AdFarm clients visit the fields they invest in
ANETA, N.D. -- Thousands of farmers attend field days every July, but one event is a bit of a different twist on the crop tour. About 30 staff members from AdFarm, an advertising agency with an office in Fargo, N.D., loaded up in a bus from Fargo...
ANETA, N.D. -- Thousands of farmers attend field days every July, but one event is a bit of a different twist on the crop tour.
About 30 staff members from AdFarm, an advertising agency with an office in Fargo, N.D., loaded up in a bus from Fargo on July 22, to take a 100-mile drive to their "own" field in Aneta, N.D. AdFarm consultant Fred Lukens farms with his wife, Jane. They hosted the eighth annual tour at the farm, which was followed by a sit-down treat of 15 pies that Jane had made.
The AdFarm farm tour itself ran for two hours, and AdFarm staffers hopped from field to field and heard from experts about soybeans, barley, corn, dry edible bean and soybeans grown on the farm. Some of the tour guides were regional agronomy experts from their client companies. Among the tour-goers were AdFarm officials from their Kansas City, Mo., and Calgary, Alberta, offices. The company also has locations in Guelph, Ontario.
The group took special interest in a 70-acre winter wheat field that they themselves own "shares" in. They clapped when Lukens declared that this would probably be a good year for the Jerry winter wheat, despite increases in input costs.
Lukens says it is fortunate that hail only slightly damaged the wheat, while other crops, including the barley just a few miles to the east, suffered broken stalks and damaged flagleaves.
Roger Reierson, AdFarm's chairman president, attended the field tour and says the exercise offers a good first-hand view of how farming works.
Lukens says it is consistent with the agency's "driving deeper" theme for agricultural clients. Each staff member can invest $25 to $100 a year in the farm, and they get an annual payout, depending on how that year's crop performs. This year the maximum of 99 members of the staff invested in the enterprise.
The office forms a farm management committee who works with Lukens. They determine what the crop will be, discuss the seed treatments and fertilizer for the crop, and determine the economics of the crop with various levels of crop insurance and inputs.
Staff members can keep up with the crop through occasional reports. The July 7 report, for example says it is fortunate that the AdFarm acres of winter wheat received only 2 percent hail damage, while barley damage was 32 percent to 54 percent.
AdFarm was started in 1998 in Canada and established a relationship with Flint Communications of Fargo. Lukens, former head Simmons Advertising in Grand Forks, merged his company with Flint in 1999, and now farms and works as an advertising consultant with AdFarm.