Author Joseph Frueh participated in MOFB’s 2023 IMPACT class. When he is not working as a financial advisor for FCS, Frueh helps his father on the family farm where they raise corn and soybeans.
Applications will be accepted for the 2024 IMPACT class through November 10, 2023. Find the 2024 tentative schedule and application at https://mofb.org/impact/.
The Missouri Farm Bureau IMPACT program is a life building experience that allowed me to gain a new understanding of myself, Missouri agriculture and the supply chain. Starting this experience at Missouri Farm Bureau headquarters in Jefferson City, I was introduced to my fellow classmates. Right away, we participated in a media training session with Cyndi Young of Brownfield Ag News. This gave us the opportunity to improve our communication skills so we can better serve as a voice for agriculture. We also met with leaders of different organizations from across the state, who offered a dive deeper into the featured topic of this year’s IMPACT class: the supply chain.
We all think of the supply chain differently. As a farmer from northern Missouri, I don’t often think of rail or barge as a method of transport since grain, equipment and supplies are trucked into my area. Our meetings opened my eyes to how agriculture commodities and other consumer goods are shipped up and down the Missouri river, and how river administrators work to handle the flow of products. Whether it’s flood or drought, labor shortages or barge backups, one hiccup along the shipping channel can have a ripple effect from the farm to the port. The potential hurdles could impact our relationships with commodity buyers, both domestic and abroad. Delays could also hinder our timely access to inputs, like fertilizer, seed, feed, equipment or replacement parts throughout the growing season.
After our time in Jefferson City, we met via Zoom and listened to guest speakers from across the country discuss their challenges and achievements with the supply chain. Meeting with these industry leaders showed that we all think and deal with supply chain issues differently. Our class learned about present day issues facing companies across the spectrum, including John Deere, Sydenstricker Nobbe Partners, and potato processor Mr. Dells. Their creativity to overcome supply and processing challenges was inspiring.
Being able to hear from these agriculture business leaders and many others opened my eyes to how we all contribute to the supply chain; however, the biggest takeaway was how we can strive to do better. We learned of the challenges that each company faces and how, with both teamwork and an open mind, we can overcome those challenges.
The IMPACT program has allowed me to become more proficient in advocating for agriculture and has deepened my understanding of the supply chain and how it affects our everyday life. I am proud to say that I was part of the Missouri Farm Bureau IMPACT program. I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in thinking outside the box, learning new things and wants to make some amazing connections.