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40SEEDWORLD.COMMybrothersandIhavebeenproudtocarryonthetraditionox1dindependentseedsuppliers.Howeverwhilewecallourselvesx1cindependentsx1dtherealityisthatnoneox1dusaretrulyindependentinourbusinessoperations.Sowhatdoesx1cindependentx1dreallymeanThedex1dinitionox1dx1cindependentseedsmanx1dx1dormehasevolvedovertime.WhenIwasyoungerandmorenaveitmeantthatIwasmyownboss.Ihavelearnedovertimethatthisreallyisnx19ttruex14wehavealwaysdependedongoodsupplierstosucceed.Meetingcustomerneedsiscriticaltoourexistenceaswell.Theseprincipleswerejustastrueyearsagoastheyaretoday.Tomex1cindependentx1dmeansthatwehavethegoodx1dortunetodobusinesswithpeopleox1dourchoiceandinamannerthatrefectsourpersonalityandvalues.Whataretherisksx1dacingtheindependentseedmodeltodayOneox1dthegreatestrisksisthatwegettoocomx1dortablewithpastsuccessandx1dailtoevolve.Theagriculturalmarketplaceisreallyamazinginitsdiversityox1dcustomersvastproductchoicesandpaceox1dinnovation.Theinx1dormationageandtechnologyrevolutionhavechangedthewaymostpeopleliveandthismeanschangesx1dorx1darmingaswell.Toexpectpastsuccesstoguaranteex1dutureperx1dormanceisunrealistic.Wemustadaptnotonlytomeetchangingcustomerneedsbuttomeetsupplierneedsaswell.Thereisvaluetounderstandinghowoursuppliersx1dunctionandwhatbringsvaluetotheirorganizations.Ourriskisthatthesupplierx1dailstoseethevaluewecanprovide.Inthisbusinesslandscapethereisopportunityx1dortheindependentseedsupplier.Ourcustomersarex1dacedwithabewilderingarrayox1dnewproductsandservices.Withrapidinnovationinequipmentprecisionx1darmingseedtreatmentscropchemistryandmarketingoptionsrelationshipsarecritical.Farmersneedpeopletheyknowandcantrusttohelpguidethemthroughthemaze.Ourjobistox1gureouthoweachox1duscanbethattrustedadvisor.Ix1dwecanx1llthatroletherewillbeaplaceintheoperationx1dorus.TheCaseForTheIndependentWhyistrustsoimportantFormanyx1darmersitissimplynotpossibletogetthex1darmingworkdoneandtoidentix1dytestandevaluatethebax1dfingarrayox1dseedandcrop-relatedproductsavailable.Atrustedadvisorcanprovidetheinx1dormationthatiscriticaltodecision-making.Whobettertoprovideunbiasedinx1dormationthanacompanyox1dx1deringproductsx1drommultiplesuppliersRecommendingaproductbecauseitisthebestoptionratherthantheonlyoptioncanprovideahugeboosttotheadvisorx19scredibility.Whatabouttheshort-termWhilethetoughseedcornproductionyeariscausingchallengesIseesomeupsidepotential.Manyindependentseedsmenareclosertotheend-userox1dproductsandcanidentix1dyandreacttocustomerneedsmorequicklythannationalcompanies.For2012plantingtheabilitytoreactquicklymaypaydividendsinhelpingcustomersthroughatightseedsupplyyear.Localknowledgeshouldleadtosellingopportunityintheseedtreatmentandamendmentcategoriesaswell.Forexamplewiththeissueox1drootwormtraitresistanceloomingbeingabletosupplymultiplerootwormtraitandtreatmentoptionsx1dorrotationwillprovideapointox1ddix1dx1derentiationx1dortheindependentsupplier.Formebeinganindependentseedsmanhasbeenahugechallengeandarewardingopportunityallatthesametime.Independencehasallowedmetoworkwithgreatcustomerssupplierrepresentativesstax1dx1dandmyownx1damily.DespitethechallengesIwouldnx19thaveitanyotherway.DaveHughesPresidentHughesSeedFarmsInc.Wegettoocomfortablewithpastsuccessandfailtoevolve.