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Agrimarketing : April 2009
: #2 TEAMINGUPFORSUCCESS W by the AgriMarketing Editors hen you teamup two partners with common interests and goals, the result can be a real winner.That is exactlywhat hap- pened, and continues to be happen- ing, in the newly launched “Farmers for the Future” initiative produced by Successful Farmingmagazine and sponsored byDEKALB corn. “Both of our organizations have had long-termcommitments to uplift and assist young and beginning farmers,” says ScottMortimer, Publisher of Successful Farming. “So whenwe approached DEKALB and their agencyOsborn&Barrwith the initiative, all agreed itwas a great fit for each of us and the intended group of participants.” Themagazine’s Editor Loren Kruse explains,“Family farmbusi- nesses face a unique set of challenges including succession issues, family dynamics,managing profitable growth, securing land and appropriate financing.” They also have a seemingly insatiable appetite to learn howothers are accomplishing their dreams of building a successful agriculturaloper- ation and to connectwith each other. FOUR-PRONG APPROACH The initiative contained four elements: a series of articles in Successful Farmingmagazine, the launch of the www.farmersforthe future.comWebsite, a conference held in St. Louis last February and an ongoing e-newsletter. Mortimer reports the social mediaWeb site features tools that participants can use to create their own page providing information about themselves and their opera- tions, a listing of events of interest to younger farmers, forums, photos, blogs and videos. Themember pages, forums, and photo sharing are themost popular features on the Web site. The forums focus on the business challenges and problem solving issues facing young and beginning farmers. Themost popular blog on the site is a daily diary by a beginning farmer fromSoutheast Iowa. The 72 Agri Marketing s April 2009 Presenters at the Farmers For The Future Conference included (L to R): JerryWarner,Farmers National Co.; Brett Begemann,Monsanto; ScottMortimer,Successful Farming, andMieka Rustand, DEKALB. young and beginning farmers and regular update on activities fromthe Web site. THE RESULT “DEKALB corn has a heritage of supporting the future of agricul- ture,” says the company’s Communi- cationsManagerMieka Rustand, “froma commitment to ag youth through the DEKALBAgAccom- plishmentAward and DEKALB WingWear, to investing in breeding and trait innovations to improve future yields. The Farmers for the Future programwas a natural fit for DEKALB, as it provided a great opportunity to bring future ag lead- ers together to learn newtools and ideas to help themachieve success. “The DEKALB teamwas very pleasedwith the Farmers for the Future initiative” Rustand contin- ues.” Itwas inspiring to see such a large group of young, enthusiastic individualswho dedicate their lives to the business of agriculture. DEKALB appreciates being involved in initiatives such as Farmers for the Future that help drive farmers’ future growth and success.” For the conference, 100%of the participants said theywould recom- mend this conference to someone else and 98%would attend a future conference if held reportsMortimer. The average age of conference atten- deeswas 29with an average farm size of 1,600 acres. AM highest viewed video the day of this writingwas “Fun On The Farm” fea- turing a tractor, pickup truck,ATV andwave runner splashing through a flooded corn field. Over 125 young farmers, in some cases accompanied by their parent, attended the conference. Topics included agricultural financing, com- pany organization and planning, business tools, building relation- ships,managing costs and acquiring land. The closing speakerwas Monsanto’s Exec VP, Global Commercial Brett Begemann. Subscribers to the e-newsletter receive the latest news relevant to Local DEKALB representatives provided invitations and “DEKALB Scholarships” to growers, encourag- ing themto attend she reports. “We had two speakers on the agenda: Kip Tomof TomFarmswho operates over 14,000 acres in Indiana and 4,000 acres inArgentina and raises seed for DEKALB andMr. Begemann,who shared insights into the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in theworld of agriculture.We also hosted VIP tours ofMonsanto’s Chesterfield Research Facility so con- ference attendees could see first-hand the next generation of breeding and trait innovations.
May 2009 Supplement