Last week in Louisville I got to speak to the Mid-America Equipment Retailers Assn. on Tuesday and then spent Wednesday and Thursday roaming the halls of the Kentucky Expo Center covering the National Farm Machinery Show. I even had the pleasure of having dinner with the folks from Vermeer at a special media event held at the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs. As I've often said in the past, what I enjoy most about my job is speaking to farm equipment dealers and manufacturers - face to face.
I heard a lot of kind words about the content and publications we've been turning out here at Farm Equipment and Ag Equipment Intelligence. Compliments are nice, but what I appreciate as much as anything is feedback on what we could do better.
We've always taken the stance that we should be more than a magazine or a printed report. Our goal all along has been to be a "resource" for our readers. Someone they can call and get information or at least be given some direction on where to find the information they need.
But as times have changed, we've also been reaching out to our customers in various ways, like electronically and over the Internet; channels of communication that I did not foresee when I started in this business 37 years ago, or even 15 years ago. Our world, like yours, has changed dramatically in the past few years. Sometimes I feel like the 100-year old guy when a reporter asked him about all of the changes that had taken place during his long lifetime. "Yup, I've seen a lot of changes," the old timer said, "and I was against every one of them."
So, I was a "bit skeptical" when a couple of our young editors proposed the idea of doing a videocast of the latest news we typically cover in Ag Equipment Intelligence; just a 5 or 7 minute news show every 2 weeks. This would be another cutting-edge way to reach out to our readers, they said.
Not wanting to discourage their entrepreneurial thinking, we moved forward with the new programming in January. It's called Ag Equipment Intelligence "On the Record" and I have to say, through the first three episodes, our young people have done us proud.
Apparently, it's going over well with those who have signed up to receive it because we've got some great feedback and about 100 suggestions on how we can make it even better. Some of the comments we've received so far include: "This was very good. We actually used it in a company strategy meeting. Provided some great insight into 2014. Keep it up and we will tune in" ... "Good, quick overview in less then 7 minutes" ... "Congratulations on this initiative; great stuff!" ... "Nice quick overview! I liked it" ... "Would like more analysis as the dust settles on the new Farm Bill" ... "Congratulations on the great inaugural episodes of On the Record! What a great summary of important forecasts for the industry, and great insight into the excitement over last year's harvest and the fear about this year's California drought. Your great reporting and the figures you share with your audience are a real help."
May I suggest you give it a look? It only takes 5-7 minutes every 2 weeks. It's free and if the feedback we've received so far is on track, it'll be well worth your while. You can sign up to receive it here. Maybe the best thing about it is you won't have to listen to me!