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Friday, February 3, 2012

Corn Report: Life lessons learned in Chicago

Really good insight 

No matter where I go I
always seem to find a cow.
As I mention this week I took part in the Tomorrow's Top Producer conference put on by Farm Journal. If you aren't from a farm keep reading, I think you will really enjoy some of the information. It was one of the best conferences I have ever attended. I wish I could have stayed for rest of the event, but the Boy was staying, and I had a job back home and cattle to look after. (We are really lucky to have someone that helps us out when we are away, but try not to rely on him too much.)

Here are the little nuggets of life impacting advice. And if you don't read all the way through at least scroll down to look at the pictures. 

You can have everything in life you want, if you just help enough people get what they want – Zig Ziglar A philosophy I think everyone should incorporate into their lives. 

It's who you know, who you read, who you share information with, and good timing that will get you to the top. Why do the same eight famers choose to sit with each other every day at breakfast. Expand your network. 

Allowing people to make meaningful decisions allows them to take ownership.
Giving your employees a sense of entitlement allows them to take accountability. 

Chris heads up our farm's
marketing group. 
Not making a decision, is making a decision. 

Are you a win-win person? Strive to be the business that always goes more than half way. 

When times are good for the company, time should be spent preparing for the downturn. There have been cycles in business for 200 years, and as long as people continue to have greed and fear there will continue to be cycles. 

There is not a human that doesn't have fear, but courage outcomes fear. 

The farms that are growing the fastest are the best communicators. 

Most popular communication style for farmer is the Teller. Their communication tendencies are fast-paced & outspoken and questioning & skeptical. The fear is loss of control. They need to know who is in control, can be very direct (this sometimes leads to hurting others feelings, and are results oriented. They represent 40% of all farmers. 

Planner is 2nd most popular #farmer communication style - cautious & reflective and accepting & warm. They manage their fear of change through planning for it. They avoid communication conflict.  26% make up this group.

19% of farmers are detailed communicators. They are questioning & skeptical and cautious & reflective. They stick with what is proven. A downfall is that they can have analysis paralysis. They can also be sensitive to suggestions and take it as criticism. 

Only 15% of farmers are socializer communicators. (This is me). The will let you know what's on their minds. Fast-paced & outspoken and love being around people. Find their ideas by talking out loud. Fear not being accepted and they need to be recognized. 

70% of farms or agribusiness will not be passed from 1st to 2nd generation because of failure in succession planning. The failure rate from 2nd to 3rd is 90%, and 3rd to 4th is 96%. Pretty scary fact. 

What is your praise/criticism ratio 
Three kinds of toxic employees that have to be removed from companies – victims, know it alls, non-believers 
People can change, but you can't change them. They have to want to. 

Those that are part of the generation that are 35 years and young fear failure the most. The situation may work out, but it is not the exact way they envisions they find that to be failure. 

Whoever paints the best vision will be the person that people will follow. 

I will definitely be attending more of the Farm Journal series of seminars and conferences. Even though I might not know how to plant a field yet (ok let's be honest, I don't know how to really do anything with a tractor) the information that these speakers gave really impacted me. 

Now for a photo recap:

This is what you where to a farmer's conference
I think I could have counted on one hand how many female participants there was at the conference. 


These conference usually mean a few good meals. The first night the Boy and I went to Morton's (an awesome steak house, but Sullivan's is still my number one). The second night was The Chicago Firehouse. Definitely recommend it. 


We stayed at the Chicago Hilton, which is an amazing hotel, with tons of history. Every President of the United States since the 1940s has stayed at this hotel, and more specifically the Conrad Hilton suite was the room most resided in, including the Obamas. We got to go up to the Conrad! This is the beautiful view from the two story room. If you looked off to the right you could see the helicopter landing pad.


This was the staircase that brought you down to the bedroom floor. It was also the staircase that was used in scenes from Home Alone 2.


I think I could make use of a bathroom like this. 


I have never seen so many beautiful chandeliers in a hotel. The main ballroom was once a skating rink, and could fit 10 two story houses in it. 


Farmer's helping feed the world. 


Wait, how did that get in there? I mean maybe I took a quick trip over to Nordstorm's and Top Shop and did a little bit of shopping. I didn't buy this beautiful Kate Spade purse, but next week I'll show you what I did find. 

It was a whirlwind of a trip, but I left energized and ready to make a difference. I hope you have a great weekend, and don't forget you have until 6 PM CST on Saturday to get you entries in for my Turquoise Thursday Giveaway.

8 comments:

  1. Great advice, Crystal! Sounds and looks like a fun trip. When I saw the cow picture I knew immediately that you had been in Chicago. When I visited Chicago awhile ago I loved seeing all the cow statues!

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  2. I nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award
    http://farmchiclogic.wordpress.com/

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  3. I like # 2 the most. That's why I read most of the blogs I do.

    Thanks for sharing this with us!

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  4. Man, why do people think they can come to Chicago without making time for me?! ;)

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  5. Excellent post. I had no idea the failure rate with succession between generations was that high.

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  6. I love the Kate Spade Clutch! All of that glitter is so fabulous!

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  7. Ooo I can't wait to see what you bought! Chicago is a fun place : )

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  8. Hi Crystal! I really appreciate you that you take care of your boy and the cattle but you still have time to blog. Cheers to you and Congrats!

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Thanks for stopping by! I love to hear from all my readers. Hope you have a fabulous day.

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