Were you a part of one of the record crowds at Commodity Classic in New Orleans? I was and it was a huge event. I was reading that attendance numbers broke records, that exhibit space was 50% more than last year, and that there were 128 new exhibitors. That is all great news, given how depressed commodity prices are and how long experts are speculating that they will stay there.

There were 4,600 growers in attendance, and I ran into some people brought down from Canada by a friendly crop protection chemical company. There were some awfully high-tech offerings at the trade show, and I ran into a couple of farmers who are incorporating a lot of that technology into their farming practices. They are working to make it pay off.

I did notice something, however: Of all the farmers there, the average age was high. There were a lot of older farmers and a few pretty young farmers, but fewer in the middle years of 35 to 60. I expect that’s because they are home working while the younger partners and the older partners are off looking and learning (and maybe enjoying a little bit of a vacation, too).

Recently, as part of our Young Farmer Survey, in partnership with Lessing-Flynn, we asked how these young farmers rate information sources in terms of using them to make decisions.

Trade shows come out like this:

About two-thirds of young farmers use trade shows somewhat or rely on them heavily. What are you doing to make sure the valuable dollars you spend on trade shows are reaching young farmers?

What do they want to know? What information or business advantage can you provide at a trade show that they can’t get online? Or from their local dealer?

We’ve worked with manufacturers to find out answers to these questions. Interestingly enough, treating people like important customers is a good place to start. A business orientation is also very important. Taking the time to give them a reason to come to your exhibit before the trade show is also key.

As the trade show season winds down, it’s important to make sure that your exhibits provide value to your customers as well as to your bottom line.

View more of Greg’s amazing ag photos

YOUNG FARMERS STUDY RELEASED

First question: What popular consumer social networking site do some young farmers refer to as the ANTI-SOCIAL network?

For high-level highlights, send me a note. Heck, for the right lunch, I’ll be happy to make a personal presentation of our entire study to you and your team.

Please let me know how we can be of service!

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