Outreach Oct. 27, 2023

Farm Show Reflections: Unveiling Employee Experiences & Building Customer Connections

Our success is intrinsically rooted in the land and how we can create value for our customers. 

Customer-centricity is a commonly used notion that we reference to challenge our approaches to providing digital farming capabilities that growers need most. This means understanding how technology impacts and benefits our customers’ operations, generating deeper insights into how data-driven tools can help them manage and adapt to climate change and shifting market conditions, and how these systems can lead to future success. Simply put, these pillars represent our customer-centric model for understanding the needs of growers. 

opening agsmart

Each year, our cadre of digital farming experts hit the road to participate in global farm shows. These tradeshows serve as an essential part of our organization’s strategy and reflect the dedication and passion of our colleagues to lead the next breakthroughs in digital tools and data science that will transform agriculture. 

In this special feature, we invite you to journey alongside two individuals, Callum Nesbitt, Product Marketing Manager at Combyne, and Krista Russell, Carbon Regional Rnablement Manager, who recently sat down with us to share their unique perspectives from the AgSmart in Olds, Alberta and the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois. Combined these events present our organization with an opportunity to engage with more than 250,000 customers and ag-tech enthusiasts from across the world.

Excerpts from their discussion appear below, edited for length.

Q: How does our participation at these events help Bayer digital farming build and strengthen relationships with existing and new customers?

CALLUM: Relationships are at the core of building a strong and profitable business in agriculture. Taking the time to come out and meet face-to-face with existing and potential customers is not just beneficial; it’s essential. Attending trade shows does more than boost brand visibility. It creates trust between potential customers and the product. Our team had a blast at AgSmart this year, meeting new faces and catching up with current customers and partners.

KRISTA: One of the most valuable perspectives that can be gained from attending tradeshows is hearing directly from our customers to get a deeper conversation with a grower, they will be truthful and let you know what parts of your program/product has worked well for them and what has not. For me, working the Farm Progress Show helps fuel my motivation to make a difference for those feeding and fueling the world.

combyne booth 01Q: Could you share any examples of where you had conversations with our customers that translated into tangible business opportunities or improvements to our products?

CALLUM: Feedback from our customers is vital for Combyne to grow as a company and a product. Many of the farmers we talked with at AgSmart understood Combyne’s vision and the value we are trying to bring to agriculture. Those conversations helped reinforce the direction of our product while also providing us with helpful feedback as we continue to build Combyne.  

KRISTA: Being able to shake a customer’s hand and meet with them in-person creates a deeper level of trust with a grower than you could create in an online or virtual environment.

Q: From your vantage point, how does attending farm shows align with our mission, and how do you see our participation impacting future customer engagement efforts?

CALLUM: By building awareness for our organization, we can continue to evolve how we interact with farmers in different regions to apply their knowledge and insight to better reflect our mission and vision for agriculture and the customers that rely on our product. 

KRISTA: As we continue to develop new innovations as a company, Farm Progress is an important platform to continue to showcase these innovations. Events like the Farm Progress Show can help set us up for future customer engagement success.fieldview cornerQ: Were there any standout or key moments from the trade show that positively impact your professional development?

CALLUM: Last year at AgSmart, we had one of our product developers attend the show. It was an excellent opportunity for them to get feedback straight from the customer. I believe the more exposure a team can get to their customers; it will improve their ability to build a more in-tune and impactful product. 

KRISTA: Similarly, events like Farm Progress, you are able to connect with others who you typically do not work with daily. These connections within Bayer can be extremely valuable. I’ve been a part of new projects and collaborations that have started because of conversations at Farm Progress and other tradeshows. Networking with others and understanding what they do in their roles can create connections that are valuable for an employee's professional development both now, and in the future.

Q: Are there any long-term benefits from our participation in future trade show meetings? 

CALLUM: Attending one trade show doesn’t make a product go viral. You won’t hit your annual sales quota in a single week or catapult your brand recognition to the top … but a consistent presence at influential events can ensure that your organization continues building healthy and supportive relationship with your customer and other influencers in the agricultural community. 

KRISTA: Farm Progress allows us to meet with more growers in-person in a couple of days, than we could attending other events. With all of our customers gathered in one place, it is an efficient way to engage with our growers. Meeting with growers leads to direct business success and opportunities as well.

About the Author

Krista Russell is a Carbon Regional Enablement Manager at Bayer Crop Science. In her role, Krista is dedicated to ensuring growers have the best experience possible with Bayer’s Carbon Program and with FieldView. By serving as a knowledge base and working cross-functionally with internal teams, Krista provides growers with valuable insights. She ensures that growers are well supported in the programs they are enrolled in. With roots in rural Illinois, Krista has always had a strong passion for supporting the agriculture industry. Krista holds a B.S. from Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) in Agricultural Systems and Education, a M.S. from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) in Environmental Science, where she focused her research on Agriculture Policy and Spatial Imagery and is completing her MBA in Management at SIUE.

Callum Nesbitt is a Product Marketing Manager for Combyne. In his role, Callum works across multi-functional teams to implement digital marketing campaigns, differentiating the platform’s crop marketing management capabilities and optimizing end-to-end decisions for growers. Acquired by Bayer in 2022, Combyne was founded in 2019 with a shared passion for empowering farmers to take control of their crop marketing. By taking a farmer-centric approach to their R&D, Combyne helps farmers simplify record keeping and manage crop inventory to ultimately make more informed grain marketing decisions. Callum is based in Victoria, British Columbia, and holds a B.A. from Queen’s University.

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