreciation of shopping at small businesses. The sincere thank you for shopping expressed by employees is something we should all do regardless of the size of your dealership. The “feel good” when a customer leaves a store builds a relationship with the business. One thing I was told long ago: Make sure your customer leaves happier than when they came in. Does your staff do that?

As a member of FWEDA, the Board wants you to feel good about the Association. New projects will be occurring this year all to add value to FWEDA and your dealership. We have new Board members leading the future of FWEDA: Richard Arias of RDO Equipment, Rob Jackson of Stotz Equipment, Mike Dihel of Beeler Tractor Company, and Blaze Griffin of Carter Ag. Their contact information appears next to my column on this page and on FWEDA’s Leadership page at

Feel free to call any Board member. With the association and our society in general, remember, “Patience is a Virtue.”

Speaking of patience, we are planning the 2021 convention in Monterey, Calif., Nov. 10-12 at the Hyatt Regency on Del Monte Golf Course, where our golf tournament is scheduled for Nov. 10. Save the date to visit fellow dealers, see great speakers, and enjoy the California coast.

2021 is the year of the Ox. A Chinese restaurant I go to has placemats with an explanation of the zodiac symbol. The OX denotes the hard work, positivity and honesty that will be manifested in all of us in the coming 12 months, beginning February 12.

Further, the OX shows importance to agriculture and is considered an animal of strength that is associated with harvests and fertility. So that’s food and placemat comfort! I’m known there as #5 – a combination plate I’ve ordered for the past 30 years. Just so you know, 2020 was the year of the rat …

What do you look forward to in your business this year? Has your dealership established an atmosphere and culture that encourages your employees to look forward to 2021?

There is much to be thankful for in the essential farm equipment business, and to maintain the thanks, you need to look ahead, not ponder on the past, and get ‘er done in 2021.

Bill Garton is serving his second term as FWEDA Board Chair. Garton is president of Garton Tractor with 10 locations across Northen California and the Central Valley.

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