Networking in Farming

Who do you know? What do they do? What kind of value do they add to your business acumen? If you are a farmer, then your network channels must be quite vast.  Networking goes beyond holding conversation at a field day or exchanging business cards at an agricultural show. It encompasses authenticity and the building of trust and long-lasting relationships. That’s right, in as much as it takes a community to raise a child, it takes an even more substantial community to be a successful farmer. 

On a day-to-day basis, a farmer will probably be presented with a plethora of information regarding inputs, product promotion and specials, technical advice and grower information. It can be confusing as a farmer to not know which information to regard and disregard, but it is the duty of the farmer to actively sift through the information and identify what applies to their current situation. Unfortunately, farming is not a one size fits all that’s why we leave the comfort of our farms to attend local field days, shows and agricultural events within the agriculture industry to create networking systems that will support us in the future. 

The how part of networking is pivotal to the success of the relationships you are building. Approach all networking platforms with a well-articulated plan in mind or on paper, of what you need help with, because why bother if you are not going to ask beneficial questions or leave with information that is going to propel your business to the next stage. In as much as agronomists, technical advisories, consultants and experts are there to guide you, they are there to learn from you and have meaningful discussions that will add to their bank of knowledge too. Ask more questions, this always opens up the platform for further discussion and conversation. 

Following up promptly after each encounter in respect to referrals and new contacts is a must! This signals your intent clearly while expressing your interest to further the already established connection and cement the relationship.  

Don’t get me wrong, networking will not be limited to agricultural events only. It will take place at the grocery store when you engage in conversation with a fellow farming enthusiast or in an agro-shop while buying chemicals. Be so open minded about networking that you do it with your eyes closed. There is a vast number of opportunities that arise from networking when it is done right. Be deliberate, be intentional, be honest and forthcoming and you will create a bank of connections that is richer than any bank account that ever existed! 

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400 thoughts on “Networking in Farming

  1. Well articulated. Going to farmer clubs, visiting other farmers and learn. In farming plagiarism is allowed as long as it gives positive results hahahaha

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