I’m a woman who loves cowboy boots, bow hunting, traveling the backroads, and wide-open spaces. Growing up, my grandparents ran a 1200-acre farm in Minnesota that was dedicated to livestock and crop production. Like many girls who grow up in small towns, my mother longed for city life and moved us when she had a chance.
While cities were exciting, I found they never really suited me. My heart was always homesick for the wide-open spaces I’d been raised on. Every chance I could get, I’d pack my bags and hit the highway to explore the backroad towns that time had forgotten.
As the pandemic rocked our worlds in 2020, I used it to make drastic changes to live in a way that fit my love of food, farming and small town life. I found a ranch, bought horses (and am in the process of getting livestock!), planted a garden, and decided to scale back the company I’d built to focus on the three things I truly loved to do –– farming, food and data.
Why? Because I realized that the conversations being had and the stories being told about food, farming and agriculture weren’t getting any easier to understand. In fact, they were getting more confusing.
There are two things happening when it comes to consumers today:They are educating themselves about what’s in their food.They are trying to understand how their food choices impact their health.
Consumers are now asking companies and producers questions they’ve never asked before. While their values and beliefs as individuals vary, the one thing all people seem to want is more information.
I see companies trying to provide the information they think customers want across all channels. Often, it misses the mark. It’s either not the right information, it’s the wrong channel, or it’s something the customer doesn’t care about at all.
So, how do companies figure out what it is important to their customers and how do they figure out how to provide that knowledge? The answer is simple: by looking at data.