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The Business of Agriculture Podcast

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Damian travels all over the globe talking to audiences about the topics surrounding the business of food fuel and fiber. With his clever wit and his easy to understand delivery, he has turned these topics into interesting (and sometimes controversial) podcast topics.

Damian travels all over the globe talking to audiences about the topics surrounding the business of food fuel and fiber. With his clever wit and his easy to understand delivery, he has turned these topics into interesting (and sometimes controversial) podcast topics.
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Damian travels all over the globe talking to audiences about the topics surrounding the business of food fuel and fiber. With his clever wit and his easy to understand delivery, he has turned these topics into interesting (and sometimes controversial) podcast topics.




82 - Colorado: Agriculture, Hemp, and the Future

Colorado Agriculture is either a crucible to predict what’s coming for the rest of us, or an anomaly we’ll all just witness from afar. The state has water issues, lots of suburban anti-Agriculture sentiment, and a burgeoning hemp industry. (Remember, Colorado was fast out of the chute on marijuana legalization.) I sat down with Justin Lewton of Lewton Farms, and Joe Rasnic of Agroplasma, Inc. to discuss all those issues and more. Justin and Joe are two young Ag professionals enrolled in the...


81 - Using Data Insights to Improve Farming Decisions

You’re likely familiar with the various technology platforms being marketed to farmers. The Climate Corporation’s Climate FieldView™ digital ag platform is one of them. The platform offers many options for farmers to collect, store, and view current and historical field data to uncover valuable field insights. What sort of data are we talking about, and how does it impact agronomic decisions for improved crop performance? Climate’s Eastern Regional Sales Manager, Ken Harris and Product...


80 - Managing the Farm’s Business with Nick Horob of Harvest Profit

Nick Horob started Harvest Profit in 2015. As an Ag consultant with a finance background, he saw a need for better farm business management through technology. Harvest Profit now has 440 customers in 28 states and 4 Canadian provinces. Nick joins me to discuss what he sees from his perspective in Ag. What are farmers doing right and wrong, how can we improve our businesses and minimize risk, and what does the future of the Business of Agriculture look like? You’ll enjoy this conversation and...


79 - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cow Farts, & Why You Should Be Scared

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the new shining star of the Democratic party. In February she rolled out her proposal for a Green New Deal. In two interviews since then, she’s expanded on her vision for a changed Agriculture to combat climate change as she sees it. When socialists talk about “doing something about factory farms,” what exactly do they mean? More importantly, who defines what constitutes a “factory farm?” She’s called for diet changes, particularly as it pertains to...


78 - The Downstream Impact of Devastating Floods in The Midwest

Catastrophic weather events in Nebraska and Iowa, as well as Missouri, South Dakota, Kansas, and Minnesota are in the news. Our hearts go out to those affected by the floodwaters. But what’s the “downstream” impact of these floods? Dennis Haugen, North Dakota farmer, owner of General Grain grain salvage, and friend of the show joins me to discuss that. Railroads are unable to operate as track lies compromised from floodwaters. Trucks can’t roll, and barges can’t navigate. All this puts grain...


77 - Roundup & AR-15 Rifles: How Cause Groups Use Courts To Win What They Otherwise Can’t

On March 19th, 2019 a San Francisco jury ruled that Roundup herbicide causes cancer. This is the second court ruling against Bayer (Monsanto). In this episode we look at the similarity between firearm lawsuits and chemical litigation. Ag chemicals and firearms have a lot in common: They’re both legal products, they both evoke tremendous emotion, and they’re both increasingly targeted by cause groups who use lawsuits to destroy their enemy. The strategy executed by anti - gun and anti-...


76 - Beef, Ag Economics, Feuds, and Lab Meat with Jerod McDaniel

The host of Ag Uncensored and western Oklahoma farmer / rancher joins me to dig a little deeper on the subject of beef. Are those within the cattle industry dysfunctional, unable to get along, or is that just your perception? Is the checkoff program being funded fairly? Who’s making money off beef? And, my favorite back and forth to date on Lab Meat. If you’re looking for an episode with some “red meat,” you just found it. Be sure to stay tuned to hear Jerod’s closing advice.


75 - Why There'll Be Less Corn

As farmers head to the field to plant corn this spring, it’s time to discuss something North American Agriculture doesn’t want to hear: The world is going to require less corn someday. And that someday might be sooner than you think. At the risk of being run out of Indiana - the fifth most corn producing state - I share in this episode the fundamentals working against corn. Ethanol, processed food, and livestock feed are big users of corn. Each of those categories faces headwinds, such as:...


74 - What Farm Managers & Appraisers Do, See & Think

Real estate is the foundation of everything we do in Agriculture. Sometimes that real estate requires outside management or a professional to determine its value. Seth Baker and Ryan Aupperle are two guys who do just that. They are professional farm managers and appraisers in Illinois. They sit down with me to discuss what they do, what they see, and what things will be impacting Ag real estate and the Business of Agriculture. Why would a land owner need a professional farm manager? How do...


73 - The Business of Crop Inputs & Innovation with Helena

If you earn your living in the Business of Agriculture you likely are familiar with crop inputs. That’s all the stuff we use to produce an actual crop, like fertilizer, chemistry, seed, and so on. In the old days there was a model: you had a facility, you brought in stuff from the manufacturer, and you retailed said inputs to a farmer. But technology, consolidation, and the online marketplace is changing this model. Quickly! How do you stay ahead and avoid commoditization? I sit down in this...


72 - Farming, Ranching & Western Oklahoma with Jerod McDaniel

Jerod McDaniel is a farmer, rancher, and podcaster from Texhoma, Oklahoma. He joins me to discuss his operation, the challenges of rural western Oklahoma, and the business of agriculture from his perspective. We devote a good amount of time to the topic of cattle but you’ll also like Jerod’s take on the need for Ag to work with what you’re given in any given year and the need for being adaptive to a constantly changing marketplace.


71 - Business, Agriculture, And Beer Commercials

By now you’ve heard about and most likely seen the Bud Light Super Bowl commercial. The spot proudly proclaims Bud Light doesn’t contain corn syrup whereas the brand’s two biggest competitors do. Many of our co-horts in the Business of Agriculture - particularly corn growers- are up in arms. While I’m a pro-corn guy from a corn state, I’m gonna tell you in this episode why the commercial was probably good marketing on Bud Light’s part. I’ll also look a little deeper and explain why this...


70 - Business Lessons from Simplot

J.R. Simplot started as an eighth grade dropout and hit his first entrepreneurial home run with hogs in the 1920s. Mr. Simplot went on to build an empire, mostly with potatoes (If you’ve eaten a McDonald's French fry, you’ve had their spuds!). Today Simplot employs 12,000 people worldwide, and is still family owned. The company’s Agribusiness division has 93 Ag retail facilities, cattle feeding operations, fertilizer production, a turf business, and potatoes, of course. While speaking at the...


69 - The Business of Grain Elevators

If you’re in the business of Agriculture you are probably familiar with country grain elevators. You may even think the grain elevator is dying. But it’s not. It’s just evolving, like everything else in Ag. In this episode I sit down with two grain elevator owners - an Iowan and an Ontarian - and a representative with White Commercial Corporation, a grain brokerage. We talk about the past, present, and future of grain elevators and the role they play in the Ag industry. You’ll love this...


68 - Autonomous Farm Equipment

Friend of show, Rob Saik, joins me to discuss his latest initiative. Rob is the founder of Agri-Trend, a company he sold to Trimble, and is the new C.E.O of DOT - a Canadian based autonomous machinery manufacturer. We discuss autonomous machinery’s application and future in farming. When and why will we see this new technology? What are the benefits (and downside) of autonomous farm implements? And why time and technology march on in the Business of Agriculture.


67 - Ag Messages That Sell To Main Street Consumers

We in Agriculture are constantly reminded of the need to “tell our story.” While I agree with the need for communicating with our non-Ag brethren, oftentimes the story we tell doesn’t stick. Why? Because it’s about us. And while suburban North Americans might like some behind the scenes peaks into our lives and how we earn our living while producing their food, the message that sells must be All About Them. In this episode I lay out the realities of communicating to our consumers and provide...


66 - New Year: Time to Set Goals, Reflect, and Eliminate Clutter

At new years time each year I sit down and get reflective about business and the year that was. What things did I accomplish, what did I not accomplish, and how can I improve upon those things for the new year. In this episode I give you an outline for goal setting that’ll help you achieve a life and business by choice. More importantly, I discuss the “ah has” one finds when critically looking back at the year that was. If you’re looking to eliminate distractions and boost productivity, give...


65 - Farm Bill 2018

Like it or not, the Business of Agriculture is controlled, in large part, by the federal government. This has been the case for at least a century and became more pronounced with the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933. Since then the Farm Bill has been a package of ever-expanding legislation, adjusted and released about every 5 years. John Newton, Chief Economist with American Farm Bureau Federation joins me to discuss this Farm Bill. Listen to discover what’s new in the bill, what changes...


64 - Beef: Breeds, Business, Marketing and More

Montie Soules, CEO of the American Shorthorn Association, has been a cattle guy his entire career. Although, he was raised on a Michigan turkey farm, he’s all about the beef. Montie joins me to discuss the history of beef, genetics, cattle breeds, why breeds won’t matter as much in a decade, what the beef industry does right (and wrong!), and where the industry is headed. Be sure to stay tuned til the end for a valuable lesson for everyone in the biz of Ag about increasing profits through...


63 - Professional Opportunities In Ag

Tim Hammerich is a friend of the show who joined me way back in Episode 8. He returns to discuss career opportunities, career mistakes, and the reality of Ag mergers and consolidations as it relates to employees. Hint: where one door closes, another often opens! Turns out there are plenty of openings for people who know the industry of Food and Ag - especially if they’re willing to adapt and MOVE. That’s right, the Ag economy isn’t presenting a challenge for employers seeking talent, it’s...