My first job was an ag chemical sales rep.

My dad worked at a fertilizer plant, so growing up, I had a colloquial understanding of the industry, but not a full comprehension.

I can recall getting those big books of the chemical compounds and information (yes, I carried those around!) and I read them like I was in college still – highlighting everything and taking notes.

The company I worked for offered training and I attended all of them, but with the constant pressure to bring “added value,” I didn’t feel like the training was sufficient for me to feel confident to answer my customer’s questions.

Britany Wondercheck of Farm Girl Next Door (who I interview in episode 25 of the Ag Lead Show) had this to say about taking control of her own education:

When I took a role in my own education, I did a ton of reading and researching, followed ag news sites and blogs, and signed up for a lot of newsletters. I really wanted to immerse myself in learning about the market in general.

Britany Wondercheck

This is the School of Hard Knocks way to learn: DIY, on your own, pursuing your interests and delving into the specifics. It’s also the most valuable way you can make sure you understand the concept, the terms, and how to explain it to someone else.

Wondercheck summarized it well: “A big piece of understanding anything in ag comes from a lot of reading the news sources to get a feel for the overall market and what’s happening, whether it’s grain marketing, or agronomy, or a change in technology you can use on your farm.”

If you want to get out of overwhelm, if you want to feel comfortable and well-versed, you may have to seek out the opportunities to learn on your own. Training might be provided, but it may not be enough for the level you want to be.

Taking all the training that is provided, the classes, the how-to books, the certifications and degrees from renown institutions, those are all great ways to learn.

There’s another way to learn too, and it’s growing in popularity: signing up for an online course.

While I have been developing and releasing courses through Ag Lead University, Wondercheck has been simultaneously working on her cash grain marketing course.

The next Cash Grain Marketing 101 course, designed with no assumptions about knowledge and in a no-judgment learning environment, opens for enrollment on February 19th, and I’m so glad I got a chance to talk with Wondercheck prior to the next round of this course.

If the DIY learning route isn’t your style, or you simply don’t have the time, look into online courses like those offered through Ag Lead U and Farm Girl Next Door.

Learn from those who have already read the manuals, done the deep research, and have come out the other side with the knowledge to help you learn faster and get more confident in your skills.

Until next time-

ACT Like A Pro out there

Text: ACT Like A Pro in black. Gold signature: Sarah Beth Aubrey. A blonde woman with blue eyes and blue dress smiles at the camera.