Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Did You Hear the One About the Traveling Agronomist . . .?

From March through October, you will find me on the road about two weeks out of every month. For eight months, my travels take me from home, in Western Washington, to four cities in eastern Washington, on to the Willamette Valley of Oregon for nine stops, and then home. After that trip I am home for a week to catch up on business and then off to Idaho for a three to four day visit before returning home and repeating the process. 

After each trip it takes about 1½ to 2 days for me to recover from what I call “stupid head,” a condition where you can only hear road noise or the drone of an airplane propeller.  I’m sure those of you who travel a lot know what “stupid head” is.

This really doesn’t sound like an exciting way to spend your summer, especially if you are a 64-year-old husband, father, and grandfather. But there is a reason and a validation. When I was in college I had a discussion with an advisor about the ag retail business. He told me if you want to be wealthy, don’t go into ag retail. I can honestly say he was right. I have been in this game for 38 years and I’m sure many of my former classmates have acquired much more wealth than I have. But I think I can say I have had more successes than they have. Every place I go, I have helped a farmer or fertilizer dealer become more successful in their business and I am welcomed back for another visit.

Life isn’t all about financial greatness or great self power. When you can educate a dealer who can now pass the information on to his farmers, or help a farmer be more productive and more profitable, you have succeeded in being a real Agronomist.

Now, if you will excuse me, it’s time to pack my suitcase.