Modern Farm Business-logo

Modern Farm Business

Business & Economics Podcasts

Modern Farm Business podcast translates proven methods and best practices from the business arena to today's modern farm leadership environment. We'll be learning from forward-thinking experts and discovering how to apply time-tested techniques to make real improvements on the farm.

Modern Farm Business podcast translates proven methods and best practices from the business arena to today's modern farm leadership environment. We'll be learning from forward-thinking experts and discovering how to apply time-tested techniques to make real improvements on the farm.


United States


Modern Farm Business podcast translates proven methods and best practices from the business arena to today's modern farm leadership environment. We'll be learning from forward-thinking experts and discovering how to apply time-tested techniques to make real improvements on the farm.






082: Finance on the farm

THREE NUMBERS TO KNOW I. Working Capital: The capital available for the business to do its work [CURRENT ASSETS - CURRENT LIABILITIES] gives you a dollar amount, but t only means something if you put it into perspective with a ratio. So we divide that number by our GROSS REVENUE. Let’s plug in a couple of examples with $1M working capital as an example. A Main Street boutique has a gross sales of $500K. Then 500,000 divided by 1,000,000 gives them 200% working capital to gross sales! On...


081. Tools for building understanding

Poor communication → Unmet expectations → Frustration & Disappointment “Everyone hears only what he understands” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (scientist & author, 1749-1832) Two big challenges we face in effective communication: Assumptions: Experiences in my head I’m not adding in to the information I’m sharing because I believe you will already know it as I do. Definitions: Simple words can carry wildly different definitions, which can get us in trouble. Here’s a humorous example...


080. Managing market emotions

EMOTIONS ARE REAL: MANAGING THE EMOTIONAL REALITY OF TRADING The market is an auction. The purpose of an auction is twofold: to provide an environment where buyers and sellers can come together; and to provide price discovery. If a farmer retires and you go to the estate auction, there is one seller—and the more people who show up, the more potential buyers you have. Every buyer has a number and the ability to bid what they are willing to pay. The auctioneer facilitates the discovery of...


079. Thank you for the correction

USE THESE KEYS FOR CORRECTING WITH EASE Avoid looking at correctable behavior situationally. “Bill is consistently late for work. How do I correct it?” This is focusing on what we don’t want and not focusing on the goals of the organization...which means we can end up missing the opportunity to really create what we do want. Do you want Bill to show up an exact time each day? Or do you want him to communicate better about his schedule? Are you worried about the impact of his behavior on...


078. Yep, it's a relationship business now

DRIVING THE RELATIONSHIP ENGINE OF BUSINESS What’s made relationships so important in today’s business? They’ve always been important. Settling the prairie, the most important currency we had was building trusting relationships to help us purchase cattle, get credit from the feed store, lean on a neighbor for help when necessary...Over time, though, we became less reliant on neighbors and other relationships. Equipment and buyers for our grain were plentiful, and we were busy enough that...


077. Ideas are easy. Change is hard.

NEW SOLUTIONS! INNOVATIVE APPROACHES! EXCITING POSSIBILITIES! It’s exciting to invent or discover new ways of doing things, or to go to a meeting and leave motivated with someone’s unique approach to business. But one of many hurdles that can challenge us is called the Planning Fallacy—we are generally quite inaccurate when it comes to predicting how long something is going to take to do and how hard it will be to accomplish. But this bias isn’t all bad; many times we can get halfway...


076. The power of questions

Questions Help Us Focus This episode will cover different areas of a business by asking questions to help identify opportunities. Though you may not have answers for all of these questions today, they will start the thinking process and give you an inventory of questions today that you can use as a reference for future thinking, either for you or your team. Future Questions Having a clear picture of what you are working to create helps guide decisions when things get muddy. An inspiring...


075: The 70-20-10 rule

Episode #75: The 70-20-10 rule For long-term results, divide your time Today we’re talking about being intentional on how we invest our time leading our business. It’s easiest to stay busy with all the immediate demands our business puts on us—a truck in need of repairs, paperwork that the bank needs, a meeting with the landlord, grain to be hauled...the list goes on. Sure, it’s all important, and it all needs to be done—but when tasks consume a leader’s every moment, there’s never an...


074: Farm communication matters w/ Elaine Froese

Elaine Froese, C.S.P. is a professional speaker, writer and business coach who specializes in helping farm families work through tough issues surrounding succession, business and communication—not only to meet and talk, but to act! Faith Today magazine recently dubbed Elaine “Canada’s Farm Whisperer,” an interesting title for someone who has coached families across Canada for the past 10 years and sat at kitchen tables for over 35 years. Elaine has been a columnist in Grainews for 20...


073. Five ways to win in the off-season

WHERE DID THE SEASON GO? “There’s never any downtime anymore,” is a common lament in agriculture. We pine for times past, when there was a simpler pace and two distinct seasons of planting and harvest. Today we can feel tossed from one season to the next, never having enough time to catch our breath, let alone get ahead. In agriculture we’re beholden to the weather and the seasons; much of what we’re able to do on a given day isn’t in our hands, despite the to-do list in our...


072: Seven contrarian mindsets for grain marketing

THE CHALLENGES OF BUSINESS Whether it’s manufacturing, retail, the service industry or agriculture—there is something that makes you feel like your business is tougher than others. For farmers, typically a major source of frustration is found in the grain marketing side of the business. That’s understandable because farming—and in particular the marketing aspect—work differently from most other businesses. THREE BASICS OF EVERY BUSINESS: MAKE - SELL - COUNT Make: If you’re in the...


071. The power of gratitude

In our relationships, words of appreciation are some of the most powerful words we have. KOUZES & POSNER’S* LEADERSHIP MODEL: SEVEN ESSENTIALS TO ENCOURAGING THE HEART: BEFORE, DURING, AFTER: A key practice is to provide strength and confidence to our team at the beginning of a project. Taking this time shows our trust, need and appreciation for the team and each member’s role in it as well as gives the work more meaning. During the project, be sure to check in now and then, watching...


070. Learning, knowing, deciding, doing

A leader on today's farm wears a lot of "hats," holding ultimate accountability for every aspect of the operation. This week, Dean explores the four activities a farm leader must regularly undertake to keep things running smoothly. LEARNING: IT IS NOT A “STAGE” OF LIFE. ONCE FORMAL LEARNING ENDS, THE REAL LEARNING BEGINS 1. Learning cannot be delegated. One should not make a habit of telling others to go get good at something instead of tackling it oneself. We can end up handicapping...


069. Find your operation's Critical Number

It’s 1983. The farm economy is wracked. International Harvester—one of the largest companies in the world—is failing. In Missouri, a dozen managers scraped together $100,000 in cash and borrowed an additional $8.9 million to buy the International Harvester plant they worked at. Today, that plant—which became SRC Holdings—has become one of the most successful companies in the country. To give some perspective: a 1983 investment of $1,000 in Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway would be worth...


068. Exploring ag, the environment and regulation w/ Dr. Jay Lehr, Ph.D.

Jay Lehr, Ph.D. is the science director at The Heartland Institute. Lehr is an internationally renowned speaker, scientist, and author who has testified before Congress on dozens of occasions on environmental issues and consulted with nearly every agency of the national government, as well as many foreign countries. Lehr is a leading authority on groundwater hydrology. After graduating from Princeton University at the age of 20 with a degree in Geological Engineering, he went on to...


067. The power of opposition

People are happy to avoid tension whenever possible, but opposition is actually very healthy to face. Opposition creates that tension when we are forced to adapt and think. Rather than shying away, we should seek to *increase our comfort* with discomfort.


066. What Google learned about great teams

Google loves using data to answer questions. When it came to the question of what makes some teams more effective & productive than others, they compiled their own data from nearly 200 Google teams & came up with 5 common contributing factors for success.


065. Seven tools for redirecting stress

Stress is a result of change in our environment--in itself, not a bad thing. It can push us to grow, or weigh us down; the better we understand our own reactions and the causes of stress in our lives, the better we can learn to manage those responses.


064. "Help! My family farm is a business!" w/ Jolene Brown

A walking, talking champion for the people of agriculture and the family-owned business, Jolene Brown, CSP, CPAE, shares her credibility, authenticity, humor, and wisdom with audiences worldwide through her writing, keynotes, and workshops. She’s a 2017 inductee into the prestigious CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame®, a lifetime award for speakers who have reached the top echelon of their platform. She’s one of only 237 members worldwide, including former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, Dr. Norman...


063: Measure twice

MEASURE WHAT YOU WANT I recently built a garden shed, and as I was measuring a stud to cut, it suddenly struck me that no matter what cut I was making, I never measured the bit I didn’t want--I always measured the part I was going to use. But how often in life and work is our focus on that little leftover scrap of wood we don’t want? We’d never build a shed with instructions stating only how much to take off each piece, yet it can be tempting to focus our emotion on things we don’t...