I've been buying amazingly delicious fresh corn from Brad's for several weeks now.  It wasn't until someone asked me a couple of days ago how I managed to get my hands on such sweet, juicy corn this early in the season that I even gave it any thought.

You see, around here, the saying about corn had always been, "knee high by July."  The corn from Brad's is locally grown and always praised by our friends when we take some along to cookouts--most eat it right out of the pot with no embellishments!

While I confess that I do not have the answer to how the wily farmer Brad manages to get us this treat so early in the season, I do know that Brad is more than a farmer.  He's an agricultural entrepreneur who is serious about having fun with the business of farming.

Brad operates multiple remote produce stands and welcomes customers to his Churchville farm where you can find anything from apples to zucchini, including plants and flowers.  In the fall, he operates a corn maze and hay rides out to the pumpkin patch.

The produce is always top-quality and I've noticed a high level of employee loyalty.  Despite having to work in weather that is often inhospitable, I see many of Brad's employees cheerfully return year after year.  Not only is Brad in the business of growing, his business is growing!

As business leaders, we can learn from Brad.  What are you growing?  When I ask this question, I often get the obvious answers: "My bottom line."   "My profitability."  How about growing your employees?  It's been proven time and again that paying some attention to your work force can yield big results in terms of customer loyalty, productivity, and profitability.

So, why not feed and water the crop?  Spend some time helping your work force develop a robust set of attitudes, skills and knowledge to better help you achieve your goals and you'll reap an amazing crop just like Brad.

07-06-2012 11:12:06