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Modern Farm Business

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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.
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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.






034. Seven tools for selecting top talent

Recruiting and hiring is one of the top challenges not only for farms, but for every business looking to grow. In this episode, Dean covers seven tools for improving your selection results. For many businesses and farms, a key constraint to growth isn’t capital—it’s having the right people. I’ve had the opportunity to be involved with farm leaders from across the Midwest—and it seems no matter who I talk to, wherever they’re from is “the toughest place you can imagine to find good talent.”...


033. Delegation that works

As our businesses or organizations grow, it becomes critical for us as leaders change our focus and activities. As a one-person operation, the number of people we can hand work off to is limited. The staff you have are typically either family members or hired contractors. With growth, it eventually takes more people to get the work done. More people means the need for better communication and coordination of activities. It also means that as leaders, we cannot spend our time simply doing...


32. Four elements of trust

In business, as in life, one of the most important aspects of a relationship is trust. When trust is high things move faster, energy is higher and people have more fun. When trust is low everything slows down. We second-guess decisions and question motives, etc. Speed goes down and expense goes up. We know trust is important, but too often we consider it a binary system: "I either trust someone or I don’t." Trust is actually more dynamic than that. One of the most important things to be...


Turn your ship around! w/ David Marquet - MFB031

The systems around us are too complex for us to have all the answers for every situation. It’s important as a leader to grow and develop our team’s capabilities to make responsible decisions on their own as needed. Communication of intent is a key to that development. In this episode David Marquet shares revelations on how to achieve a cooperative and supportive environment which fosters the confidence and leadership abilities of team members. As the Captain of a nuclear submarine, David...


The leader as coach - MFB030

When we’re a part of a group—be it leading our farm, a work group at church or a volunteer at the thrift store—there are many roles we end up taking on depending on the situation. We might be the person setting the priorities and the pace of the group, or we may be a contributor of talent to the team. Regardless research is showing one of the most valuable skills we can possess is that of coach. Coaching is a special skill that we can develop, and the great thing is that the fundamentals...


Raising your inner game w/ David Levin - MFB029

Author David Levin joins Dean to share insights in how to manage distractions and ourselves so we can do our best work. ABOUT OUR GUEST: In 1992, David Levin was a struggling singer-songwriter whose career (and life) were going nowhere. But then he had a strange and illuminating experience that totally changed the arc of his life. Four albums, five books, and 29 years of happy marriage later, he’s condensed what he’s learned into a simple, practical guide for how to be stronger, mentally...


Five ways to sabotage your goals - MFB028

Today we’re going to get into some strategies that help us to create focus for building a business, the farm or the life we really envision. But before we get into goal setting, let’s first walk through a sure-fire formula for how to ensure you DON'T achieve this year’s goals. I call this the... FIVE TOOLS TO SABOTAGE YOUR GOALS 1. Spend lots of time visualizing what it’s going to be like once you’ve achieved your goals. This may seem counterintuitive, but in truth your brain has a hard...


The unstoppable family business w/ Bryan Dodge - MFB027

What separates family businesses that succeed from those that don’t? Bryan Dodge, author, speaker and consultant, joins Dean to share his perspective on principles that make a difference. ABOUT OUR GUEST: Bryan Dodge is one of America’s foremost experts in the field of selling and personal development. His 29 years of experience teaching and inspiring people of all walks of life to reach their full potential has made him one of the nation’s leading choices as a professional speaker and...


MFB026 - Better farm owner insurance decisions w/Ryan Taylor

Insurance specialist Ryan Taylor joins this episode to cover some of the common mistakes and gaps in insurance selection and how to avoid them. ABOUT OUR GUEST: Ryan Taylor is an Ag Risk Advisor for Water Street Solutions in the multi-line insurance service line. Ryan graduated from the University of Illinois where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. He has 10 years of experience in the banking industry, focusing on customer service, loan and deposit growth, and...


Who are "The Funds" and other market questions w/ Rich Feltes - MFB025

Dean talks with Rich Feltes, Head of Market Insights at R.J. O’Brien, to add clarity about various aspects of the market including; Who are “The Funds?” What do I need to know about “open interest?” How does the “Commitment of Traders” report work? Q & A SUMMARY Q: Who are “The Funds,” and what do I need to know about them? A: There are two categories of the funds: Each Friday afternoon at 3PM ET, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) releases an updated report which shows,...


What Toyota can teach the farm - MFB024

After WWII, Toyota took quality and efficiency to heart, which yielded one of the most respected and successful manufacturing companies in the world. Their success isn’t a fluke, and the practices and principles they mastered can help farms improve as well. Back in episode 4 we reviewed three strategic approaches to business and how, for most farms, the best one to be world-class at is being a low-cost-per-unit producer. In this episode we are going to explore using the Toyota Production...


Big data on the farm w/ Prof. Jeff Camm - MFB023

Wake Forest Professor Jeff Camm shares his expertise on how to manage the mountains of data and information facing farm leaders. ABOUT OUR GUEST: Jeffrey D. Camm is the Associate Dean of Business Analytics and holds the Inmar Presidential Chair in Business Analytics at the School of Business at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Prior to joining the faculty of Wake Forest, he spent 30 years at the University of Cincinnati, where he held a number of positions...


Four reviews for your farm business - MFB022

It’s easy to stay busy with our to-do list and all our responsibilities – but if we’re going to get better, we need to periodically review how we’re doing. In this episode Dean reviews four different approaches we can use in our business to better understand how we’re doing, if we’re on track and what we need to change next year. SHOW NOTES: A lot of the topics we cover in this podcast focus on the future—how to change behaviors, disciplines or thought patterns to get you or your...


Negotiation for better results w/ G. Richard Shell - MFB021

Award-winning author G. Richard Shell discusses the art of negotiation, bringing new insights to the methods people employ and challenging us along the way to improve our own negotiations skills. ABOUT OUR GUEST: G. Richard Shell is an internationally recognized expert in the subjects of law, dispute resolution, negotiation and persuasion. He is Thomas Gerrity Professor of Legal Studies, Business Ethics and Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and Chair...


Think different about crop fertility w/ Darren Frye - MFB020

Darren Frye, CEO of Water Street Solutions, shares his insights on the science and economics of crop fertility decisions. About our guest: Darren R. Frye is founder, president and CEO of Water Street Solutions. He guides the strategic direction of the company while helping farmers create success by integrating marketing, crop insurance, ag finance and legacy planning services. Darren was raised on an innovative farming enterprise that stretched from a poultry operation consisting of...


Power up your lender strategy - MFB018

Dean covers approaches for improving your lender strategy, joined by ag lender Jason Peterson. Jason Peterson is Senior Vice President and Ag Commercial Lender at Bell Bank in West Fargo, North Dakota. Jason enjoys working with the local community, assisting people with their finances and forging relationships in helping farming and business operations succeed. He’s also quite the college football fan. (Go, Bison!) Way back in episode three of Modern Farm Business podcast (The four...


Financial fundamentals - MFB017

Dean covers basic financial ratios with insights from ag finance specialist Tim Brhel. Business is a three-legged stool: 1. Make things 2. Sell those things 3. Count what’s happening William Bruce Cameron (Sociologist, wrote Informal Sociology): “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” Knowing and understanding financials isn’t enough. You have to use them to better understand the operation. Then leverage that information to make...


Eliminating generational frustration w/Cam Marston - MFB016

MFB016 - Eliminating generational frustration w/Cam Marston Generational expert and author, Cam Marston, joins Dean to discuss strategies for managing generational differences. ABOUT OUR GUEST: Cam Marston is the leading expert on generational change and its impact on the workplace and marketplace. As an author, columnist, training and development designer, and lecturer, he imparts a clear understanding of how generational demographics are changing the landscape of business. Marston and...


Telling the farm story better w/Michele Payn - MFB015

Hear how you can better tell farming’s story as author, speaker and leading “ag-vocate” Michele Payn joins Dean on this week’s episode. ABOUT OUR GUEST: Michele Payn is a born-and-raised farm girl who grew to be one of North America’s leading experts in connecting farm and food. In 2001 she founded Cause Matters Corp., a public relations firm specializing in connecting people around the food plate, including farmers, nutrition professionals, foodies and chefs. Michele is a Certified...


Five meetings your farm needs - MFB014

Dean explores five types of meetings and discusses four tips for effective meetings which will boost your farm’s internal communication game. Communication system: All the channels, methods & messages used to keep people informed and help information flow to and through everyone involved Meeting: Two or more people exchanging information at one time Many employees of large organizations complain of too many meetings; many smaller organizations can suffer from not enough meetings,...


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