Quality of Engagement Matters

Quality (of engagement) is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, and skillful execution.

Winter conference meeting and trade-show season is coming to an end. This year, I had the chance to attend several ag events – all with a trade-show of some kind available for producers to learn more about ag industry clients’ technologies, services, and product offerings. My observation: quality of engagement was shallow, and return on time and investment was most likely poor for many trade show sponsors, exhibitors, and attendees.

Throughout my long career in ag, I’ve attended more informational/educational events than I can count, and have seen the ups and downs that largely coincide with our industry’s cycles. I also recognize the investment, not just in pre-event PR and exhibitor/sponsor cost, but also the human capital expense that is associated with the decision to be involved in trade shows, and how difficult that investment, and associated return on that investment, is to measure.

Over the past several months, more than before, the investment for many organizations appeared to be high, yet the traffic through booths was low – and engagement with producers not very in-depth. I observed that overall enthusiasm and purpose from many exhibitors was lacking.

This brings me to my question. What is your plan for the fall season? How will you become much more intentional with your tradeshow and producer engagement dollars? How will your tradeshow strategy be a part of the overall go-to-market and relationship-building strategy you have with your customers? How can the quality of engagement advance your value proposition? And of course, how will you measure success?

Tactically, how are you preparing those staffing the shows? How will you drive qualified customers to your exhibit and what are your next steps if they are there?

An intentional plan, skillfully executed, will drive relevant and high quality engagement; it will drive success. Based on my observations this year, I question the future of agricultural industry trade shows as an effective way for companies to engage their ag professional audience unless organizations become much more intentional. This intentional plan needs to consider the engagement strategy (pre, during and post event) and content strategy (what discussion of value are we having?).

Beck Ag has spent the past 20 years engaging producers with relevant content of value and helping organizations think differently, and intentionally, about their go-to-market strategies. As tradeshows hit the “reset” button prior to late summer, there are some simple areas we can help organizations to be more intentional and deliver a quality experience for customers, and more importantly increase the likelihood of success and raise the ROI of the event.

Let me know if you agree with my thoughts and share your experiences.

The Jacket

It doesn’t fit anymore, but I still have it. It is faded a bit and my kids have tried it on. All the pins are still in place. It has been almost 35 years since I’ve worn it. That jacket, in that box in our basement, has more memories and more learning than all of my other high school classes combined.

This is National FFA week. I’ve taken the time this week to reflect on what FFA has meant to our industry, to my career and to Beck Ag. The Future Farmers of America; thirty-five years ago we didn’t just use the acronym. We were all involved in FFA because we dreamed of being farmers. Back then, we didn’t really understand the scale of the industry that all comes together to support the production of our world’s food and fiber.

FFA has helped prepare so many of us for this mission that is agriculture. FFA taught me so much more than parliamentary procedure and welding. Today I am honored to have a number of FFA alums work with me at Beck Ag. They bring the experienced talent that started when they put on the jacket. Consistently, FFA members bring with them:

  • A passion for agriculture and learning
  • A drive to deliver excellence in all they do
  • A loyalty to the industry, its mission and purpose
  • A commitment to the next generation; to the future

I’m proud to have worn the jacket, and to work in an organization where there are many more jackets in boxes, possibly a few that have been taken out this week and tried on.

I’m also thrilled that here in northeast Nebraska, where Beck Ag has a small office that some of our team works out of, we have a new FFA chapter at our local high school. After years of preparation and prayers, the Ag Ed program is thriving in its first year. I’m grateful that another generation of local kids will someday pull their dusty jackets out and smile at the memories and lessons it taught. Because as I’ve learned, you might outgrow the jacket, but you never outgrow the experience.


Jay Kelley Named New Beck Ag President and Investor

WAYNE, NEBRASKA – Beck Ag, Inc., a company dedicated to providing measurable Go-To-Market solutions for agriculture companies and organizations, has named Jay Kelley as its new president. Kelley has also assumed an equity position in Beck Ag and has been appointed to the company’s board of directors. Kelley’s new leadership positions are effective immediately. Read More >

Beck Ag Promotes Spaan and Phillips

WAYNE, NEBRASKA – Beck Ag, Inc., a company dedicated to providing measurable Go-To-Market solutions for agriculture companies and organizations is expanding its new business acquisition efforts and its market intelligence competency through the promotion of Kari Spaan to vice president of business development, and Monica Phillips to vice president of strategic intelligence. Read More >

Mindy Oberly, Sonny Dasari Join Beck Ag

Beck Ag, Inc., a company dedicated to providing measurable Go-To-Market solutions for agriculture companies and organizations, is expanding its client solutions and optimization teams with the hiring of Melinda Oberly and Srikanth (Sonny) Dasari. Read More >

Just-In-Time Learning

Are you providing the learning solutions and opportunities when and where it’s needed?

With continuous changes in our industry it is imperative that our teams continue to have the appropriate knowledge, training and skills. Keeping not only your sales team, but ultimately your customers, armed with the most up-to-date knowledge, when and where they need it can be challenging.
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Knowing Your Customer

Do you know the field, herd, or operation better than the farmer or producer?


Are customers viewed as resources to be “harvested” or are they people looking for certain kinds of interactions and relationships?

It’s happening. With today’s information and technology, we are getting to know the fields better than we know the farmer, the animals better than the producer and the data just keeps coming in.
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Beck Ag Expands Leadership Team

Beck Ag is expanding its Leadership Team with the addition of an agriculture sales, marketing and training communications veteran, Dave Dell. Dell is joining Beck Ag as vice president for Go-To-Market Solutions.
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Beck Ag Expands Board of Directors

Beck Ag is expanding its Board of Directors with the addition of a well-known communications veteran Hugh Whaley. Assuming an equity position in Beck Ag, Whaley has been appointed to the company’s Board of Directors effective September 1. Read More >

NAMA Award of Excellence

Dave Korbelik, VP of Go-to-Market Solutions for Beck Ag receives the 2017 NAMA Professional Development Award of Excellence for his work with Multimin USA.
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