, Top Producer Business & Crops Online Editor
He says geographic, economic or social isolation issues can occur when farmers don't have a strong network of peers and like-minded individuals.
Oelke says the following gains can be made by having a strong network:
- Improves management and marketing skills
- Instills discipline in keeping your plans
- Helps support decision making
- Improves their business
- Creates and identifies opportunities
"A lot of times you feel like you're in a vacuum,” he says. "But if you have half a dozen or a dozen people who are in a similar situation, you can sit back and talk to them, openly and honestly about it.”
To help overcome any potential isolation problems, Oelke suggests forming a local network of peers. He says this can be a group of farmers or business people with similar challenges and opportunities.
"Networking should be deliberate and managed,” he says. Oelke suggests attending agricultural leadership events, where farmers are given the opportunity to meet similar peers.
Oelke presented this information during the Top Producer Seminar in Chicago, Ill.