Design Tips and Industry News from your Ag Specialists

Marketing


Marketing Segmentation

The whole idea of market segmentation is to provide the most effective form of outreach for each type of person. When evaluating how your company interests the public to expand customer demographics, there are many factors to consider. Once you determine a target audience do your research to see where their interests lie then strategize a plan that fits their wants.
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Process vs. PMS Printing

Printing material for posters, signs, and stationary are important in representing your company within the community. While printing artwork and complex images should be accurate and appealing. No matter your printing needs, it is important to choose your printing methods in an economical and logical way.
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The Triple Bottom Line

While running a company, profit once was the main concern of a flourishing businesses, but the new era has begun to show trends that support the importance of the social and ecological impact. This concept is referred to as the triple bottom line, and the overarching idea is that creating social influences and promoting environmental protection, will greatly affect the economic position of your company.
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Creating an Online Presence

Online resources can be exhaustive to someone just starting out. There is so much to consider when crafting your own website or social media account, and company representation in other sites is a whole other process. Customers are more likely than ever to electronically research a company before purchasing goods, so in this changing market, it is a must to have an accessible online presence.
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Managing a PR Crisis

Whether your product has caused a food-borne illness or you said something controversial on social media, PR crises can arise in any business. The added stress to your company can be a headache and cause worry toward how this event will affect profit and your reputation. Thankfully, most PR crises are quickly forgotten in this fast-paced world, but there are some steps to handle the situation professionally and effectively to clean up the mess.
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Offest vs. Digital Printing

These two printing types each hold their own value in the printing community. The main difference being that offset is more efficient at producing mass amounts of identical copies while digital can be used more strategically with smaller, unique copies. Dependent on the project at hand, a company should strategically choose which form of printing will be the most economically wise.
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Outsourced Marketing

Maintaining a marketing strategy is a large commitment and there are many moving parts. Countless hours can be spent developing and updating websites and social media accounts, and when you include branding, promotion, press releases, and keeping up with technological trends, marketing a company is a full-time job. In some cases, it may be best to outsource your marketing responsibilities so you can better focus on your company as a whole.
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Social Media Tips

There are many things to consider when crafting a social media post. Because each medium holds its own specialty, it is difficult to decide what kind of information to share on each site, but as discussed before, social media is a free resource for mass promotion of your company and greatly builds up reputation in the community. Because there are many unspoken rules of social media coordinating, here are some tips on how to expand your digital presence.
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Website Design and Strategies

Creating a website will help share the logistics of your company and will encourage people to come to you for business. An appealing website with clear information will assist in answering people’s everyday questions, make you accessible, and further share your brand with the public.
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Attracting Business

There is a new world of technology out there, and if you don’t take advantage of this age of communication, many potential customers will not be aware of your products. To attract new customers, your company needs to be made easily available and recognizable. People buy from names they know and trust, and that can be accomplished through branding, organization, and advertising.
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Social Media in the Ag Community

Social media has taken over the marketing field. A great use of this digital wave is the free interaction between businesses and customers. Through social media, companies can share their experiences with the public to promote branding, community, and reputation. The most difficult part of navigating social media is the many faux pas associated with the young system. There are unspoken rules for each site and these rules are always changing
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Managing Upward

It is often discussed that an organization flourishes based on the direction of leadership, but the employees can impact success just as much by putting in their best effort. By forming a bond with you boss, you can help each other achieve organizational goals instead of holding the company back because of differing mindsets.

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Agriculture


ASTA’s Storm the Hill

Seed company representatives from all industries gather every couple years to talk to congress about their economic concerns and requests. This is a very important time in the seed industry as they meet with politicians to emphasize the needs, growth, and importance of the seed industry. The government works to keep seed companies satisfied to support the economic abundant production of consumable and tradable crops.
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Biological Farming

Biological farming values strategic planting procedures that maintains the soil instead of soaking up Earth’s natural minerals. It is simple enough to say that prioritization of soil will produce better crops to feed to your animals and enhance the environment.
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Dicamba

Dicamba is a strong weed killer produced by Monsanto. This chemical has been used in corn fields for quite a while, but Monsanto had to develop a chemical-tolerant soy bean plant that was also able to benefit from Dicamba. Using the chemical on soy beans has had devastating repercussions for the company of Monsanto and farmers across the United States, but there are constant efforts to improve the use of this chemical.
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Organic Farming

When choosing between organic farming and conventional farming, you need to reflect on your interests as a company. Many customers have begun to prefer organically raised crops because of the use of pesticides and chemicals on the produce, but there is still a solid foundation of customers who don’t mind the process of conventional farming. Because of this new debacle, it is up to the company to determine which process will create the best crop that pleases their customers.
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Phytosanitary Certificates

There has been a method put in place to assure a common safety of products across trading sites. The Phytosanitary Certificate is a tool to ensure quality and assign responsibility to anyone transporting goods across nations and abroad.
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Preventing Food-Borne Illness

According to the Centers for Disease Control, food-borne illness effects approximately 1 in 6 Americans each year. This outrageous statistic is reason enough to take precautions when producing and distributing product to the public. Each farmer should be aware of what they are putting out and make all the necessary steps to produce the best product they can.
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Technology Trends in Agriculture

There are constantly new products coming out that add ease to a difficult project or more accurately complete tasks. Any company will greatly benefit from the saved time, energy, or safety of using innovative equipment. Here are some new technologies that the agricultural community is likely to see moving forward.
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UAV in Agriculture

A UAV or an unmanned aerial vehicle is more commonly known as drone. These machines are used on several different platforms, but in the agricultural field, drones are used to impact the production and monitoring of crops. This technology has only come about the past couple years, but drones are well on their way to having a huge influence on the agricultural industry.
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Business


Building a Winning Team

Having a nice mixture of employees makes work much more enjoyable and productive. You want to hire a team of people who are good at what they do but are also easy to socialize with. Since full time employees work approximately forty hours each week, strong relationships across coworkers heavily effect job satisfaction. When forming a team, keep in mind the strengths of the employees, the objectives you are trying to reach, and the work culture you are trying to achieve.
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Collaborating: Challenges of Change

Change can either be viewed as frightening or exciting, but it is much easier to embrace change when you are at the frontier of something great. Collaborating with your team can lead to new ideas that may bring your company to the new level of productivity and efficiency. There are constant ways to improve in the agricultural and business world, and getting behind on innovation may cause a major loss in profit.
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Communicating with Impact!

Everything you say should be in exact reflection of your business and your objectives. Employees, customers, and other professionals should be able to fully understand your intentions or objectives to achieve the common goal of producing the best product and supplying that product efficiently. Learning to communicate will greatly help in growing your company and relationships as individuals feel understood and acknowledged.
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Developing a Leadership Mindset: Getting Results

As a leader, it is difficult to spot exactly what actions will best motivate your employees to reach out of their comfort zone and produce greater results. To have fulfillment in their career, employees must be appreciated and understood. Involved leadership is a major influence of job satisfaction, so for the best result, leaders need to be open with their employees.
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Engaging Today’s New Workforce

As Millennials begin to take over the majority of the workforce, many employers are unsure of how to fulfill the new generation’s occupational needs. People entering the workforce greatly value purpose, community, and achievement in their work environment. They are not apt to find satisfaction in the form of a paycheck but through the sense of self-fulfillment. Because of this shift in viewpoint, employers have had to adjust business to fit the needs of their workers.
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Managing Conflict

As a leader, handling conflict is a dreadful responsibility. In a perfect world, employees would get along with each other and customers would always be fully satisfied, but mistakes will inevitably happen that you are responsible for handling. There are some tips to best control difficult situations without regrets.
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Maximizing Employee Strengths to Drive Results

There is always so much to be done in the daily activity of a company, and ideally, everything will be done the right way. To assure efficiency, an employer must play off the strengths of their employees. The idea of individualized working conditions is relatively new to the work force. Each person is hardwired with a set of strengths that can be unique assets to an organization’s growth and production. When an employee’s strengths are fully utilized, they feel more accomplished in their work and become more loyal to the company through recognition of their abilities.
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Detasseling


How to Appoint Leaders

One major rewards of detasseling is the opportunity of promotion. As you gain seniority, there is a greater chance for you to be placed in a leadership position as you perfect the task of picking and checking tassels. Each promotion comes with the perk of picking fewer tassels, but the hassle of increasing the number of employees you are responsible for. Leaders in detasseling require expertise in the field and a talent for problem solving.
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How to Ensure Safety in the Field

When most of your employees are minors and the job involves working outdoors, there are many safety precautions that must be addressed. Whether it is dehydration, heat exhaustion, corn rash, weather, insects, pesticides, or irrigators, the employees should be informed of the potential threats and known how to prevent running into any danger.
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How to Manage Employees

In a summer job populated by teenagers, employees need to be respected, motivated, and understood to reach the best performance of labor. When dealing with teenagers, there needs to be specific rules in place to ensure safety and production, but also one must keep in mind the lack of maturity associated with hiring someone for their first job. Employees at this age will most likely have a poor work ethic and need guidance while transitioning into the work force.
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How to Manage Parental Concern

As children go into their first job and are subjected to harsh weather conditions and laborious tasks, many parents will show concern about their child’s well-being. Most questions can be answered by an Informational Night before the sign-up date, but you will be receiving questions from several parents through the season. These questions will need to be addressed to ease parental concern.
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How to Manage the First Day in the Field

Like the start of any job, new employees of an organization will surely be nervous on their first day. Employees are unsure what they will be doing, what the conditions will be, and who they will be working with. There is so much that they need to be taught. The first day will be a time for them to learn safety regulations, the significance of a tassel, and how the detasseling system works.
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How to Recruit Prospective Employees

Detasseling is unique in the fact that it is one of the only jobs that will hire you before you are sixteen. Because of this, detasseling is very appealing to high school freshman and sophomores who are interested in making their own money. Unfortunately, the working conditions give the job a negative reputation. Encouraging the younger generation to take time out of their summer can be a tricky situation, but there are ways to better promote the job and attract employees.
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How to Regulate Wages

Because this is such a challenging job, one main incentive of returning employees could be the opportunity for promotion or an increase in pay. An annual increase in wage should be considered so that employees return multiple seasons to maintain a solid ratio of years across employees.
You would never want second year crew leaders and fourth year bus leaders because you were unable to retain employees. Leaders with low experience have not spent enough time in the field and will most likely do not have a level maturity to handle these responsibilities. Keep your employees interested by having a set increase in wages.
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How to Use Effective Communication Across Employees

Having effective communication in a business is entirely necessary for the betterment of the organization. When your business is conducted across hundreds of acres, it is difficult to stay in contact with all employees. If the many groups of leaders communicate with each other, the overall production will greatly benefit.
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