2018 YPIA – Nebraska and Southwest Iowa Executive Breakfast Forum

This morning I attended the 2018 Young Professionals in Agriculture – Nebraska and Southwest Iowa Executive Breakfast Forum hosted at the Scoular Ballroom in Downtown Omaha!

At the event, I had the opportunity to network and interact with one another over breakfast. They had a fruit, eggs and sausage. My name badge had a number 7 which was the table I was assigned for the event.  I sat next to another Farm Credit Services of America Employee. There were actually a good number of Farm Credit Services of America employees there.

The opening discussion was about how technology was reshaping Agriculture.  The panel moderated was Dr. Tom Field from the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Nebraska. Panelists were Quantified Ag, Tractor Zoom, and myAgData.

I had heard the CEO of Quantified Ag talk before. I knew his company was Fitbit for cattle. He talked that feedlots are savvy. They use data and Analytics to have more information to make better business decisions.  Tractor Zoom talked about simplicity and user experience. MyAgData talked about standards, cloud computing and changing people’s mindset.

If you were starting a business:

  • Niche vs salable.
  • How can you fail cheap?
    • How or what is your proof of concept
  • Is it a solvable problem you are after?
  • Will there be market acceptance?
  • Funding
  • Human Capital
  • Laws & Regulations

The question was asked if they could reset.

  • Realize things take longer than you expect.
  • Have customer validation
    • Don’t invest in ideas that customers do not want
  • Start as a Inc instead of LLC? I need to research the why of that statement.
  • There are experts in fields. Find those people to help you along the way.
  • Understand development cycle of a product.
  • Learn by Failure is not cheap.
  • Look at Outside Influences who are competing in market.
  • When marketing to producers do it digitally. “How to Video’s” on YouTube are big customer influences.
  • Can you produce a future business plan? Is it really a execution plan?
  • Lead, follow or get out of the way mentality
  • Legal: How many lawyers do you need? A lot!!!!

On the way out I talked a few minutes with Vishal Singh of Quantified Ag. Then really walking out of the ballroom I talked to Kyle McMahon about the development stack at TractorZoom.

Overall it was a good event. I will have to look into membership with the YPiA.