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IF YOU ARE THE ‘SENSITIVE’ or ‘DEFENSIVE’ TYPE, I RECOMMEND YOU DON’T READ THIS!

June 27, 2012

If you will, i would like for you to briefly read over the following definitions:

Agriculture–The science or practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products

Entrepreneur 
  1. A person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on financial risk to do so

Leader--

  • The person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country
    • - the leader of a protest group
  • A person followed by others
The former definitions can all be found on dictionary.com in case you do not believe me. I want to tie these terms together in the new Agro-Entreleader movement, starting………RIGHT NOW!
As usual, I read a lot of rather bogus contradictory articles today and they all seem to be talking about the problems tied up around agriculture.
I am so tired of it. I am tired of reading article after article about the things SOMEONE ELSE should do. Get up and do it yourself! Please!
What I see in the agribusiness sector is a lot of the same. A lot of the same companies that have been around for decades. Or at least the same ‘type’ of businesses. We need something new. A lot of new. We need people that have a PASSION for the science or practice of farming with the same mind set as corporate billionaires like Donald Trump. We need Warren Buffet’s of the field. What I notice with these guys is that they go get it. Whatever “it” may be. No one is going to give this industry the funds needed to fix our water, soil, and production issues. As long as the mouths of the powerful officials are full, it just will not happen. So, forget about them! We can make the money on our own to help fix the issues. If those that truly do have a PASSION for the science or practice of farming would come together and mold with two things: Entrepreneurship and Leadership.
How many seed dealers we got with the same seed? How many conventional fertilizer suppliers we got with the same ol’ stuff? How many consultants we got sellin the same consultation?
Hey, I got some good buddy’s and family members that are statistics of the former. I am not picking on anyone. I am being honest and working to initiate POSITIVE CHANGE within the industry I am passionate for. I was once told, “Anybody that says something that means enough to make ya mad has got something real to say, or it wouldn’t have made ya mad.”
Now, farmers are a valid definition of entrepreneurs–organizing a business and taking on financial risk to do so. But what about suppliers, tech companies, consultants, agronomists and the like? Are we really taking big enough risks to implement NEW things or are we filling our wallets on the same OLD things that have lead us to the issues we find ourselves a part of in the industry today. Are we being big enough nerds to solve the problems at hand? Clearly, we are falling short-myself included.
:”Leader” is defined as someone who leads or commands a group, organization, or country. The word Leader is a deep word. Leaders are the heart and soul of anything new and innovative. They are not weak(if they are a good leader). They often times take much criticism. They are courageous. I am a God fearing man, so let me put some talk from the big fella in here. Jesus once told his disciples, “The Good Shepard puts the sheep before himself, sacrifices himself if necessary. A hired man is not a real Shepard. The sheep mean nothing to him. He sees a wolf come and runs for it, leaving the sheep to be ravaged and scattered by the wolf. He’s only in it for the money. The sheep don’t matter to him.” 
I do not mean to say that producers or consumers are the sheep of Agribusiness leaders. I intend to make the point that what I see going on in the agribusiness world is a lot of hired Shepard’s making money without having the consumer or producer’s best interest in mind, solving nothing. I mean seriously, is it even possible to say that a consultant has a producer’s best interest in mind when recommending 200lbs of N to the acre. Um, excuse me Mr. Consultant Specialist, we got this little thing going on around here called REALLY EXPENSIVE FERTILIZER. Or for that matter, could they possibly have the consumer’s best interest in mind knowing good and well that a nice % of that application won’t be plant available. Um, excuse me Mr. Consultant, “we also have this little water toxin issue going on round here–it’s kind of a big deal. In fact, its causing some people to get methemoglobinemia, which turns their skin blue, and then they think we are still vulnerable to being inbred out here in Kentucky. We really are not that redneck we don’t like those type of stereotypes. Is there something else we can do?”….”Well ya gotta do what ya gotta do, right Mr. Producer?”… “NO! There are better ways now padjo! The new team of Agro-Entreleaders across the street got busy and found real solutions to my needs.”  …………………..OOPS. Day dreaming. Sorry about that. Actually, I like that day dream A LOT!  I am from Kentucky, so we are allowed to make fun of our own so-called “blue” ancestors, but the methemoglobinemia is no joke. I read about a 3 month old being diagnosed with it just the other day. Guess what caused it?  Nitrogen related toxins in his formula.
It is time we make a change with something new. I want to bring three definitions into one type of person and bring as many of those people together to achieve a higher purpose , while engaging in business they are passionate about. I WANT AGRO-ENTRELEADERS. I want them all around. I want them working together to build businesses that SOLVE problems, NOT just profit from them. Profits are just a bonus for AGRO-ENTRELEADERS because we have a higher purpose that we are passionate about. Profits naturally grow as a result of the problems we SOLVE for those that we SERVE,  but they are not our focus. We are good Shepard’s. We care more about those that we lead toward healthier pastures than the possessions or profits they could ever offer. We are defined as: people that organize or operate a business or businesses passionate about the science or practice of farming who lead other agricultural individuals and organizations with HONESTY, INTEGRITY, WORK ETHIC & PASSIONATE PROBLEM SOLVING.
  If you are interested, or have ever been interested in starting your own innovative, agricultural business I would love to have you on the team. We will help you make it a reality! Any business that has a passionate founder and a higher purpose can succeed to helping achieve that higher purpose with the right tools and support!
I want all my readers to feel free to comment as you please and if you are interested in becoming an Agro-EntreLeader just give me a holler at isdhamlin@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from ya.
Yal take care now,
Shaun

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2 Comments
  1. Shaun, nice post. Have you found an effective way of bringing together people to get a good mix of technical aptitude, agricultural knowledge, and creative forethought? It seems unlikely to get a high-level of all of those in single individuals, so I think a lot of serious collaboration is necessary. In my experience the highly technical people and the people with the strong ag background don’t often run in the same circles often enough, so you have the good ideas with no one to execute them and you have the strong executers lacking good ideas. How do you address that catch-22?

    • Great point, Brett. Ag-Tech work is absolutely a team effort that takes both experienced farmer’s and nerds to form a collaboration that amounts to worthwhile efforts. I have been blessed with a team that together has over 200 years experience in farming and over 40 years experience in Ag Science and Technology. The most effective way too bring our team together has been a lot of patience in bringing guys in as well as educational outreach events and programs/events. I think that a passion for agricultural improvement holds higher value than just a strong farming background. Passion drives successful innovation.

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