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Farm to Corporate Table: Business Practices Grown on A Walnut Farm

Growing up on my family walnut farm in Hollister, California, I was oblivious to the unrelenting challenges my father faced each harvest year. From unknown weather conditions or water availability to external market factors, farming is arguably one of the most volatile and risky businesses, even in our current modern world.

Today, as a public relations professional representing clients in the agricultural industry, I fully understand the unique adversity farmers like my dad and our nation’s nutritional suppliers face. Looking back at my time growing up on the farm, I now realize the parallels between the lessons I learned that kept our small family farm afloat and the sage advice we share with our clients to survive and thrive in business.

1. Timing is important

Farming follows the seasons. Walnut farming, specifically, requires irrigating, harvesting, dehydrating, and cracking — all on a regimented schedule. Similarly, businesses and industries subscribe to a calendar. Whether it’s launching your brand or pitching a story, adhering to the schedule you provide your clients or partners is key. While people tend to think good timing is purely luck, good timing involves an understanding of the market and timely execution.

2. Plan ahead

Preparedness will never fail you. Maintaining and preparing a crisis plan to manage a catastrophe is one way NST provides value to our clients. During my childhood, I would become annoyed with maintaining and fixing equipment used solely in the fall harvest months, early in the year. Now, I see that all the prep work and planning surely prevented disasters. Preparedness always stands to benefit a business because…

3. Sh*t happens, be resilient

Equipment is going to break, deals will fall through, things will not always go according to plan. Problems will present themselves – accept it. How you face adversity determines how resilient your business is. You must adapt to changing environments. This is not a metaphor for farmers – rather it’s an everyday experience. Especially in the wake of COVID-19, businesses must be capable of pivoting quickly. The key is to maintain transparency and communicate often with your colleagues and clients while you troubleshoot.

4. Collaborate and network

Businesses cannot operate in a vacuum. Collaborating with your peers and networking are the best ways you can access new ideas, gain insights to market trends and improve existing operations. It is imperative you stay in the loop with your colleagues. Staying tapped into your industry’s network is the difference between being left behind or keeping up. I suppose now I know why my father had his phone glued to his ear!

NST continues to explore the ways in which we can redefine PR, drawing from each team member’s unique set of capabilities and perspectives. When considering your business operations, contemplate the distinctive experience and outlook we have here at NST and reach out to see how we can help you achieve your business goals.

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