Maybe it is Time to See the World Totally Different

By Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau Communication, and Agriculture Education & Marketing Director: “I’m Just Weird as Hell folks,” Lowell Catlett will tell his audiences. Known as a futurist and agriculture economist, Dr. Lowell Catlett, former regent’s professor in Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business and Extension Economics at New Mexico State University and the Dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and recently retired, has been suggesting for some time now that the greatest revolution going on in agriculture — going on in the world —is that the production world of our fathers is becoming the consumer world of our children. Catlett recently spoke to attendees during the June 17 Project CENTRL graduation at the Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park, Arizona.

Dr. Catlett

Having spoken to Arizona Farm Bureau in the past, he speaks to the issue of the consumer on the national and global level. Dr. Catlett says, “As people move up and out of poverty and into the middle class, it impacts food and it impacts markets. It’s not simply a production world anymore; it’s a consumer world hungry for value-added products. And in a consumer world people will afford what they want.”

What graduates of Project CENTRL Class XXIV got to hear recently was a very encouraging message in the midst of an often uncertain world. And, perhaps why it might be time to see the world totally different.

In the theme of his presentation to the graduating class Catlett said, “A leader is a person who takes you to a place you would not have gone to by yourself and you’re better for having gone.”

Arizona Farm Bureau shares nuggests of his speech here, a few Catlett points (by my interpretation, anyway) below will give you a fix on a more positive outlook.

  1. The places good leaders will take you are not always about place.
  2. Take the most of your experiences, even the tough ones, and force yourself to learn from them.
  3. Good news is hard to come by lately, but look for it. The good news can make all the difference.
  4. And on the good news, we’re planting more trees by number and acre than are being harvested.
  5. Believe in your future and believe in the future of agriculture, we’re (farmers and ranchers) the only ones set to make it happen.
  6. America has not lost its competitive advantage.
  7. Agriculture is already producing enough calories for the world population, and even as it grows. But it won’t be done by pastoral agriculture. It will be done by intensive animal agriculture operations. And, America will do it.

Sidebar on Marketing from Catlett

Catlett, based on his teachings, suggest we get out of agriculture commodities when we can and into differentiated products. And, here’s his ABCs.

ABC’s of your marketing plan:

                A—Affluence (look for affluent markets) so sell high end products

                B—Brand names, trademarks and reputations  (people don’t have time to sort through 25,000 products in the average grocery store, especially when 14,000 are new each year, so they go with products they know and respect)

                C—Convenience (that means instant, and this applies to food products; also agriculture and medicine are inseparable, vitamin D in your milk, and will become even more so)

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