The Culture of Ag

As we’ve grown in agriculture, there are more and more people who join us (the big us, agriculture as a whole) who don’t have their roots in our industry. And while sometimes I smile remembering the things people say when they haven’t come from the industry, I’d mostly like to welcome them as agriculture needs great talent and some of the best are attracted to helping to feed, clothe and fuel the world.

There are times we need to gently pull them aside and inform them that corn is plural as corn. It’s always corn. Corns are something different. Beans, however, are typically plural with an “s” on the end. Corn and beans. And “ewe” is not pronounced “ee’-wee”.

You know, it’s a lot like being cast into a foreign land, learning this culture of ag. There are definitely things we can do to help our great new talent be more comfortable. Start out by thinking about what you might do if you were going to live in another country. It’ll help you provide your new talent the following opportunities:

An Ag Mentor: Who can they connect with and ask a lot of questions? Find someone within your organization or within the industry who has a breadth of knowledge and is great at explaining things.

Provide Resources: If you were going to another country, you might check out travel books. In this case, provide your people some strong web sites and social media connections to farms and agribusinesses. Reading will help them come up with more questions from their mentor.

Subscribe to Magazines and Newspapers about their new culture. There are plenty of ag magazines and weekly newspapers, both in print and online. BeckAgConnects is a great option! Have your new talent read them and use them as conversation starters.

Connect them with your Customer: Visiting a farm and engaging with your customers can accelerate understanding and key learning and most importantly, understanding. Farmers are happy to build relationships with others, and share.

A preparing traveler might take a college class in another culture or language. You can do that with our culture of ag. There are online classes at colleges and universities and short courses you can take. There are also organizations within agriculture that offer curriculum in agricultural marketing. The upcoming NAMA Boot Camp is a great example of an immersion experience.

NAMA Boot Camp offers a number of advantages:

  • It’s a great way to dive in. A lot happens in a short period of time.
  • You take resources home with you.
  • You meet a lot of people who are both new to the field and who are longtime members of the industry set on mentoring the new arrivals.
  • The topics cover more than just agriculture – they cover trends and new tools in marketing, and other personal development offerings.

There’s so much opportunity and growth in our industry. We have some exceptional talent that brings some of the best results to our clients and their customers. A few of them don’t have their roots in the industry and we’ve taken advantage of all of the recommendations to fully engage them in the Culture of Ag.

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