Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

March 17, 2014

Alltech gives farmers growth ideas

By JAMES BROWN
Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — Representatives from Alltech and other agribusinesses were in Glasgow on Monday to speak about their companies and other agricultural-related issues.

“This is a strong dairy and beef production area,” said Billy Frey, senior vice president with the Alltech Ag Network. The company, headquartered in Lexington, is the lead sponsor for the Barren County Ag Festival in June.

Frey was the lead speaker of the Alltech Farm Innovation Series seminar at Glasgow Golf & Country Club. Frey said the stop in Glasgow, which is one of nine locations for the presentation nationwide from March 7-21, was inspired by southcentral Kentucky’s agricultural background.

“This is really the heart of Kentucky’s dairy and beef cattle production,” he said. “These stops focus on beef and dairy issues.”

Along with Frey, other speakers were mostly Alltech employees who spoke about their fields of expertise. In addition, a representative of Farm Credit Services talked about what lenders look at when deciding whether to loan money to farmers, and an AgCo employee spoke about the impact big data and data mining will have on the future of agriculture.

Frey gave an overview of the seminar, which focused on “What if ...?”

“We want milk farmers to think differently about their products,” he said during the presentation. “You need to think of milk products as brands.”

Frey demonstrated graphically how Gatorade had grown from an $85 million business in 1985 to a $3.3 billion business in 2012 through product placement and effective branding. He then displayed a graphic that showed how milk consumption had declined by 24 percent over 23 years.

“We need to tell our stories,” Frey said.

He said farmers can take advantage of social media and other tools to tell their stories without significant cost. “There are so many good things to talk about,” he said.

Farmers must promote their brand to reverse the downward trend in milk consumption in order to improve their future earnings potential.

“It’s the world’s most perfect food, guys, right there in a glass,” Frey said.

Glasgow was the sixth stop on the tour. The series was to be in Waterloo, Iowa, today.