Farm4Profit Podcast

What Really Happens in a Peer Group

Episode Summary

First we catch up with our friend Bodie Kitchel for an update from the field. Then we roll into a conversation with Shay Foulk with Ag View Solutions to learn about what really goes on in an organized peer group. Ride along with us to learn what to do and not to do before joining in on the fun!

Episode Notes

Welcome to your new favorite farm4profit episode and Thank you for listening

 Thank you again for suggesting topics for us to talk about on the podcast and keep them coming.  Send

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 (Ag Leader Reviews) Digging into the archives from an article in 2017 - You’ve seen the Ag Leader slogan,

“So simple even Dad can teach you,” and that is so true for leaving a listener review of the podcast. Just so you

know, we aren’t just trying to be annoying when asking for this. The way the podcast land works is the more

reviews you have the more your content gets pushed which leads to even better interview guests on the show.

We thank you for what you’ve done so far, but keep them coming!

o Cameron.Morgan10: Definitely a great podcast with some awesome people at the helm. Very

informative and helps give insights into best practices for the future of agriculture.


 And maybe you paused to question if it was really that simple. You aren’t alone, and with your farm the word

‘data’ is loaded with all kinds of possible definitions that may cause more questions and concerns than answers.

Just remember AG Leader, they have a solution for every season. Their products seamlessly connect your

equipment and tasks so that your operation runs more efficiently than ever before.

Commercial - BW Fusion – Focused on bringing innovative Fertility, Nutritional and Technology to the Ag

market place. They combine their best-in-class products along with the 365 soil and tissue program to

provide growers the tools necessary to address limiting factors in real time.


General topic – Understanding Peer Groups

Shay Foulk grew up in NE Iowa, working on a row crop and livestock operation with his father, uncles, and

grandfathers. He attended Iowa State University where he majored in Agronomy. After graduating, Shay

enlisted in the United States Army, and served with the 75th Ranger Regiment. Shay now farms and runs

Monier Seed with his father-in-law near Sparland, IL, and also works as a consultant with Chris Barron at Ag

View Solutions. Today, Shay works with farm operations locally and globally to improve profitability and

efficiency, manage risk in many forms, and develop farm businesses through coaching and consulting.

 What is a peer group?

 Why join a peer group?


o By utilizing a peer advisory group, a farmer has a unique opportunity to listen to the advice and opinions

of peers who might see something they are missing. There are multiple ways

that peer advisory groups might help in setting priorities and identifying blind spots.

 Avoid feeling like you’re on an island

 Gets you away from neighbors

 Sharpen personal and business skills

 Work on the business, not just in the business

 Focus on efficiency, Cost effectiveness, Increased production

 Accountability

 VisionBank uses a peer group. Compare ratios, indicators, margins, staffing & wages,

territory, etc…


 What would someone expect to get from a peer group?

• Discovering new and innovative ideas

• Giving and receiving feedback on current business practices

• Hearing about business practices in other operations

• Engaging in collective problem solving… avoid “reinventing the wheel”

• Improving leadership and management skills

• Sustaining an action oriented focus

• Staying ahead of a rapidly changing industry

• Develop/sharpen leadership skills

• Goal setting/Accountability/Discipline

• Best practices/ideas exchange

• Clarity/Focus/Execution


 What would someone expect to put into a peer group?

o Attend Regular Meetings, Provide Input, a Financial investment, to Share personal and financial



 What types of topics get talked about at the meetings?

o • Developing Standard Operating Procedures

• Business Succession/Transition

• People management (job descriptions/performance evaluations/employee handbooks)

• Technology

• Data Management

• Benchmarking

• Leadership, legacy, life, business plans

• Self-improvement

• Grain marketing

• Stewardship/Conservation/Cover crops

• Crop Production

 What is a typical size peer group?

o Why does that size seem to work well?

 Can a peer group function well without all the details?

o Just friends from social media and random questions….

 Do you need someone to lead the peer group?

o What are the benefits of working with someone like you?

 Do you have any success stories you can tell us?

o Do you have any groups that failed?

 And explain why they failed?

 Anything else you’d like to share with the listeners?

 What do the most successful farmers have in common?

 Summary – Challenge - Submit questions and topic suggestions - Like, Rate, Review, Share