Farm4Profit Podcast

Most Common Traits of Successful Farmers

Episode Summary

We get to have our idols Rob and Emily Sharkey in studio to help us run through the most common traits of successful farmers. A big thank you to Lynn (Tanner's mom) for helping compile the list from each guest and for the Sharkfarmer family for their input. This has been a fun 2.5 years and we look forward to 2022!

Episode Notes

Main Topic -What traits do the most successful famers, business leaders, clients all have in common?

People/Teamwork/Advisory Team

10/18/21 – F4P – E61 – Travis (?) from Circle U Farms – Exploring Custom Livestock Options

                Note: Awesome “What’s working in ag segment” with Peggy from

                Surround yourself with good people.  Make good decisions.  Have a good banker!  The basic rules for good

business are the same rules for farming.  Make no business decisions out of emotions.


10/11/21 – F4F – E154 – Jim McArthur, Randy Hammersmith (twin brother?) w/Field Rows

                Have the right people in your corner, because you can’t do it (farming) alone.  

Get a good crop consultant.


8/2/21 – F4F – E149 – Summer Fun with Rocking R Cross Cattle – Reagan

Surround yourself with good people.  Be a businessman first, if the numbers don’t work, don’t do it.

5/18/20 – F4P – E23 – Chad Hutson, HT Plumbing, Goldman Sachs Small Business graduate, Using a 10X Growth

Mentality to get to more profit

Surround yourself with people/things to make yourself better; eliminate people/things that'll bring you down;

elevate yourself to be the best you can be.

11/29/2021 – F4P – E64  Vance Crowe on Negotiations 

The willingness to be mentored, to seek out a mentorships and be curious about making yourself better.

Character/Good People

11/15/2021 – F4P – E62 Dave Hedt OutbackWraps

They love what they do

11/8/2021 – F4F – 156 W/ Super Huego  Justin Nunley.  

They treat everyone with respect. They talk to everyone as professionals. They down talk down or look down on anybody.

10/25/2021 – F4F – E155 w/ Will Brinkley

Patient enough to wait until the timing is right whether it be for planting or harvesting or with care for animals

9/13/21 – F4F – E152 – Delaney Howell 

Great time managers; Challenge yourself – never be ok with status quo.  Never say no – evaluate every opportunity.

8/23/21 – F4P - E57 – Farm with Stubborn Farmers – Andy Junkin

Change in attitude – we’re not perfect and don’t expect others to change for you – be the better person.

5/17/21 – F4P – E50 – Controlling Compaction with tire royalty, Scott Sloan of Titan International

  1. Great, nice   2) willing to listen   3) look at themselves; take chances and look/seek technology changes.

3/29/21 – F4F – E140 – Burkhart Family – Mike, Kim and Travis

Legacy! What re you willing to leave behind for your children; leave an impact that’s not about ME; 

get away from greed. (Tanner commented his New Year’s resolution was to keep log of successful traits!)

3/15/21 – F4F – E139 – Jen Hartman, John Deere, Director of Public Relations and Social Media

Self-awareness – being strong communicators;  Know what to say and when to say it!  Gratitude

12/14/20 – F4P – E39 1031 Exchanges and Intro to Drones – David Brown

Relationships - do things the right way; attention to detail; excellence; look for win-win opportunities; 

success feeds off itself.

9/14/20 – F4F – E126 – Brady Smith, Keg Creek brewing

Patience, persistence, perseverance; find a way to get around roadblocks; be good with numbers and how to

put a crop in; don't over leverage and don't take unnecessary risks; surround yourself with quality people who

want you to succeed.

7/6/20 – F4F – E121 – Scott, The Foundry Distilling Co – Heritage Bourbon

Genuineness and authenticity in your character and skill set; be honest; whatever you do, do it well; be real,

and it’s ok to not be good at something/everything.

8/17/20 – F4F – E124 – Elizabeth Burns-Thompson, ISU,  BrightSide Aleworks 

Involvement – put your whole self into whatever you do, and you’ll get that value back.  Connections mean

value!  The busiest people get the most done. 

7/27/20 – F4P – E28 – Matt Brechwald, Off-Farm Income Podcast, Gaining more than money from running a business

Being present – be out there in the field with the crops or the animals.  Develop that 6th sense to know when or

 if something is wrong.  Be the first to know it.

Continual Learning/Willingness to Change

11/29/2021 – F4P – Vance Crowe

Willing to be mentored.  Try things that are uncomfortable. Put yourself in the place to ask questions of someone and learn from them.

11/1/21 – F4P – E62 – Market Updates – Casey from moving Iron Podcast

Are avid readers of of books with topics like self help, leadership and ones that provide different perspectives.  Having an open mind to learning how others think.

9/20/21 – F4P – E59 – To Lease or Not to Lease - TJ Masker, Sr. Product Manager at TractorZoom

Deep, deep curiosity - ask why?  Want to learn more every year.  Keep improving - learn for the long run;

may not be used now, but maybe in ten years.

9/6/21 – F4P – E58 –  Solve your labor shortage - Lori Culler with Ag Hires

Always looking forward, educating themselves.  Keep their heads up and not down, looking ahead; strategic

7/19/21 – F4F – E148 – Summer Fun with Ag Pilot Chick – Emily Daniel

Not complacent.  Never stop learning.  Able to change and adapt.

6/7/21 – F4F – E145 – Snarkosaurous – Rupert (Snark after Dark ) 2 hours

Curiosity - want to learn more; Eagerness – try what other people haven’t; Humility.  If it doesn’t kill you, just 

keep getting up.  Always want to learn more.  Some may have failed, but learn from it.  Don’t live in fear of

failure.  Fight “off” your back.  Pin Tweet: Keep shifting; keep moving in your despair; blame nobody; expect

nothing, do something.  Win more days than you lose.

5/24/21 – F4F – E144 – Grant and Michelle Wells of Wells AG Supply, Fonda, Iowa

Open minded, don’t get stuck doing business the conventional way; critical thinking; willing to see if things can

benefit them, adjust, and want to get and be better.

3/22/21 – F4P – E46 – Busting Planting Myths with Dr. Mary Gumz, Agronomy Manager, Pioneer Hi-Breds

 Willingness to consider change; evaluate all practices; (Dave-Data-Driven-Decisions) (Dr. Kyle Glienke fan review)

2/22/21 – F4P – E44 – Your Soil is the Key to More Profit – Bodie Kitchel, National Director of Agronomy at Biodyne USA

    and Brody Benton – 365 Next Level Ag

They all ask Why? – don’t accept status quo.  Know something’s out there – surround yourself with others who

want and will make you better.

2/8/21 – F4P – E43 – Future of Agriculture Crossover – Tim Hammerich, Ag Grad  Dr. Dir. Of Strategic Communication

(Tanner mentioned his New Year’s resolution to keep successful trait log.)             for Congent Consulting

  1. Curiosity – not close-minded  (2) grit – overcome challenges  (3) empathy – see thru someone else’s eyes

1/25/21 – F4P – E42 – Will the US and China play nice together? Dr. Wendong Zhang, Professor ISU

Curiosity; Globally minded; willingness to learn and listen

12/28/20 – F4P – E40 – Equipment and Land Values with Machinery Pete

Listen and be open to learn new things; slow down and pay attention. (1) long-term thinking, even if it’s hard to

 do.  Needs discipline. (2)  realize that you CAN be wrong; admit your mistakes, learn from them-it’s a strength,

not a weakness.

11/16/20 – F4P – E37 – Could you farm more precisely? With Josh Kayser, Granular CSA

Constantly learning and improving; curious; flexible and adaptable - things change and willing to make changes

10/19/20 – F4P – E35 – Jessman Smith, Principal Financial Group Your Farm’s Future; transferring wealth, knowledge

Willing to try something new; step out of your comfort zone; big farms are made up of little farms that failed 

to plan.

6/8/20 – F4F – E119 – Elena Magnimonte, Loup River Distillery

Don’t be afraid to try something new for your business and life.


11/15/2021 – F4P – E62 – Naeem Zafar (Telesense) – Productivity

They all have passion.  Not just for farming but passion in general.  When you have passion for one thing you have passion for others and it gives you the drive to get things done.

9/27/21 - F4F - E153 - Andrew Blake, Blake's Hard Cider - Everything Borrowed podcast

Show up everyday - "put-in-the-work" type culture; don't expect something for nothing; Keep your head down and work hard and the universe will provide; obviously, some days will be better than others.

8/9/21 – F4P – E56 – Summer Fun with Andrew Uphill (Uppy)

Go Getters!  Don’t sit on their hands.  Find what you want to do and do it.  Chase your dreams. (Dave says,

Thomas Edison – “Opportunity is missed by most because it’s dressed in coveralls and looks like hard work.”) 

7/26/21 – F4P – E55 – Summer Fun with Taylor Sumption (BTO)

Very innovative; driven – fining new ways to get ahead.  Don’t care what the neighbors think or do.  

Always want to get better.

7/12/21 – F4P – E54 – Summer Fun with Dan the Iowa Dairy Farmer

Ambition- be driven – this is not learned or taught, you’re born with it.  You either have it or you don’t.

4/5/21 – F4P – E47 – Talking Combines in the Spring! Ryan Bloes, Mobile Inspection Ag Service, Janesville, Iowa

Disciplined and efficient; the owners run the planters and combines.

2/15/21 – F4F – E137 – Chuck Weldon and Blvd Brewing Co.

Hard work, dedication, passionate, love – open-mindedness – willing to try new things; you’ll never work a day

in your life if you love what you do.

12/7/20 – F4F – E132 – Carson King – The Midwest Legend

Drive – see what they want, and do what they can to make it happen, don’t stop until they get it done. 

Find a way to get it completed.  Never get bored. (Dave says: Winston Churchill “We make a living by what we

get, but we make a life by what we give.”)

7/20/20 – F4F – E122 – Jenny Sauer-Schmidgall, Danenberger family Vineyards

Work ethic and faith.  You can’t know what tomorrow will bring or plan for it.  Work hard and stay positive.

6/29/20 – F4P – E26 – Nikki Boxler, NY, Your Farm’s Marketing Plan

Hard working and trustworthy.  Someone you want to have a beer with and be friends.

Financially Savvy/Treat it Like a Business

6/28/21 – F4P – E53 – Organic Farming with Adam Bissell

Know your operation and its breakeven.  Put work and time into making your operation better.

6/14/21 – F4P – E52 – What Really Happens in a Peer Group – Shay Foulk with Ag Solutions

(he loved the question) Identify that they need to spend more time working “on” the business and not just “in” 

the business; know the cost of production; develop strategy to profitability; take a step back and know where

to start.

5/31/21 – F4P – E51 – Tools to Protect Downside Risk in Commodity Pricing – Tommy Grisafi with Advance Trading

Luck, gratitude, grateful and incredibly hard-working.  Educated at different levels, change with the world; 

don’t be afraid to ask for help mentally or physically or financially.

4/26/21 – E142 – Brittany & TR Jones of Richlands Dairy

  1. Versatility – Jack of all trades  2) adaptability – the farmers that are left need to market themselves and add value where needed.

4/12/21 – F4F – E141 – Seth Davis, Geringhoff sales rep.

Able to crunch the numbers; plans ahead, use spreadsheets, don’t fly by the seat of their pants, know your data

1/11/21 – F4P – E39 – Small Changes for BIG Impact with Hotrod Farmer, Ray Bohacz

Attention to details – bring efficiencies to your operation through your equipment.

11/30/20 – F4P – E38 – Update for Tax Planning Season with Kyle Woiwood CPA

Care - they understand their business, more than what's in the bank; ask questions; assemble a team: attorney,

CPA, banker, financial advisor, consultant.  You need more than one person.

10/5/20 – F4P – E34 – Amanda De Jong, State Executive Director for Iowa USDA Farm Service Agency. 

          What Can the FSA/USDA do for you now? 

Approach your operation like a business; be open to change that may improve profitability; make sure

technology is "worth" it for your operation; good planners - plan ahead; have a risk management plan; know

your data and numbers.

9/28/20 – F4F – E127 – Royce Johns, Back Pocket Brewing

Know what's your definition of success; freedom to make choices; you're the master of our own success.

7/13/20 – F4P – E27 – Laura Carlson, NE, Referrals lead to more profit

Know your operation and what you want it to become.  Be clear and honest.  Don’t be afraid; set goals.

6/22/20 – F4F – E120 – Adam Kleiss @moo4isu, Fire Trucker Brewery

You have to be ‘next level’; it’s not easy, you have to go above and beyond the others; get organized; find out

what works and what’s not working.

6/15/20 – F4P – E25 – Jamie Pollard, ISU Director of Athletics, What Can Farmers learn from football?

Have vision; build a successful culture; have passion; have heart; be motivated; trusting and listening; strong

core values; stay grounded; when you’ve been successful, remember who you were and are; communicate and

empower those you work with/for.

Taking Chances/Trusting Your Gut

7/5/21 – F4F – E147 – Mark Thomas of Thomas Farms

Resilience and adaptability – can face negatives every day, learn from it and adapt.

6/21/21 – F4F – E146 – Huey B Cool – Huey Boelen

Risk takers (trait from parents); risk loving and hard workers

11/23/20 - F4F – E131 – Tony Reed @GrowinCorn2020 featuring Sierra Nevada beers, holiday gift list and more

Don't be afraid to go for it.

11/2/20 – F4P – E36 – Dallas Welp, CO - Preparing for a Successful meeting with your banker- Vision Bank, sponsor n/a

Desire to stay up on trends.

10/12/20 – F4F – E128 – Tyler Richton and the High Bank Boys, Big Grove Brewery

Take a chance even though there is big risk of failure; take a leap of faith and go for it.

9/21/20 – F4P – E33 – Fall AG Technology Update with Chad Colby

Be on the edge; make a conscience effort to keep up with technology and they want to improve the use of their

time, whatever makes you more efficient. 

8/10/20 – F4P – E29 – Loran Steinlage, Maximize Profitability with Cover and Relay crops

Survival instinct – you have no other options.  Learn how to make it work, no matter what it is.

1st episode ever 6/27/19    Traits of Top performing farmers - they have a plan and budget in place; know cost of production and break even; business needs an advisory team-CPA, agronomist, banker, livestock guy, farm manager, attorney, technology advisor, peers (2 ears, 1 mouth-listen), financial advisor, auction professional; be proactive, not reactive; predict challenges and overcome.  Get better before you get bigger. Always learning. Money is made in the margins. Let's try this, test theories, techniques and technology. Ask questions, surround yourself with those with knowledge you need. Don't spend the money you don't have.   Kmart/Amazon in business, be progressive and look forward. What you aren't good at, find someone who is, know your strengths.