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Source: blog by Jan Johnson, Millennium Research

Did you know that many farmers don't feel they have anyone they can trust to help them make the right decisions for their farms?

They are rugged, independent, and stubborn - and they won't take no for an answer. Yet many times they feel all alone. Activists demonize them, and corporations talk about sustainability as if it was their idea. Farmers have been reducing, recycling, and reusing for years. How many coffee cans find their way to the shop, to store nails, screws, and bolts?

For a few farmers, being captains of their ships and the masters of their destinies rests lightly on their shoulders.They hire advisors to give them the options, make recommendations, and help them make the best decisions. But good advisors are difficult to find and even harder to hire because they are so busy. So that leaves your average farmer on their own.

What makes a farmer - or anybody - feel less alone?

Empathy. This ability most often takes the form of listening and seeking to understand. It's amazing what you'll learn when you do.

When it comes to having someone help them make the right decisions, the average farmer tends to turn to seed dealers, who are actually the most trusted suppliers these days, probably because matching hybrids to conditions has become a science and less of an art.

Our social media study outlines a whole lot of ways to create real relationships with farmers. We know these solutions will work, because we listened to what farmers really want from their suppliers.

For more information on the study click here.

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