Ag Conversations


Reflecting on a century of change and looking toward the future

Jul 25, 2019
By: Bradley Cook

As I write this, many of you are in the fields harvesting, baling hay or checking crop conditions. Since many of our recent Ag Conversations blogs have focused on technical issues, I thought I’d take a break from the technical to do a little reflecting.

Celebrating 100 years of serving ag producers in the Northwest

In the Northwest, this year marks the 100-year anniversary of when Wipfli started helping ag producers. Hugh Galusha, Sr. started his firm (which became Galusha Higgins & Galusha) in 1919 in Helena, Montana, serving the tax and accounting needs of the area’s farmers and ranchers.  

In 2015, GHG joined forces with Wipfli, who has been serving ag clients in the Midwest with the same commitment to excellence since 1930.  

In 2019, we’re proud to be serving many of the same families as we did a century ago. While many things have changed over those 100 years, some things haven’t. For example, in the valleys west of us, some farmers are putting up hay the old-fashioned way with beaver slides. But for most producers, technology has moved them on to more expensive and more efficient tractors and balers.  

Looking to the future

As we look down the road, it’s evident that not only is change constant, but also the pace of change is constantly increasing. At Wipfli, we are embracing this change. One example is our involvement in blockchain technology. In fact, our next blog will cover blockchain’s role in food safety.

Recently I came across a quote from Hugh Galusha, Jr., who served as the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis from 1965 to 1971. In words from a speech he delivered in 1969 (entitled Banks, Bankers and Change), he said “The changes that are taking place in the United States have to be anticipated by banks; which is another way of saying all banks have to think about what kind of a world they’ll be functioning in at some point well out in the future. Only if they can anticipate some of the possibilities in that world can they intelligently prepare their institutions to meet the demands which will be imposed upon them by the customers of that later date.”

Like banks and accounting firms, farmers and ranchers must continue to look to the future and create strategies to serve the needs of the world tomorrow. And as we have in centuries past, we will improve and evolve in numerous ways.

Join the conversation

What changes are you seeing in your business? Are you anticipating the world you will be functioning in even ten years from now? How can we partner with you to face this new world together? Please share your thoughts in the comment space below or contact us today. And if you haven’t already, subscribe to our Ag Conversations blog.


Bradley Cook, CPA
Agribusiness Practice Leader
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