Fri, 18 June 2021
I have a lot of people to thank for today's episode. First of all, Warren Clark, the CEO of AgNewsCenter, recommended today's guest and got me an interview with him on short notice. And, our guest, Brock Taylor, the president and CEO of Brock Taylor Consulting, took time out of his unbelievably busy schedule in one of the busiest parts of the year for him to speak with us.
Brock is an independent crop and agriculture consultant working in the San Joaquin Valley of California. More specifically, he is based in and does a large percentage of his work in Fresno County, which has an abundance of very valuable crops that are grown every year in addition to an abundance of permanent crops that grown continually.
Anywhere that crops this valuable are grown, it is going to attract a lot of support-type businesses such as fertilizer companies, irrigation suppliers, and of course, crop consultants. An agronomist like Brock has a lot of challenges in his business because there are also crop advisors working for fertilizer companies offering their services as an added value to farmers when they purchase fertilizer from them. Over the years Brock has seen the crop advisors with the fertilizer companies expand their services to offer some of the things he does as an independent consultant in an attempt to pull business from him. At the same time as this has been happening, the competition from other independent crop advisors has been growing, resulting in price competition and a much more strenuous environment.
Specific to California are a number of challenges. Perhaps the largest is water and what appears to be a rapidly increasing frequency of drought years. This takes acres out of production and farmers make less money. Of course, as farmers make less, they have less to spend on important services like crop consultation. And, as they leave more and more acres uncultivated, there are fewer and fewer acres for somebody like Brock to consult on, resulting in less work for the growing number of consultants.
In this interview, Brock will give you a very realistic look at this particular agricultural business, the challenges that are associated with it, and how he recommends getting the experience you need to be independent.