One of my favorite parts of this job is getting to shake the hand of each precision farming dealer, specialist or technician that I meet.
I’m a big believer that a person’s handshake offers some insight into their personality, whether it’s an iron grip or a “dead fish.”
I’ve found that the folks selling, servicing and supporting precision technology tend to be a confident bunch.
They likely have to be, given they’re on the front lines of delivering and explaining precision technology to customers who depend on it to improve their bottom lines.
To that end, I am anxious to shake the hand or hands of whoever will be chosen to receive our inaugural Precision Farming Dealer "Most Valuable Dealership" 2013.
It is an exciting time, as the honor will be the centerpiece of our first print edition of Precision Farming Dealer next March.
In the coming weeks, I expect to be introduced to some progressive dealers — both large and small — making the most of their precision resources and leaving their mark on the industry.
Having seen firsthand some of the quality work being done by precision farming dealers, I also have a sense for how challenging the job can be.
As one precision farming dealer in Indiana recently told me, “It’s a thankless job, but I love it because customers depend on me to solve their problems.”
A “technology firefighter” might be the best characterization of what a precision farming dealer does today. The term was coined by a dealer I recently spoke with from Missouri.
Most precision farming specialists he knows are forced to react to problems in the field or questions about equipment, rather than being able to take a proactive approach to providing solutions.
“They are essentially hired to put out fires, which is a tough position to be in,” says the Missouri dealer.
While some precision farming dealers are admirably trying to keep pace with customer demand, there are undoubtedly those who are staying ahead of the curve — the trendsetters.
Those are the people who will define the future of precision farming sales, service and support to farm customers — and likely do so with the utmost confidence.
Once our independent panel of judges decide who among our nominees is the best in the business, I can’t wait to congratulate them, in person and of course, and shake their hand.