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January 31, 2013 - Dana Lantz
Those of you that have followed my blog over the years probably think that I have fallen off the face of the earth, since my last blog was quite some time ago, but I’m here today to tell you all is good in the world of Farm News, I’ve just been a little busy. As most of you by now know we launched our Farm News Equipment Guide on November 16, 2012. The idea of producing a used equipment guide actually started with discussions last January but all the pieces really started falling into place last June. For those that don’t know, our Farm News Equipment Guide is a used and new guide that is a combination of both print and web. We purchased a new search friendly website and incorporated this into our existing website www.farm-news.com. We want this to be your local search for all types of Ag equipment thru print, web and even your smart phone. The printed version is inserted into every first and third issues of Farm News as well as sent in bulk to every coop elevator in our 33 county circulation area. For advertisers it is a cost effective way to list their equipment to our readers. They receive print and online packages for a price that is a fraction of the cost of our competitors. Now comes the fun part. The only way to properly launch a new product like this, and to do it right, is to do it face to face. At this time Farm News has myself, three salespeople, and a classified/secretary. One of the salespeople sells, controls our website, does data entry and is the sales supervisor. I am the only one that has nothing to do, just ask my staff, so they send me out on the road. As soon as we were done with the Clay County Fair my journey began. I traveled Tuesday thru Thursday every week from the third week of September to about two weeks before the Farm News Ag Show this past December. Now luckily I am still married but trust me the going got tough when I exchanged vehicles with my wife for my travels. I took her new Ford focus that gets 35 mph and gave her my dual cab Silverado that gets significantly less gas mileage than that. Now I’m 6’2” and a hefty 250, my wife is 5’4” and weighs at a really nice weight. You think I’m crazy? “Happy wife happy life,” or my personal favorite, “when mama isn’t happy nobody is,” so I won’t go down that road. Anyway she just doesn’t like driving that big truck of mine and let me know it every other day. On top of the fact that I took her car against her will, not really, I came home twice within a week with little dings on the driver’s side car door. She likes parking a country road away to protect her precious little car but I, on the other hand, want to get into a business, do what I’ve got to do, and get out. Parking any further away from the front door than I have to is a waste of my time. Is it my fault that some unknowing farmer would open his truck door and smack it into my wife’s car? Well folks let me tell you, if she could have gotten me on an episode of Maury or Jerry Springer she would have. Instead of an episode of “I cheated on my wife” or “That’s not my baby although he looks just like me,” it would be “I intentionally killed my wife’s car and now I’m scared for my life”. They were just a couple dings but to this day we avoid that particular conversation. Farm News has 33 counties in northwest and north central Iowa. Our circulation area goes from Cerro Gordo County down to Marshall, to Polk, over to Woodbury, and up to Lyon. We encompass the northwest corner of the state of Iowa. Do any of you realize how many miles it takes to hit every equipment dealer that does business in this area? Let me tell you it’s a lot. I still have not hit everyone I need to but I have met with most of them. It’s been a good ride. I started locally talking to those that I already knew getting them signed up in the program then branched out. Everyone, or almost everyone, has been gracious with their time to look at the program and see if it made sense for their business. We have priced our advertising options at a point that interested everyone, the timing may not have been appropriate for all dealers, but the program made sense for most. So after destroying my GPS system in which my staff stunned me with buying me a new one, filling up my card at Pizza Ranch a few times, taking my wife’s car from 6,000 miles to over 30,000 miles in four months, our Farm News Equipment Guide has been launched. By the way, when you get up to the northwest corner of the state there are about as many Pizza Ranches as there are Casey’s stores. So as I sit at the Farm News booth at the Iowa Power Farming Show during the morning during an Iowa snowstorm I would like to thank my staff for their efforts. I’ve been in management for all of my professional life and this is truly one of the best combinations of talent and just downright good human beings that work hard for me and are a blast to work with. As I mentioned earlier when I accidentally destroyed my GPS they surprised me with a brand new one that they pooled their money on. They certainly did not have to do that but they did. Of course the fact that they get paid on what I sell for them while on the road may have had something to do with it, just kidding, I’m sure they did it because they appreciate me. I can hear the chuckles now. Thanks also to the many advertisers who have taken advantage of this opportunity. I am hopeful that results follow. To our thousands of Farm News readers enjoy our Farm News Equipment Guide and when you call a dealer to price out a piece of equipment, let them know where you saw it. Until next time.
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