An Ode to the Survivors in Agriculture

Next week, I will do something I haven’t done in more than a year-and-a-half – board an airplane and head to an industry trade event. Between July 19 and 21, our company is hosting the first annual Tech Hub Live show, an event dedicated to all things associated with technology and precision agriculture for the industry. Not only am I looking forward to finally being able to mingle with many of my industry friends in person but having the chance to listen to some of the stories folks have to share about their “time in isolation from much of the world-at-large.”

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I am especially interested in talking with those companies that managed to survive the COVID-19 shutdown. Indeed, in one of our company’s weekly Teams meetings, one team member mentioned being at a trade show recently, Not having seen many of these individuals for 18 months, he asked how they have been doing during that time?

“We survived,” was the almost universal reply, he added.

I know for many companies, this in-and-of itself was the major accomplishment of the 2020 season. Numerous suppliers for the agricultural marketplace ended up merging or selling their businesses to new owners over the past year (such as Adams Fertilizer Equipment, which changed hands last fall). Across the ag retail landscape, dozens of retailers ended up merging their businesses, many in part due to the negative financial impacts COVID-19 had on their bottom lines or in an effort to stay relevant as the industry inevitably changes following the pandemic (such as Co-Alliance LLP and Harvest Land Cooperative, which formally combined in March).

What part of in-person trade shows are you most looking forward to?

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When I am walking through the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, IA, for Tech Hub Live next week, I am certain I will hear the phrase “we survived” uttered many times. And to those companies that have made it through this difficult time, I say: “I’m so glad you did!”

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