Feed & Grain LIVE! early bird registration closes in
January 14, 2013 | Jackie Roembke
print-button

Navigating the New Year

Knowledge, guidance lies in past experiences

After almost a decade on the job, I can say with certainty, the last month of each year is a always a blur. Back-to-back issues, relentless deadlines, business travel, planning meetings — it all comes raining down in December. However, for me, it is also one of the most valuable times of the year because I find myself especially connected to Feed & Grain readers, who, to be honest, make it all worthwhile. 

Earlier this week I attended the National Grain & Feed Association’s (NGFA) 41st Annual Country Elevator Conference and Trade Show, held in Omaha, NE. Though very topically diverse, the conference sessions mirrored my December reality with a common theme: “Let the past guide you.” 

Reading my coverage of the event, you may wonder how I came to this conclusion, but to me the connection was obvious. Reading between the lines during the presentations on financial reform, historic weather patterns, and quality control systems, dealing with unfavorable conditions — drought, volatility, the stresses of risk and uncertainty — the ability to cope, strategize and persevere comes from lessons learned from past experiences, either your own or by seeking guidance from those in the agribusiness community who have been there before. It’s that sense of community, the shared experiences, that get us through.

Working the Feed & Grain booth at the trade show, I had the chance to speak to a number of our readers and took time to ask them about the information they hoped to glean from the sessions and bring back to their businesses; about the last year; the management challenges that keep them up at night; and what they would like to read about in the magazine, etc. It may seem like idle chatter, but this one-on-one time is invaluable to me, someone who sits as a spectator on the sidelines of a robust, complex and, oftentimes, nuanced industry.

Meanwhile, in my free time, I have been cold-calling subscribers at random in hopes of tracking the developing trends the magazine should cover in 2013. While this exercise is meant to gather industry insight, I am often floored by the participants’ willingness to share their knowledge and the sincerity I encounter when they elaborate on the challenges they face; to describe the decades of change that have come up around them; and to frankly discuss what they feel the future holds for their business and themselves.

To those of you who have taken the time to chat, you have my gratitude for the keen guidance you have provided; and on that note, to any of you who have considered sending in a story idea or sharing an experience you think may be helpful to one of your peers, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly. After all, I’m here to serve you.

Here’s to the ag community! May we all learn and grow from the year to come.

More Articles

Launching!

Launching!

June 23, 2016 | From The Field | Arlette Sambs

My background in media includes helping launch trade magazines and custom publishing (content marketing in today’s lingo) products. Doing the research, figuring out what the audiences wanted, then getting involved in creating a new product was always exciting. And still is!

In August, the launch of Feed & Grain Live culminates with our inaugural event. There’s always the potential for a few headaches (maybe more than a few) when you’re creating something new, but it always gets my adrenaline...

[Read More]
Preventing Bin Failures is ‘All About Details’

Preventing Bin Failures is ‘All About Details’

June 21, 2016 | Feature |

The largest of commercial grain bins can be brought down by ignoring the smallest of details, according to Rod Carpenter, senior partner at Clear Creek and Associates. Whether caused by incorrect component installation, improper construction, faulty engineering, rust or even Mother Nature, many commercial corrugated grain bin failures are preventable.

[Read More]
Panama Canal to Increase Opportunity Across the Pond
Photo by Panama Canal Authority

Panama Canal to Increase Opportunity Across the Pond

June 20, 2016 | Cover Story |


The U.S. grain industry has anticipated the completion of the Panama Canal expansion since the project was announced nearly a decade ago. It is a vital trade route for agricultural commodities shipped from the East Coast and the Mississippi River destined for Asia and western South American countries.
 

[Read More]

Reach. Connect. Engage.

A two-day conference covering three critical issues

Prairie Meadows Hotel, Altoona Iowa
August 22-23, 2016

Learn More