If you grew up in the Midwest, you are no stranger to row crops and big tractors, though you may not realize what goes into that crop growing behind your house—or the impact it has on the food sitting at your dinner table. That was me. I used to play hide and seek in the corn rows and walked through bean fields to get to school. I had no idea then how big of a role something I overlooked every day would play in my life and career.
Ever since I was a child, I can remember having a vivid imagination and a different perspective than my classmates. They were busy writing essays, and I was busy sketching a new battle scene or concepting my latest character in my notebook. They were busy playing kickball, and I was planning my next Lego or Nintendo club. I loved building, creating, and figuring things out. Naturally, I was drawn to science, art and the latest technology.
Add it all up and I was on the path to be a designer, but where does agriculture fit into the life of a designer?
I didn’t want to be in a big city. I wanted to make an impact close to home. Two years into my first, entry-level design job out of college, I received a call and a recommendation to join the marketing team of a local crop seed company. That little crack in the door opened a whole new world of opportunities, experiences, and an understanding of an industry so critical to our country’s heritage and our daily lives. That was over a decade ago, and I have never looked back.
I’ve traveled the country meeting farmers of all ages, directed videos telling the legacy of farm families, and setup farm show displays at 2 AM in the mud. I’ve ridden on combines to capture unique imagery, been pooped on by dairy cows, and climbed seed bins to get the perfect shot. I’ve planned and built truck and grain scales alongside my father-in-law, and I’ve sold and serviced retailers throughout the Midwest. I’ve been fortunate to be a part of brilliant teams strategizing how to reach growers with latest ag products to make farming easier and collaborating on stunning brand identities and marketing campaigns.
Things have come full-circle. I’m now bringing my past knowledge and love of technology into a new, diverse team. Global challenges lie ahead for ever-evolving farming operations that are ordered to do more with less, so now it’s time to tell a new story—and it’s an exciting time to work in agriculture.
I can boil down all of these incredible experiences to one thing: the people that make the fabric of the ag community. You would be hard-pressed to find more generous, genuine, hard-working, creative, tough, and enduring people anywhere—the kind of spirit and determination that built this country and continue putting food on our plates and milk in our cups every day.
This season allows us to reflect on what’s important to us and what we value most. When I sit down to eat my turkey this year, I want to say thank you to all of the people who gave me these great experiences, allowed me into their lives, and continue working to feed the world.
My story is unique, but so is this industry.
– Brock Behme, Creative Manager at Taranis