Farm Equipment Dealership Minds Summit 2013 Speaker Line-Up — January 30, 2013

A first-ever, 1-day conference & networking event planned & delivered by Farm Equipment’s annual Dealership of the Year “Alumni Group”.


Rapid Industry Consolidation. Ever-Increasing New Wholegoods Prices. Razor-Edge Financial Decision-Making. Next-Generation Workforce Concerns. Succession Planning. Complex M&A. Keeping Pace with New Marketing Methods.Technological Revolution.

If any of these challenges have robbed you of sleep over the past 12 months, you’re not alone. But thanks to the annual Dealership of the Year Alumni, an all-new event will help you learn how to better position your operation for success.

Survival in the farm equipment business is by no means compulsory. For the first-time ever, we’re assembling a group of “the best of the best” — those whose quest for greatness never ceases.You can talk face-to-face with, exchange challenges, validate your approach and discover new options and thought-processes during this unique, non-stop day of learning & networking.

The very brightest “Dealership Minds” on the planet will be gathering January 30 in Kansas City. And we WANT YOU to add to this event!

If you truly aspire for your dealership to be the very best it can be, you must attend the Dealership Minds Summit in Kansas City in January, a true Dealer-to-Dealer Learning Opportunity!

Special Bonuses for Attendees

A $293 Value in Special Reports ... FREE with your $99 registration!

Special bonus reports include: Ag Equipment Intelligence, the 2013 AEI Annual Business Outlook and Trends — Farm Equipment Forecast, the AEI Dealer Sentiments & Business Conditions Update and the Annual "Big Dealer" Report.

Dealership Minds Summit Kickoff Event
Networking Breakfast & Roundtable Discussions

Choose from 6 concurrent roundtables for face-to-face networking on these important topics:

  • Structuring — and Hiring — Precision Farming Specialist Positions
  • Recruiting & Motivating the Next-Generation Service Tech
  • Updating Your Facility for Today & Tomorrow
  • New Electronic Marketing Tools
  • Solutions for Moving Used Tractors & Combines
  • Disciplines for Wholegoods Ordering

Dealer-to-Dealer Panel
Succession Planning

No dealer, regardless of size or past performance, is immune to the mainline’s requirement of a well thought-out and defensible succession plan. As some dealers have already learned, there’s no avoiding it. Fail to follow the discipline of outlining your business’ future and your OEM, eventually, will make the decisions for you. Five dealer-principals share the various paths available, lessons learned and the type of depth and detail needed to meet the major-line’s contract-approval requirements.


“Preparing the Next- Generation to Take Over”

Tim Young, General Manager, Young’s Equipment (2009 Dealership of the Year). Young founded his company by taking over a bankrupt dealership in 1988. Today, it is a 7-store, 200-employee operation that recently passed $210 million in sales. A lifelong learner who recently returned to earn his MBA, Young shares a detailed plan (including education/training, timing and execution) for grooming the third generation, his son, into the business. Privately-held, family-owned enterprises still have a place in this industry, says Young. “It gives you the flexibility to be nimble in the market and go above and beyond when taking care of the greatest asset a business has; it’s people.”

“Recruiting, Retaining & Rewarding: RDO’s Home-Grown Succession Plan”

Keith Kreps, Vice President of Agriculture, RDO Equipment Co. (2010 Dealership of the Year). The nation’s second-largest equipment dealer group (62 stores in 9 states), RDO Equipment Co. learned during its publicly held years (1997-2003) that growth opportunities are stunted without a stellar training and development program. Today, RDO Equipment Co. considers training a core strength. Its initiative includes multiple opportunities for all team members, and an impressive curriculum to bring along the next generation of management talent. Kreps, who joined the company in 1998 after working in the automotive industry, is responsible for all the firm’s agricultural dealerships.

“Succession Planning & The ESOP Solution”

Clint Schnoor, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Agri-Service Inc. (2012 Best-in-Class Dealership). The 9-store Agri-Service celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2010 with an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) that made each of its 170 employees “owners” in the business. Schnoor, who oversaw the planning, structure, transaction and implementation of the firm’s ESOP, explains the pros/cons of employee ownership, the cultural and operational changes involved and shares solid advice 2 years into the change.

“Building A Multi-Owner Board of Directors”

Mark Foster, Ag Division Manager, Birkey’s Farm Stores Inc. (2007 Dealership of the Year). Mark Foster, who has been with this 13-store dealer group for 29 years, outlines the decisions and lessons learned with this unique 6-owner arrangement, the keys to structuring buy-ins/buy-outs and how a solid board of owners (all with direct-line management responsibilities) is finding total-entity success by subordinating to the firm’s larger concerns.

“Going Public”

David Meyer, Chairman & CEO of Titan Machinery Inc. (2006 Dealership of the Year). David Meyer started in the dealership business as a partner in two dealerships in 1976. Today, he heads up a giant 98-store dealer operation that employs 2,500 and covers 9 states and two European nations. You’ll understand the logic of M&A during this economic climate as well as the how’s, why’s and challenges of establishing itself as a publicly-held entity.

Data Management: The Next
Frontier for Farm Equipment Dealers

Steve Cubbage, President, Record Harvest (2007 Dealership of the Year)

Since 1999, Steve Cubbage has operated Record Harvest, a unique precision-ag model that also integrates hardware, software and data analysis for farmers. He also launched Prime Meridian in 2007 to provide growers with a means of storing, sharing and making sense of their precision farming data. Maintaining that data management is a “sleeping giant” type opportunity for farm equipment dealers, Cubbage explains how dealers can move forward on a profitable yet much needed new business opportunity. Among his pieces of advice for dealers: 1) quit looking at precision agriculture as solely a hardware business and 2) recognize that the precision pie is still growing, so be careful about trying to “eat it all” by yourself.

Dealer-to-Dealer Panel
Up for Debate: Myths & Misconceptions
About Farm Equipment Dealer Management

In this lively panel discussion with Q&A time built in, you’ll compare and contrast your views with 4 panelists on these hot button topics. Presented in a format that encourages participation, you’ll leave this session validating your current path in some areas while pondering whether changes in your thought process are needed on others.


“Is Absorption Rate All It’s Cracked Up to Be?”

Eric Johnson, Partner, Johnson Tractor Inc. (2012 Dealership of the Year). Second-generation dealer-principal Eric Johnson co-owns the 3-store Johnson Tractor with his brother, Leo. While recording an aftermarket absorption rate envied by most dealers, Johnson (who joined the firm in 1982) maintains there’s no validity to the oft-preached maxim that parts and service can support a business during a downturn.

“Market Share vs. Profitability”

Mike Hedge, CFO, Treasurer and Shareholder, Birkey’s Farm Stores Inc. (2007 Dealership of the Year). Mike Hedge was a public-accounting auditor and controller in the hotel business prior to joining Birkey’s in 1992, where he oversees the firm’s finance, accounting, information systems, HR and marketing. Recognized as one of the best financial minds in the industry, Hedge explains why the majors’ push for market share MUST intersect with the dealers’ paramount need for cash flow and profitability.

“Bigger Ain’t Always Better”

Gordon Thompson, General Manager, Moker & Thompson (2012 Best-in-Class Dealership). Gordon Thompson, who worked for an international accounting firm prior to joining the dealership in 1986, brings a “numbers-and-cents” view to the debate on whether small- or large, multi-store operations bring the greatest return. From his personal perspective and what he’s seen through analysis of industry data, Thompson explains why well managed 42-employee, 2-store operations like Moker & Thompson can succeed in a land of giants.

“Shortlines vs. Brand-Pure Dealers”

Todd Kunau, President & CEO, Kunau Implement (2008 Best in Class Dealer). Third-generation dealer-principal Todd Kunau, who has worked at the dealership since 1989, has demonstrated an ability to find a place “ahead of the curve” in a number of areas, including precision farming. In this presentation, Kunau, who has served on several mainline OEMs’ Dealer Advisory Boards, shares how actively selling various brands in addition to the major’s sign out front can contribute to long-term customer relationships and competitive success for the dealership.

Luncheon Keynote: The ‘Why’s’ Behind the Changing Structure of Farm Equipment Dealerships: Lessons for Progressive Dealership Leaders

George Russell, Executive Partner, Currie Management Consultants

George Russell assists more than 400 machinery dealer-principals (in ag equipment and 8 other industries) in building performance-oriented teams for higher profitability and value. A longtime farm equipment veteran, Russell is also a management columnist for Farm Equipment and contributor to Ag Equipment Intelligence and its annual “Big Dealer” report. In this luncheon keynote, Russell summarizes the evolution taking place in farm equipment dealerships, cites examples from similar industries and highlights the macro-trends that are, and will be, affecting not only the industry’s structure but the pace of change. He also shares key considerations and advice for change management in the dealership — in terms of people, capital, vision, market and product/service diversification.

Dealer-to-Dealer Panel
The Numbers Side of Marketing: The Fastest Learner Wins

Wise marketing organizations know the difference between marketing and sales: “Marketing finds the hen house, sales gathers the eggs.”The rapidity of decision-making (and dollars attached to those decisions), buying cycles and consolidation has brought an unrivaled chaos to the dealership. But choosing to embrace and confidently manage chaos’ “razor edge” can result in a competitive advantage. This insightful panel explains why managing every element of your customer data and activity is as vital as anything you do.


“Creating a Marketing Vision”

Tim Young, Young’s Equipment (2009 Dealership of the Year). Young, who was called a revolutionary by the CEO of NetSuite, understands what is possible through customer engagement technologies and how dealerships can properly apply them for real results. He walks you through the profit-generating benefits of customer segmentation as well as supporting your marketing vision through CRM and account management technologies.

“Execution of a Marketing Vision”

Boyd Hofman, Partner, Vice President & General Sales Manager, Jaydee AgTech (2011 Dealership of the Year). A year into his role as sales manager in 1995, Boyd Hofman purchased the ownership shares of the GM. Seven years later, he acquired 3 more dealerships before merging with another 5-store operation in 2009, which today has 9 locations under the JayDee AgTech banner. In this presentation, Hofman shares his approach to managing and measuring marketing and other operations, as well as anticipating issues well in advance of the arrival of the monthly statement. His no-nonsense presentation shares performance metric tips and will have you eager to put the “execution back in executive” at your dealership.

“Applying ‘Outside’ Marketing Theories to Iron Peddling”

Laird Munro, Director, Marketing and Communications, Rocky Mountain Equipment (2008 Dealership of the Year). The old “spray-and-pray” marketing approaches don’t work today, says Laird Munro, who is responsible for tactical marketing (including rebranding), community engagement and internal communications for Rocky Mountain’s 38-store dealership group. With professional experience in the information technology, airline and online marketing industries, he brings a fresh, outside view to the iron business. Embracing the role of both futurist and disrupter, Munro’s presentation helps attendees move between theoretical concepts and real-world applications in the equipment business.

“What Really Happens in the Marketing Foxhole”

Quint Campbell, Marketing Manager, Birkey’s Farm Stores Inc. (2007 Dealership of the Year). The son of a dealer-principal, Quint Campbell has 15 years of marketing management experience at Birkey’s, with full oversight of all marketing materials, daily online updates of used inventories and dynamic-marketing campaigns, which now include websites, social media initiatives and special syndicated offers scrolling on LCD TVs at the parts counter. Campbell sheds light on what it takes to be a marketing-focused dealership, and provides actionable ideas your store can put into play tomorrow.

Summary & Next Steps