INDIANAPOLIS — Sarah Beth Aubrey has many job titles — farmer, executive coach, author, entrepreneur and keynote speaker, to name a few.
Her newest book is “Who’s Running Your Farm Next?” Learn more at www.sarahbethaubrey.com.
Aubrey shared her story with AgriNews:
Tell me about yourself.
My husband and I live in Monrovia. Together, we raise cattle. Professionally, I own two businesses — Aubrey Coaching and Training and Elevate Ag. I do keynote speaking around leadership and management consulting. I celebrate 15 years in business this year.
What is Elevate Ag?
Three years ago I founded Elevate Ag, a peer innovation network. It’s a producer and agribusiness peer group network. We have membership across the country. Farmers pay to be part of the group.
We solve problems and discuss issues in a confidential setting. I coordinate and lead those groups and help bring those producers together, to be able to have some kind of peer-to-peer advisory.
Tell me about your new book, “Who’s Running Your Farm Next?”
This book is your call to action. This is not a how-to book, but a look at the topics, the fundamental shifts that are happening in the industry.
Once you read this, it should give you a call to action that the time is now for knowledge transfer, for building a place where people want to work.
For me, it’s about the next generation. The second page of the book is a letter to the farmer. It says “When you started farming, what’s something you wish someone had talked to you about?” It’s your time to do that now.
What challenges do farmers face in succession planning?
Probably the biggest, most universal truth is that it is difficult to talk about issues of succession, and it’s very difficult to make the time, to sit down and do it. Agriculture has been an industry that has been reactive.
However today, it’s not the way of the future. We must be proactive.
Growers must make the time to have those difficult conversations, ask the hard questions and then build a company where people want to work.
Why should farmers purchase the book?
It’s a quick, simple read. It’s only 140 pages. It’s available in paperback as well as on Kindle. This isn’t a how-to manual. I’m trying to raise issues and awareness that an organization should begin thinking about and be reflecting on, to decide where they want to go from here.
Finding a place to start is very difficult. This is the starting point. This book is really a platform that says, “Let’s get started.” And it’s in a relatively brief, straightforward manner that I hope is very useful.
Anything else about the book you’d like to share?
Because I work directly with agribusinesses and growers of all sizes all over the country, there are a lot of stories in here. The names have been changed and everything. But it’s not fiction.
These are stories of people I know. People will relate to these stories. There are funny ones and more serious and sad stories. That’s real life. I want to share tips and platforms, but I hope they will enjoy the stories, as well.