Reinventing Your Business

This year’s Agricultural Re­tailers Association (ARA) Conference & Expo, December 5-7, will be held at the historic Re­naissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club in St. Petersburg, FL. The ARA Conference Planning Committee selected the theme, “Re­inventing Your Business,” based on the significant industry changes underway by virtue of the technological advances and industry mergers and consolidation. It is recognized that today’s ag retailers are having to produce more with their resources than ever before.

Managers of the 21st century need to be technologically savvy and current on the scientific developments in agronomic traits. As a result, today’s ag retailers provide highly technical expertise to their customers that allows the grower to yield higher crop returns — all of which result in a more wholesome food source for Americans nationwide.

A Packed Agenda

This year’s conference program focuses on providing ag retail business executives and/or managers the tools necessary to rethink their business plan, customer base, sales team, service package, and product line. Playing off of this year’s theme, “Reinventing Your Business” sessions include:

•  Market Plan. This session features Dr. Dave Downey, executive director of the Center for Food and Agricultural Business at Purdue University, addressing the importance of developing a strategic plan and how it can help retailers achieve their sales goals and objectives.

•  Marketing Environment. In this seminar, Richard Gearheard, senior vice president of retail for Agrium, one of the largest retail operations in North America, will discuss the retail market’s outlook from his vantage point.

•  Customer Segmentation. What do ag retail customers of the 21st century need? Understanding your customer segments is vital to meeting their needs and keeping your business profitable. In this session, attendees will learn from Tim McArdle, general manager of Brandt Consolidated, Joe Spinler, general manager of Highway Ag Service, and Jay Akridge, professor of agricultural economics and director of the Center for Food and Agricultural Business for Purdue University, on how to market to the different customer types and how to overcome segmentation challenges.

•   Service Package/Product Line. Here, visitors will learn about new products and services that can generate added revenue streams for their businesses. Steve Watts, vice president/general manager of The McGregor Co. will discuss how to match the product/service mix to the different types of customers in the marketplace.

•  Asset & Fleet Optimization. In this seminar, attendees will learn from Steve Be­craft, U.S. crop input manager of Cargill, on how to optimize their system for justifying, purchasing, managing, and operating assets.

•  Sales Team. This session will be the “how to” of selling and communicating your business’ value. It features Dr. Larry Steinmetz, the author of the book How to Sell at Margins Higher Than Your Competitors.

In addition, there are numerous special events planned, such as the ARAPAC golf and deep sea fishing tournaments; the ARA “Comedy Night & ARAPAC Auction,” a dinner theatre featuring the Capitol Steps musical/political satire ensemble; and the Mosaic phosphate mine and port facility tours, sponsored by The Mosaic Co. For the spouses there are a few events planned as well. There will also be the traditional spouse breakfast, followed by a tour of the historic Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club. Also, spouses will have an opportunity to go on the “Dolphin Sighting Cruise & Luncheon” or go shopping.

For more information on the 2006 ARA Conference & Expo, visit www.aradc.org.

Leave a Reply

Management Stories

Roy Blunt
LegislationARA Recognizes Blunt, Heitkamp For Legislative Efforts Supporting Agriculture
February 17, 2017
Agricultural industry continues to face federal regulatory challenges. Thankfully, agriculture’s allies in the U.S. Senate stepped forward. The Agricultural Retailers Read More
LegislationThe Fertilizer Institute Commends Senate On Confirmation Of New EPA Administrator
February 17, 2017
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) President Chris Jahn issued the following statement on the Senate confirmation of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Read More
Trump, Senate, Cabinet
LegislationBREAKING: Trump EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt Confirmed by Senate
February 17, 2017
Scott Pruitt, who as Oklahoma’s attorney general spent years suing the Environmental Protection Agency over its efforts to regulate various Read More
ManagementFebruary Road Trip Edition
February 17, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss their recent visits to Indiana and Kentucky. Read More
Trending Articles
Farmer and aptop
Matt Hopkins10 Warning Signs Your Website Is Grossly Outdated
February 8, 2017
Your Website is often a visitor’s first impression of your ag retail business. A positive first impression can set the Read More
AgriSync
Matt Hopkins17 Agriculture Apps That Will Help You Farm Smarter In 2017
December 9, 2016
Ag professionals are working smarter, not harder, than ever before. Smart farming technologies have enabled them to reduce costs, maximize Read More
R4023 Sprayer, John Deere
CropLife 100Ag Retail Equipment Report: The Green Party Continues
December 7, 2016
In the annual race for sales in the ag retail equipment marketplace, the color schemes for participants are a little Read More
Mike Stern
Precision AgClimate Corp. CEO Talks Retailer Support For Digital Ag
December 1, 2016
CropLife Magazine’s sister publication, AgriBusiness Global, recently sat down with Mike Stern, CEO of The Climate Corp., following the Monsanto subsidiary’s Read More
Precision AgTrimble Debuts End-to-End FMIS Platform
November 28, 2016
October’s inaugural PrecisionAg Vision Conference left this author with many thoughts and things to ponder in the coming months. Probably Read More
CHS Primeland
CropLife 100The 2016 CropLife 100 Report: Reviewing The Many Bulls And Bears Impacting This Year’s Marketplace
November 28, 2016
For virtually all of 2016, the nation was wholly focused on the big Presidential election. Some folks aligned themselves with Read More
Latest News
Roy Blunt
LegislationARA Recognizes Blunt, Heitkamp For Legislative Efforts …
February 17, 2017
Agricultural industry continues to face federal regulatory challenges. Thankfully, agriculture’s allies in the U.S. Senate stepped forward. The Agricultural Retailers Read More
LegislationThe Fertilizer Institute Commends Senate On Confirmatio…
February 17, 2017
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) President Chris Jahn issued the following statement on the Senate confirmation of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Read More
Trump, Senate, Cabinet
LegislationBREAKING: Trump EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt Confirmed by S…
February 17, 2017
Scott Pruitt, who as Oklahoma’s attorney general spent years suing the Environmental Protection Agency over its efforts to regulate various Read More
ManagementFebruary Road Trip Edition
February 17, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss their recent visits to Indiana and Kentucky. Read More
Heritage Cooperative Finished Building Aerial
ManagementHeritage Cooperative, Agland Co-op Approve Merger
February 17, 2017
Agland Co-op and Heritage Cooperative stockholders have both approved the merger agreement between Agland Co-op and Heritage Cooperative. Now begins Read More
LegislationARA Fly-In: Ag Retail Descends on Capitol Hill, Lawmake…
February 15, 2017
More than 100 agricultural retailers, distributors and suppliers headed to Capitol Hill Tuesday morning for the Agribusiness Congressional Fly-in, according to a Read More
Untreated soybean seed Heartland Coop
Seed/BiotechMarrone Bio Innovations, Groundwork BioAg Bio-stacked M…
February 13, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. and Groundwork BioAg, Ltd have announced successful seed treatment field trials of the world’s first all-biological Read More
NL5000 With G5 Technology
SpreadersNew Leader Introduces NL5000 Dry Nutrient Applicator Wi…
February 13, 2017
New Leader, a division of Highway Equipment Company (HECO), has announced the next generation of spreading technology with the NL5000 Read More
Fertilizer Storage
Crop InputsThe State Of The Fertilizer Industry
February 9, 2017
He’s all hat, no horse.” It’s a humorous way of describing a person who tells a good story, but is Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Agrees To Credit Agreement Amendme…
February 9, 2017
Pinnacle Operating Corp. has entered into an amendment (the “Amendment”) to its First Lien Credit Agreement that will provide for, Read More
ManagementUpdates on Upcoming Trips, Dow-DuPont, and the Des Moin…
February 9, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj review a few future travels, along with the latest on big company mergers and Read More
Championship Tractor Pull
EquipmentNational Farm Machinery Show Highlighted By Championshi…
February 9, 2017
The scream of monster engines, the stench of burning rubber and the ground-pounding vibrations of the country’s largest, loudest and Read More
Farmer and aptop
Matt Hopkins10 Warning Signs Your Website Is Grossly Outdated
February 8, 2017
Your Website is often a visitor’s first impression of your ag retail business. A positive first impression can set the Read More
Corn Field
InsecticidesArysta LifeScience, DuPont Collaborate On Rynaxpyr Prem…
February 8, 2017
Arysta LifeScience recently announced that it has entered into a global collaboration with DuPont Crop Protection for the development of Read More
Industry NewsThe Fertilizer Institute Board Elects New Chairman, Vic…
February 8, 2017
The Fertilizer Institute’s (TFI) Board of Directors has elected Chuck Magro, President and CEO of Agrium, and Tony Will, President Read More
Sonny Perdue
ManagementARA Joins More Than 600 Organizations In Support Of Per…
February 8, 2017
The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) recently joined with more than 600 agricultural groups on a letter of support for Governor Read More
World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit Panel 2016
Crop InputsWorld Agri-Tech Innovation Summit To Be Held In San Fra…
February 8, 2017
“Breakthrough Applications and Business Models for Sustainable Farming” is the theme of the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit to be held Read More
Cedar Country Cooperative
Eric SfiligojConsolidation In Agriculture: More Middle Movement
February 7, 2017
If you’ve regularly followed my column, you know I’m something of a movie junkie. Like many, one of my favorite Read More