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Insights + Inspiration…by Mike Miller

How Innovators Are Changing the Rate of Change 

With 2021 now in full swing, it’s hard to believe this is my 25th year in agriculture. It’s even more difficult to wrap my head around the number of advancements that have been developed and integrated into the global crop production ecosystem the past two decades. From machine automation and productivity advancements to digital agronomy and analytics tools, our entire crop production value stream – from the soil to the food shelf – has been transformed since the start of my career. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the role innovators and thought leaders play in agriculture.

During my first job as a territory manager in the mid 90s, I was reminded early and often how impactful a small number of “leading edge” growers and advisors could be for my company’s goals and objectives, both locally and nationally. Innovators and thought leaders are naturally driven to succeed and comfortable pushing the limits of current thinking, technology and management approaches. They always find time to nourish and maintain deep professional networks. Regardless of how large and busy these growers are, they are relentlessly focused on the details of their operation.

Today these advanced growers, agronomists and industry representatives are developing and executing with discipline and backed by insight collection and data. Farmers have always relied on local validation, but today, the combination of operational capability, integrated production technologies, data collection and analytics allows a broad spectrum of growers to learn and adapt quicker than most of their suppliers and independent research organizations.

This year, many of our clients are investing in more on-farm research and collaborations directly with thought leaders, influencers, innovators and early adopters. Through these partnerships, an exciting array of new products and services will be introduced, sold and implemented across the agriculture industry.

From my perspective, the organizations that embrace and leverage farm-level research and validation strategies have a unique opportunity to grow and strengthen their brands and businesses. Having diverse and independent customer-led observation and feedback tactics integrated into product and organization strategy is more valuable than it has ever been. The world is moving too fast for the industry and our leading organizations to develop all the insights and strategy internally. Now more than ever, the tools and technologies in the hands of end users will play an important role in helping companies develop the market intelligence they need to create the next generation of products and services. I am confident we will look back in 25 years and marvel at all that has been accomplished.


CLUTCH is a hybrid consultancy and agency focused on helping B2B businesses find and realize their peak potential. As business acceleration experts, everything the firm does is designed to drive the growth of revenue and opportunity. The firm combines a mix of strategic consulting, marketing communications and lead generation, and learning and development services to consistently produce business results for clients.

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