Archives For agriculture

There’s an old saying that I hear at least once a year: “Make hay while the sun shines.”

Before farmers cut and rake hay (alfalfa, grass, red clover, etc.), they check the weather forecast to determine if they can get the hay “put up” before it rains. If you aren’t familiar with the process, it is best for hay to be cut, let the sun start drying it out, rake the hay (turn it over), let it dry a little more, then bale it and put it in storage before it gets rain on it.

Make Hay While the Sun Shines: John Deere tractor and round baler

Make Hay While the Sun Shines: Round bale of hay with tractor and baler | Photo by Ryan Eidson

Rain decreases the quality of the hay.

If it rains too much, the hay will spoil. You won’t have any to sell or to feed your livestock in the winter when the snow covers the ground.

Recognize the Season

Make hay while the sun shines applies to all of us. Continue Reading…

With all the rain we have received this year, some farmers are complaining about their crops. There is so much carryover from last year’s corn and soybean crops that they are still hauling to market this summer. However, some like to find fault just for something to talk about.

In two separate conversations three counties apart in Missouri, I found out from older farmers that this year’s weather and planting situation is just like 1981. One said that in 1981 it was so wet all season he was not able to get ANY crops in. Zero planting = zero harvest. He has a few dozen acres of corn in this year, but no soybeans. Continue Reading…

2011-hfmgrFor nearly two years my wife and I managed a farm overseas. A US-based non-profit organization asked us to help turn the farm operation around. In many ways, the farm was in a very difficult situation: poor use of natural and mechanical resources, employee troubles, and unwise financial decisions, just to name a few.

We did not realize how bad the situation was until after we moved there. Continue Reading…

Over the past couple years I’ve watched a few episodes of ABC’s “Shark Tank” TV show. I’ve found it intriguing, but haven’t got into the show so much that I felt like I had to see every episode.

A few weeks ago when my wife and I were at home, a rerun of the show came on. Lori said, “Shark Tank is on,” and I said, “OK.” I think we missed the first part of that episode.

I was sure glad that we watched this one all the way to the end.

About the Tree T Pee

The final entrepreneur in season 5, episode 7, is Johnny Georges. The camera crew showed him in Florida helping tree (citrus) farmers conserve water and keep their trees alive during frost. How?

Watch this clip to see how the Tree T Pee works, and what farmers say about it:

(Johnny Georges & the Tree T Pee product: Click here if you can’t see the video.)

Two Types of Stories Every Entrepreneur, Executive, 
and Employee Must Tell (at a moment’s notice)
 About The Business They Work In

Each business person must be able to tell two types of stories about his/her own business to anyone who asks: how you got started (the genesis story), and more importantly, why you’re in business (the transformational story).

Johnny’s genesis story involves helping his father irrigate trees. Prompted by Johnny’s question, his father came up with the t pee solution. Together they looked at the hard work they were doing. Was it unnecessary to move soil every time a freeze came?

They came up with the Tree T Pee, and millions of gallons of water and thousands of trees already saved.

Now the transformational story: Johnny clearly nailed this one when he recounted the time he trespassed on an “old lady’s” orchard. He really wanted to help, and sure enough he did: the Tree T Pee keeps your trees alive even when an overnight frost (or freeze!) shows up at your grove.

That’s a vivid demonstration of how the product helps the customer.

You can spin your wheels and talk about features all day. You gain a little traction when you highlight benefits. When you share transformation, now you’re in overdrive.

You may have multiple genesis stories or multiple transformational stories to tell. If you’re a one-product business, then you just have one of each. But if you have multiple products/services going on, you may have multiple stories to share.

Do your clients and customers know your genesis story and your transformational story?