Pro Farmer's Leading Edge Conference was held at the downtown Marriott in Des Moines, Iowa earlier this week and growers from all over the country were on hand to brush up on their marketing skills, peer into the weather and land forecasts and, of course find out what's happening in inputs.
The event included a reception on Monday night celebrating Pro Farmer's 40 year anniversary and a lot of old Pro Farmer faces made an appearance. Tuesday morning, breakfast was at 6:30 and included a brief address from Iowa Secretary of Ag, Bill Northey. I have met with Secretary Northey on a few occasions to discuss Nutrient Reduction Strategies and other topics of note. This is where I pick up our story...
I made my way to the breakfast line, filled my plate, and found a seat. A short time later, Secretary Northey came and sat beside me and we started to chat. Soon after, Pro Farmer founder and Godfather, Merrill Oster came and sat on my other side. I was reflecting on the ag-intellect surrounding me and thought to myself, "boy howdy, you're really gettin' somewhere now!"
I actually felt a lot like Aquaman at the Hall of Justice. Aquaman was one of those superheroes in league with Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, but his powers were very specialized. He could breathe underwater, communicate with sea life and swim like a shark. On land, Aquaman was always happy to help, but his powers were really intended for undersea use. Rest assured, however, if the barracuda were ever to rise up or evil villains attack by submarine, Aquaman would be ready to answer the distress call, and America would be glad he did. When it comes to ag marketing, I am your Aquaman.
A Pro Farmer survey reports that most growers only check fertilizer pricing one-three times a year. The Inputs Monitor makes it easy to break that cycle by offering weekly updated pricing for your local area, piped directly into your computer. In the meantime, diligent Aquaman continues to do pushups and read from the founding fathers, always ready to defend justice and the common man, when the phone finally does ring.
Back at the breakfast table, there I sat, a lesser superhero at best, between Superman and Batman. I was in my Pro Farmer 'supersuit' and my presentation pants, ready for my 9:00 session. I casually reached for my carton of milk for a drink. Something across the room caught my eye as I tipped it back. In the split second my concentration lapsed, my milk took advantage and gushed down the front of my shirt and all over the front of my pants.
I glanced right and left, hoping neither of these guys had noticed, and as far as I could tell, they hadn't. I wiped myself from chin to knees as discreetly as I could, and thinking I had pulled it off, replaced my napkin on my lap and started in again on my eggs. That is when Merrill turned to me with his napkin and dabbed at my collar saying, "here, you missed a spot... let's get you looking good again."
As a rookie Pro Farmer Editor, I flashed back to all of the times as a child my father had to say things to me like, "quiet down son, the grownups are talking."
I fill a unique role at Pro Farmer, and yes, I help out daily with Pro Farmer's charts and on other projects as needed, all the while, keeping on top of the latest news and fertilizer pricing trends. I realize the Inputs Monitor may not be something you read every single day, but I guarantee that, whether you visit the Monitor today or a month from now, you will not only find updated, charted pricing data and advice alerts, but also the latest happenings around the global industry.
This year's Leading Edge Conference confirmed the value of the Monitor to me and to all of those in attendance. It was great to find so much support in the growing public, and if you happened to catch my presentation, you know there are global forces at work that impact the health and outlook of our own fertilizer industry here at home.
So while survey data suggests that fertilizer pricing probably only crosses your mind a few times during the year, when you want information, the Inputs Monitor is always ready, and will have all of the information you need and more. I continue to write daily posts whether people tune in or not, so there will be plenty of reading material when you swing by.
I understand that you have a lot to think about, and that fertilizer and fuel pricing is only a small portion of what's on your plate. Don't worry about it. Aquaman is diligently standing by, fully prepared to handle what the industry may throw at the farming citizenry. Armed with the three pronged trident of solid data, proven experience and a top notch support team, count on your Inputs Monitor to be there when it counts, at a moment's notice.