A summary of Day 2 – Seminar seven led us to the community of Moorhead, MN where like most sessions; we are up with the sun and out the door for an early morning departure. Fellow Class VIII member Ben Askegaard, a local native, guided our windshield tour of Moorhead and Fargo North Dakota pointing out the educational and cultural aspects of the area.
We Saw Red – Case IH Fargo Manufacturing Operations
An employee with 50-year’s working history at Case IH, led our tour. Which is a testament to the company. From steel sheets to rolling stock in 80-hours, Case IH Agriculture equipment is touched by many hands with a sense of accountability and responsibility in an area where communication is limited by the environment. We observed safety, lean manufacturing, inventory management, research and a dedicated workforce.
We were reminded of an earlier “Opener” exercise where we broke into teams and were tasked with building the tallest structure possible out of soda straws and tape. We had five minutes to discuss strategy and ten minutes to build our structure without speaking to each other. Those same skills take place every day on the manufacturing floor at Case IH.
The 2-Second Forecast – Commodity Trading Simulator, North Dakota State University, Dr. William Wilson.
Dr. Wilson shared the management of risk and volatility in Agriculture Commodities. The simulator has full global market access and teaches trading to prospective students. Dr. Wilson shared his views on the shortage of human capital in the agricultural sector as a result of growth in demand, internationally competitive landscape, technical advances, tremendous investment and China. What a fascinating discussion to engage in. His forecast projections are time bound by 2-seconds because after that the markets have already reflected the change. That certainly leaves no time for second guesses or daydreaming.
Permission to take Risk – Appareo Systems
With offices in ND, KS, and France, our hosts demonstrated how their core values are fundamental to their success. They are encouraging risk taking and tolerate failure. In doing so, they are able to cross the sectors of agriculture and aviation in ways that are similar but distinct. One of their innovations included using the sense of listening verses looking to count seed flow during planting. Cultivating the culture of innovation; MARL develops our skills and gives us the permission to take risks and lead.
Patience – Robert Bergland, Former US Secretary of Agriculture (1977-1981) US Congressman 1971-1977, Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District.
Former U.S. Secretary Bergland thanked by Sarah Schieck
At 87 years old, Mr. Bergland gave us all hope to continue to make change. Some memorable statements from his address, as keynote speaker at the MARL banquet with alumni and friends included:
No matter how hot the hen house, it takes 21 days to hatch an egg.
We don’t always get our way but we get along.
We have looked East since WWII; we need to look south to Latin America.
His greatest lesson learned in Washington, D.C.: patience.
He is most proud of his work at the University of Minnesota Board of Regents.
Reuvekamp, Timmerman and Patsche addressing the audience.
What a treasure to spend time listening, learning and dreaming of the impact we will make when we enter into our late eighties. I intend to make it make it now through my MARL experience.
Submitted by Shawn Schloesser, MARL Class VIII