Building trust and improving partnerships with farming millennials

As a new generation of growers prepares to take over their family farms, agribusinesses like Syngenta are getting ready for the transition. These young growers are part of America’s largest demographic — millennials, generally defined as people born between 1982 and 2004.

“Millennials are one of the most talked about but least understood generations,” said Gil Strader, head of field force excellence and training at Syngenta. “We’re finding fascinating insights that can help bridge this generation knowledge gap.”

Strader is sharing these insights with his sales and marketing colleagues to help them better understand millennials. “We’ve implemented a major initiative to train our employees who interact the most with resellers and growers to build trust, improve service and strengthen partnerships.”

The training includes learning about millennials as customers, listening to what they want from a company, and connecting older and younger generations to foster mentoring. As a result, Syngenta is helping to shatter myths about what makes younger growers tick. For example, contrary to popular belief, millennials are not self-absorbed, indecisive or addicted to social media.

“We are finding that young farmers are serious decision makers who crave connection and communications,” said Lynn Sandlin, lead of market research and insight at Syngenta. “They want to have great business relationships with the people they work with.”

Not surprisingly, millennials view farming not only as a business, but also a lifestyle. “These young people are very serious about what they’re trying to accomplish on the job, but they also want to have a high quality of life,” Sandlin said.

AUDIO: The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins visits with Lynn Sandlin, Syngenta’s lead of market research and insight, about preparing for a new generation of growers.

AUDIO: Ty also visited with Gil Strader, head of field force excellence and training at Syngenta, about how his company is preparing to meet the needs of younger growers eager for knowledge and expertise.

To learn more about millennials and other agricultural trends, go to www.syngentathrive.com.

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