In the world of flash, glitz, and HD photography we sometimes lose sight of what is important. Think about it, the world of marketing has changed its tactics and ramped up all the best in psychological persuasion. “Smart Ads” that follow you everywhere you go on the internet, and apps for your smartphone that can tell a prospective vendor what you say and do on social media. We have sure gotten fancy with marketing.
I am old enough to remember a television ad from a certain investment firm. The catchphrase was, “we earn your business”. Strange words these days. How many companies put it out there and say they need to earn your business? Instead of piggybacking on the brand of a sports star, they identify success with earning your business. Over the years, I developed my catchphrase as to what made a good retailer. Boiling it down to the qualities that were necessary I chose the phrase, “Commitment, Integrity, Service”.
The Value of the Agronomist
Folks, a good looking field is a billboard of advertisement. Good agronomists are sought out in the local community. I always made sure we worked hard to have key growers at key road intersections so that we could show off our services. These fields are worth a premium for the applied knowledge and experience they bring to the farmer. Today we see mounting pressures being brought to the food industry. The industry will continue to see added regulations and changing demands of both the customer and governing bodies. The professional help of the agronomist will become more vital than ever. Technologies will allow those who are willing to adapt to capture new markets for new opportunities as well as do a better job of marketing what they already grow. However, the aid of a savvy technology adviser will be invaluable. Agriculture will be the Mother of Big Data, You can mark my words. Mr. or Ms. Farmer, you will most likely be seeking the services of a professional agronomy consultant sooner than later.
Let’s get to the Root of it
The Stratus Ag Research Group did a survey of 1,894 farmers in 2014 to ask them how they made purchasing decisions. Please take a moment to click on it and read. We all know that quality and service never go out of style, and you simply have to pay for performance.
Folks, farming is the oldest occupation on this earth. And, I am happy to report, that farmers are still true to their form. They don’t buy based on glitz and glimmer. They buy because they know a good, solid professional when they see one! Bull crap doesn’t cut it when growing food and taking care of animals is at stake. They look to those who can bring their “A” game and provide sound guidance.
However, the industry is at a crossroads. Value for what many of our customers grow and what we provide to them is being eroded. Certified Crop Consultants sign an Ethics Statement as part of our accreditation that supports our recommendation of sound agronomy and professional advice. Products and services can become misused or ill-used, and it hurts. It hurts our industry; it hurts us; it hurts our environment. A fast buck earned in desperation is no substitute for a Solid Dollar of Sound Advice.
We work in a business that harnesses the power of earth, weather, and man. As we execute our actions, the soil and landscape around respond to our actions. The professional agronomist must stay abreast of the issues and see how they could affect their farmers. According to Stratus Research, farmers like that. Here is a quote:
It Also Takes a Helpful Attitude
Stratus also asked the 1,506 study participants what a retailer should do to earn their trust. Fifty-seven percent rank “provides advice that helps you be more successful” as highly important; while 43% say it is important that their retailer “tries to understand their needs before selling a solution”.
So, to my Brothers and Sisters in Agronomy, I say this: do what’s best for your grower and the soil. That field at the crossroads of Main and Prosperity is your field. It is the field with YOUR name on it. It’s your billboard. How proud are you that it is yours?