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Bill and Melinda Gates own almost 250,000 acres of productive farm land, and it’s my hunch that it’s not simply because he loves the smell of dirt. Bill, along with a cooperative media, bills himself a philanthropist. But the world’s 4th wealthiest man occasionally passes off as altruism what is in reality control. Two months ago he stated wealthy …
 
Farmland is an asset that appears to be garnering more attention, even from the non-farming world. But what’s an aspiring farm ground investor to do if he or she can’t muster the huge price of entry for a tract of land? Enter AcreTrader, the company designed to bring together capital and farmers who need farm land to rent. Carter Malloy joins me to…
 
Brice and Blaine Hitzfield are two of the seven sons who make up Seven Sons Farms — a pasture-based operation in growth mode. The family operation produces beef, pork, and eggs, and has grown into a processor and direct marketer of their products. The brothers also operate Graze Cart — an online platform for direct-to-consumer sales, and Hen Gear —…
 
Two main arguments used against animal Agriculture are environmental issues and animal care. We’ve faced increased regulations on both and endure lawsuits on the environmental front — particularly as related to nuisance lawsuits over odor. Facing a future of greater scrutiny on odor and antibiotics, Ag needs to look ahead. Mike Rincker and TJ Gaydo…
 
Agriculture is increasingly impacted by regulation from the local, state, and federal level. But it appears to be getting worse. Activists and conflict groups used to lobby and protest against our industry. Now they hold positions of power. Eric Bream, a California citrus producer and politically active Agriculturalist joins me to discuss the metho…
 
About 900 million acres are devoted to Agriculture in the United States. In addition to those acres are wooded property and other non-farmed land owned by American farm owners. Nic DeCastro saw those acres and — as an outdoorsman — saw an opportunity to help landowners profit by allowing short term usage for hunting and fishing. His company, LandTr…
 
We talk a lot about Ag’s need to educate the consumer. There are, however, multiple problems with effectively doing this. First off, the consumer is far removed from the farm. Secondly, the consumer might bristle at being told they need educated. And lastly, the consumer may not even really care — they’re eating pretty well without being educated s…
 
Following up on the previous episode with Iowa farmer, Kelly Garrett, where we discussed carbon farming, I sit down with Rob West of Thunder Said Energy. He’s an energy consultant turned carbon expert, and he believes Agriculture is the answer to carbon sequestration both from an economic and practicality standpoint. This is a hot topic that is in …
 
Most farmers are from a farm, not Cason Anderson. Sure, his parents had a few cows on an acreage but they weren’t really farmers. Cason is. He got into pecan farming by purchasing used harvesting machinery when he was 18 and picking up some small, un-maintained pecan orchards. Nine years later he and his crew of three farm 840 acres of pecans. He e…
 
We’re doing a lot of things in Ag that are still "on the way" to the non-Ag sector. Driverless cars are a concept but self-driving tractors have been in America’s fields for over a decade, for instance. But take drones. While we’re allegedly on the cusp of drone deliveries to our homes, we’ve been using drone technology in Ag for several years. And…
 
If you haven’t noticed, there is a tremendous amount of buzz going around about environment, climate change, and carbon. For years, those who oppose modern Agriculture have latched onto environmental issues as an argument against our industry. But what if Agriculture is the solution — or at least part of the solution — to all that ails the environm…
 
They say there are only four people who understand milk pricing and three of them are dead. Lucky for us, John Newton, Chief Economist of the American Farm Bureau Federation is the one who’s alive. He joins me for an informative discussion on milk pricing. Milk pricing — not necessarily what the consumer pays at Kroger, but the pricing for producer…
 
Rob Saik joins me to give highlights from his address to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, where he stood up for a vilified modern agriculture. We discuss the hypocrisy of anti-agriculture movements, global reality, COVID’s lessons for Ag, technology shortening time and distance for food production, and the future. Pull up a cha…
 
Without hops, there is no beer. That's reason enough for you to listen to this podcast because this episode explains the hop industry from farm to frosty glass. Ann George, executive director of Hop Growers of America and Michelle Gooding of Gooding Farms - an Idaho hop producer, explain the production and business side of this vital ingredient.Spo…
 
Agriculture begins with and depends on soil. If you farm, your most valuable asset is likely land. So what is that land worth? Are values up, down, or stable this year? What’s the outlook for 2021? How much farm land is owned by investors? Is it true that farmers are going bankrupt and liquidating their land in large numbers? What impact are farm p…
 
It’s helpful to gain perspective from other Ag professionals. I taped this episode from the National Ag Aviation Association convention and trade show. My guests are Mark Kimmel and Darrin Pluhar, owners of aerial application businesses in Mississippi and Montana, respectively. We discuss: The future of Ag input application via air, drone, and othe…
 
The pandemic has been good for Christmas tree farmers. Customers seeking an “authentic” holiday have bid up demand for real trees. After reading two articles about tree shortages, I decided to get the straight scoop from those in the know. Oregon tree farmer Casey Grogan joins me, along with National Christmas Tree Association Executive Director Ti…
 
Farming is a multi-variant problem. Meaning, from geography to weather to inputs, there are as many as 70 different multiples that factor into on-farm profitability. Nick Horob, founder of Harvest Profit, Inc. joins me to discuss technology, farm accounting, acre management, business practices, and the future of production Agriculture. This is a fu…
 
Take a drive through rural America, and you’re sure to see windmills. Not the old fashioned metal blades and structure pumping water from yesteryear, but modern 300 foot monoliths. They’re big, they pay landowners a nice lease payment, and if you talk to enough rural people you’ll find they’re controversial. North Dakota farmer, agri-entrepreneur, …
 
Jason Mauck came back to the farm ten years ago from his role a landscape owner. Being a small business owner taught him the value of having many customers. He also learned the importance of maximizing revenue from each customer. He now brings that approach to Agriculture. Jason and I discuss his latest ventures — Munsee Meats, pasture pork, and an…
 
Production Agriculture, at the commodity level, favors the low cost producer. So where can costs be shaved? Mitch Eviston asked that very question. His answer: through reducing redundancies in the channel — from manufacturer to distribution to retail to, eventually the farm. Call it the Amazon effect of Ag inputs — Mitch and his company, Meristem, …
 
At the time this episode was recorded, we hadn’t officially declared Joe Biden the winner of the presidential election. Assuming he is, here are thoughts considerations, and some outlook on what Ag can expect under a Biden administration. Sponsored by Harvest Profit harvestprofit.comDamian Mason による
 
This spring, large meat processing facilities closed as workers tested positive for coronavirus. The shutdowns resulted in meat shortages and retailer-enforced rationing which left many questioning our meat supply chain. Are we too dependent on the four big meat processors? Is there room (and profit) for a proliferation of tier 2, medium or special…
 
Tight margins and environmental pressure make it important to get the most out of every acre of farm land. Precision Ag helps us do that. But what’s on the horizon for applied technology in farming and what exactly is data analysis and why do we need it? Dan Frieberg of Premier Crop Services joins me to discuss how livestock producers and dairy far…
 
40% of farm land is expected to change hands in the next decade. Consolidation of farming operations - at the commodity level - is going to continue, which means bigger acres in the operation. These trends are real and they are coming at a time of great technological change to how we live and work. Enter CashRent.com, the online method of leasing f…
 
The state just north of my home state has an interesting array of Agricultural production. From cherries to wine grapes to hops and hemp, Michigan’s micro climates make for some interesting Agriculture. Christie Apple - known online to her fans and followers as Crop Scout Christie - consults for producers of 18 different Ag commodities. And, even m…
 
Expanding on episode 157’s subject of commodity promotion, this episode asks the question: Can promotion keep up with production? As farmers continue to produce greater quantity of everything from shrimp to soybeans, can marketing effort keep selling the excess quantity? There are three paths to marketplace profitability in commodity production. Th…
 
I’ve never actually seen the movie, Field of Dreams but I know this: We in Ag are amazing at food production, but we often think by "building it” (producing commodities), the consumer will come. Yet, for many commodities that’s not been the case. Realizing this, we created the Agricultural Marketing Service and the checkoff program overseen by USDA…
 
Bruce Vincent is the owner of Vincent Logging, a Montana timber company. He’s also a timber and environmental community activist. He was forced into his second role when environmentalists put his company out of business and destroyed his timber -reliant town. Bruce joins me to discuss the reality of this “unprecedented” fire season (it’s not, and i…
 
The business of Agriculture begins at the farm. With all the tumult, politics, and market disruption that 2020 has brought, what is the impact at the producer’s level? What will that mean for all of us who work in the peripheral Ag industry? Chris Barron, an Iowa farmer and owner of Ag View Solutions, provides a look at the present economic situati…
 
Production Agriculture’s reality - increasingly - involves doing battle with groups opposed to what we do, how we do it, and even our very existence. While we (grudgingly) accept this in places like California, the movement against farming is now common in “fly over country” too. In this episode I sit down with Leah Bunkers and Jim Pinkert, two mem…
 
Pre-pandemic, senators Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren introduced legislation limiting farm size. The subject was shelved by 24/7 Covid coverage but it’s sure to come back. And when it does, the infighting within Ag over big farm versus small farm will heat up. But does there really need to be a “versus” mentality? Small, niche Ag operations are e…
 
Six months into the economic and marketplace response to coronavirus, Damian takes a look at seven things revealed about Ag and our consumers. This is a fun episode that looks back over the last few months, and takes a look at what this means for the future of the Business of Agriculture.Sponsored by Harvest Profit harvestprofit.com…
 
The Business of Agriculture podcast has never been a forum for grain price charts…and it’s still not. But with USDA’s August report release coming just after Iowa got hit with 100 mph winds that damaged crops and smashed grain bins like beer cans, it’s time to look ahead at grain. Matt Bennett of AgMarket.net joins me to explain fundamentals, why t…
 
After reading several articles about the huge investments by Silicon Valley type investors into indoor Agriculture, I thought it was time to put it on the podcast. My guest is Darynn Keiller, CEO of Autogrow – a New Zealand-based indoor Agriculture climate control technology company. He explains the value proposition of indoor farming, the differen…
 
The farming part of farming can be fun and it’s what most people in Ag like about the industry. The business side can be unenjoyable, however. There’s the management, the family aspect, the political changes impacting your operation, and the money, of course. Ryan Moe, a financial guy from an Ag background joins me to discuss the big picture of Ag …
 
Trade is a hot topic these days in American Agriculture. Truth is, it always has been - at least over the last century as our productivity skyrocketed beyond what our nation required for its own sustenance. North American Agriculture requires international trade to thrive. Particularly for Canada and the U.S., which produce multiple times the amoun…
 
On July 1, 2020, USMCA went into effect. The USMCA is the updated North American Free Trade Agreement between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. John Newton, Chief Economist of the American Farm Bureau Federation joins me to discuss what this means for American Ag. Farm Bureau says the agreement is good for an additional $2 billion of Ag sales. From a “…
 
Hoosier Ag Today’s Gary Truitt asked me to be a guest on his syndicated radio show. We decided the interview would make a good Business of Agriculture podcast too, so here it is! Gary and I discuss the response to Burger King’s (bizarre & ridiculous) cow fart commercial and the potential effect — positive and negative — on meat consumption. Product…
 
The Business of Agriculture is constantly creating and employing new technology to improve how we produce food. The pace of innovation has quickened immensely over the last couple decades, and it’s not slowing down. Enter robots and drones, with us for the past few years, but becoming more and more a reality. Clint Brauer, a Kansas-based entreprene…
 
Everyone is a little uncertain at the moment about the economic outlook in a coronavirus world. One thing we know for sure is that humans are going to continue to eat. But what does Main Street’s economic reality mean for us in Ag moving forward? Chris Kuehl of Armada Corporate Intelligence joins me to discuss wages, inflation, food shifts, globali…
 
Bayer announced on June 24th the company would settle 95,000 lawsuits over its Roundup product for $10.9 billion. The company also stated it would spend $1.25 billion on resolving future claims. What does this mean for Agriculture and the future of crop protection? Darren Coppock, CEO of the Agricultural Retailers Association joins me to discuss an…
 
We in Agriculture are fairly isolated from the current protests raging across the nation, but we would do well to watch and learn. Because the tactics being employed by activist organizations to create chaos in our cities are the exact same tactics employed by anti-Ag groups. We discuss the very profitable, yet “non-profit” conflict industry, and t…
 
Groceries — particularly meat — have been in the news a lot lately. From meat plant closures to produce being destroyed to food bank demand spikes, food is a hot topic in the coronavirus era. But it’s about to “get real” because the consumer is seeing the biggest jump in food prices since 1974. Food prices jump 5.8% just from March 1 to May 30. Mos…
 
Did you know that over 120 million American cropland acres are treated aerially each year? In addition to treating nearly one third of our crop acres, aerial applicators also fight forest fires, treat timberland, enhance pasture and rangeland, and spray for bugs harmful to human health (think mosquitoes). Aerial application of crop inputs is an imp…
 
On my cross country drive back to the farm last week I heard multiple references on the radio to Ag people “Telling Their Story.” We’ve been encouraged for several years now as Ag people to “tell our story.” And we should. However, there are a couple issues when it comes to us telling our story. In this episode we discuss how to make our story rele…
 
Karlanea Brown intended to be a fashion designer. That’s what she studied in college and had dreamed of doing since age 12. Then she married a hog farmer and everything changed. Karlanea worked off the farm for years then joined the farm enterprise after her husband, Darryl’s, father passed away. The Browns had already departed the hog business and…
 
Agriculture IS a business. That’s a point I make in my book, Food Fear, and a point I make repeatedly in discussions with consumers and in presentations to Ag industry folks. Ag is a business. Which means production Agriculture is supposed to be profitable and should be run like a business. Mary Jo Irmen, author of Farming Without the Bank joins me…
 
Lyle Benjamin farmed for 17 years with his business partner wife in Montana’s Golden Triangle region. He’s from there. He returned there after stints away from the farm so he could be a farmer. This winter — on the heels of several bad years — he made the decision to quit farming. Lyle joins me to discuss the difficult decision when the emotional a…
 
Nearly half the nation’s ethanol facilities are closed at the moment. No, it’s not directly due to coronavirus, it’s due to the oil glut created by Saudi Arabia and what that’s done to ethanol prices. These closures, like every action, have a reaction. For the Business of Agriculture, the ripple effect is oftentimes misunderstood by the non farming…
 
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