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CropTalk: Across the Acres: Farmer of the Future

January 2022

Published on Saturday, January 1, 2022

Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe it’s 2022, and we’re featuring our SEVENTH episode of the Across the Acres podcast. Launched in August of 2021, Across the Acres is hosted by Carlye Frye (Delta Region Training Innovation Manager) and David Ringger (Central Region Training Innovation Manager). Each month, they introduce a member of the Beck family of employees, dealers, and farmers across our marketing territory and provide a platform to share stories about their careers, families, and their faith.

Our first six episodes featured some fantastic guests - all with different titles, backgrounds, and life experiences. And while their stories may have been different, the mission of each podcast remains the same; to connect, challenge, and inspire listeners by sharing the stories, struggles, and successes of others.

This month’s podcast “Farmer of the Future” features Beck’s seed advisor, Bjorn Peterson. Bjorn proudly hails from the land of 10,000 lakes and has been working for Beck’s as a seed advisor in southern Minnesota for three years. If you want to listen to hear Bjorn share his thoughts on choosing a career in sales, his goals for personal growth, and his perspective on the “Farmer of the Future,” check out his full podcast!

Next, I’ll break down the “connect, challenge, and inspire” takeaways from Bjorn’s insightful interview.

 

CONNECT

We’ve all heard the term “Farmer of the Future,” but it’s interesting to think about how we will all collectively be impacted by the changes to the agricultural industry that they will bring. Whether you are a farmer of the future, you’re raising one, supplying seed, or renting land to one, the industry as a whole is changing, and Bjorn offered some great insight into what that means for us moving forward.

“The farming community, in general, has been an older crowd, and we’re starting to see now that the technology gap is becoming more prevalent as just the way we get our information has changed. And I think the farmer of the future is going to be much more tapped in from an education standpoint. They’re going to demand more of us as suppliers to answer questions in a very timely manner. They’re going to be very progressive, and they are going to be pushing the needle on everything because learning to them means getting their hands on information.”

But when it comes to the challenges these farmers will face, we will need to come together as suppliers, distributors, and trusted resources, to help these farms survive and remain profitable.

“In my opinion, I think the biggest challenge the farmer of the future is going to experience is the consolidation of farms… not just in regards to the amount of opportunity but also the inflation of farm equipment and land and costs,” Bjorn said. “In addition to consolidation, I really believe there will be more EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) restrictions in how we’re managing weeds and how we’re applying fertilizers. There is going to be more asked of these farmers than previous generations.”

 

 

CHALLENGE

No one likes to be pushed outside of their comfort zone, but when you’re in sales and are thrown a curveball, there’s nothing you can do but accept the challenge and role with the punches.

No one knows that better than Beck’s team of seed advisors and dealers. In May of 2021, Beck’s leadership team opted to release the product pricing and Commitment Rewards programs for 2022 early – the earliest of any seed company in history. And while there were many benefits for the customer and the business, it took exceptional organization and leadership from our sales team and dealers to complete two sales seasons at one time.
“I think the big thing for us as sales individuals was the launch of Beck’s programs and pricing, as early as we did this year, that got us out of our comfort zone just in general,” said Bjorn. “I’ve been selling for 12 years, but some of the guys in the industry have been selling a lot longer than that, and there’s just a natural progression that you get into each year. We’re creatures of habit, and it got disrupted.”

Bjorn went on to discuss how he and his team of dealers accepted the challenge head-on this year and proved that with a little hard work, anything is possible.

 

INSPIRE

Personal growth is something Beck’s employees are always striving for. Whether with family, side projects, health, or community involvement, we always try to be better tomorrow than we are today. I think this resonates exceptionally well as we kick off 2022 and set resolutions for the upcoming year.

For Bjorn, he just wants to be the best husband, dad, employee, and friend that he can be. “I really think that working for Beck’s opens your eyes and empowers you to figure out who you are and what you want to do,” he said.

“For me personally, I just want to be the best seed advisor possible. What that means is I want to be recognized in the community as being an excellent agronomic resource. I want to be viewed as a pillar in the community and an overall good guy that people can rely on. And I want my kids to look up to me. When they are in my last moments on this planet, I want them to be proud of me as a dad.”

 

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Author: Maggie Holt

Categories: CropTalk, 2022

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