Tanner Winterhof, a key figure in the agricultural sector, has significantly impacted farm profitability and farmer support. With a lifelong agricultural background, Tanner Winterhof’s expertise is unparalleled. His analytical skills have been instrumental in developing growth strategies for farmers.
Raised in Northwest Iowa on a swine and row crop farm, Tanner Winterhof’s passion for agriculture was nurtured early. His education at AIB the College of Business, culminating in a Business Administration and Financial Services degree, laid the foundation for his later career. Tanner Winterhof’s educational and professional experience provided him with deep insights into agricultural finance.
In 2014, Tanner Winterhof co-founded Farm4Profit, LLC, aiming to educate and support farmers. As a partner and podcast co-host, Tanner Winterhof has been pivotal in the Farm4Profit Podcast’s success, which has become a primary resource for farmers globally. The podcast, with over a million downloads, originated from Tanner Winterhof’s desire to enhance customer appreciation in his previous job.
Tanner Winterhof’s role in the podcast involves sharing profitability tips and strategies, emphasizing treating farms as businesses. His approach to guest selection is inclusive, relying on listener recommendations, social media, and trade show interactions. Tanner Winterhof’s vision for the podcast has evolved from business promotion to providing subtle education and entertainment for farmers.
Tanner Winterhof’s understanding of the agricultural industry is comprehensive. He acknowledges the need for greater appreciation of agriculture in non-agricultural communities. Tanner Winterhof foresees significant trends like technological advancements impacting farming, advocating for farmers to adopt new strategies to remain competitive.
Reflecting on his childhood farming experiences, Tanner Winterhof credits them for his strong work ethic and communication skills, which he deems essential for success. Beyond the podcast, Tanner Winterhof’s leadership skills were honed through the Leadership Ames Class XXX program, emphasizing trust and informed decision-making.
As a coach, Tanner Winterhof employs his skills to guide others, adapting to varying levels of understanding. His family’s multi-generational farming background drives his passion for the industry. Tanner Winterhof’s personal interests include golf and bourbon, appreciating the craftsmanship in both.
Tanner Winterhof’s ultimate aim is to demystify financial analysis in agriculture, making it accessible to farmers. His efforts at Farm4Profit have led to significant growth in the podcast’s and newsletter’s audience.
Tanner Winterhof’s journey from a farm in Iowa to a leader in agricultural education and support exemplifies his dedication and expertise. His work not only benefits farmers but also contributes to the broader understanding and appreciation of the agricultural industry. Tanner Winterhof remains committed to empowering farmers with knowledge and strategies to navigate the evolving agricultural landscape.
How did you get started in this business?
I have always enjoyed the idea of running small businesses to make an impact on the lives of others and my own personal well-being. The first business that I started was a lawn care and landscaping business, beginning with mowing churches and cemeteries. We would utilize our connections to establish new client relationships and then use the power of referrals to continue to grow that business. After seeing the success of that business I was able to sell those assets and transition into a more educational format. I then created a media company targeting agriculture professionals wanting to have higher levels of profitability. In the beginning, the business was based around in-person meetings, providing expert presentations, and a model where companies would receive trade show benefits and in return, get access to the audience. It was a fun pivot when we paired the mission of our business with a personal enjoyment of podcasts to develop the media company with a strong product offering across many different channels. I am glad I had the initial experience of running and growing that lawn care business, to apply some of the same successes to growing and managing the growth of our current audience and client base.
How does your company make money?
Our company makes money through various channels. The base channel is through advertisements on the media productions and creating content. We also provide opportunities for utilization of our website, homepage, newsletter, and social media channels. On top of that, we have been able to provide in-person appearances where our skills, talents, and expertise are all things that we can charge for. Lastly, we serve as consultants for marketing, strategic, or other types of meetings within our partner companies. As our business continues to grow, we are looking for opportunities to expand our revenue. We’re generating avenues to include working with social influencers, business leaders, or others looking to create businesses like ours.
How does your company go about acquiring new customers?
Our company takes a multipronged approach to obtaining new customers. We, of course, like referrals as the No. 1 source of any new customers. The referral customers are typically much easier to convert from prospect into customer due to the positive influence they’ve had from another one of our great clients. However, sometimes we as a company get discovered through our social media or other media platforms from companies that want to work with us. Those organic leads are certainly nice because they already are interested in the services that we provide. We also do a little bit of advertising to try to catch the attention of other potential clients. They are a little bit more difficult to convert but are still looking for the service. Otherwise, the advertising wouldn’t have caught their attention to begin with. We also will identify through strategic meetings, internal companies, or businesses that we want to work with. When a new customer is acquired through cold-calling and solicitation, it feels much more rewarding. However, it is the least cost-effective way to obtain a new client. All in all, it is essential for our business to utilize a mixture of all those methods of acquiring new clients or partners as we continue to build our company.
How did you work your way up in this business?
As an owner of the business, when it first starts growing, you really have the responsibility for every single task involved with the success and/or failure of that business. My childhood of growing up in agriculture and farming was a true testament to how much one person needs to be able to complete many tasks. As our company has grown, the tasks that I am solely responsible for have evolved. We have been able to hire employees to do some of the practices and jobs that I had the responsibility for in the beginning. This has allowed much more time for strategic relationship building, strategic planning for the future, and work on the structure of the future of the business. Without having the experience in agriculture and previous businesses, it would be difficult to allow myself out of some of those daily tasks. However, it is a true testament to the limiting factors in allowing your business to grow if you are unable to delegate and hire parts of the business work done for you. It’s still difficult to shed some of the current responsibilities but knowing because of prior success there will be great benefit, in the end, it is extra motivation.
What made you want to work in this industry
Growing up, I saw the strength in relationships that my parents had with their advisers in agriculture. Agriculture is an industry that has many areas of knowledge, which makes it difficult for one person to be an expert in all of them. I then was able to witness over the last 15 years in the financial industry other farmers relying on various experts to help make their farming business decisions. Through this observation we found there was not a spot where farmers could go to get all of their questions answered. So we wanted to build a platform that provided a permanent place for agriculture experts to share their advice and farmers to be able to look up and consume the advice in a fun and entertaining fashion. We then have learned that farmers can learn from other farmers, so not only does our company have resources from industry experts, but also has perspectives shared by other farmers in the same position as those who consume the content. As the business continues to grow, we continue to listen and observe from our audience as to which content and resources need to be provided next and will continue to do that in the future.
What is it that you feel makes you good at your job?
All the metrics in the world or analysis can justify to anyone an answer of feeling good around success or achievement. Data can be framed in the light in which you want to see the results. To me, what helps reassure my success in this company and my business is the feedback from clients and the audience. As campaigns and relationships with clients continue to exceed expectations, that provides validation of a job well done. At the same time, the audience enjoying the content and resources provided, knowing there were strategic partnerships behind them, shows a level of appreciation for the product we produce. I know I am not great at it, which leaves room for improvement, but for somebody who feels they are the greatest, that would lack excitement for the opportunities to grow. As we continue to strive to be better tomorrow, we will always have something to look forward to from today.
What are the perks of working in this type of business?
In this line of business, there are very few companies that have gone before and started a business. This provides an almost Wild West feeling of being able to set and create your own rules. This allows you to communicate expectations and targets in a method that best fits your company’s style. This is a perk because you don’t necessarily have to conform to what has been done before you. You just have to provide clear communication as to how the way you are doing it now is better than the way it has always been done. Another perk is the number of fantastic individuals you get to meet, connect with, and build relationships with. During the process, whether it be a business owner who is a paying client, a contributor to the contract being created, or an audience member you build a relationship with, they are all unique and exciting to learn more about. When you get that opportunity to learn somebody’s story, it helps build perspective and the ability to gain ideas for growth in your business. The other perk in business ownership is you get to make decisions that you feel are best for your business without having to rely on higher levels of command. However, it is still important to gain perspective from employees, advisers, and those who can help ensure you are on the right path.
What are the disadvantages of working in this field?
The first disadvantage that comes to mind is the pressure of performing. The pressure of performing for the client and making sure they aren’t disappointed, the pressure of performing for the audience to ensure they have quality entertaining content to consume, and the pressure of performing financially to provide an income for you and your family. The other disadvantages are an offshoot of the advantages of there being very few examples going before you. This doesn’t allow for much of a road map to success and you have to think through blazing your own trail. That can be exhilarating and exhausting all at the same time. The last disadvantage is potentially the time commitment. If you are unable to delegate very well or don’t allow yourself time to take a break, you could get caught up in working all the time.
What’s the most rewarding part of your work?
There are many rewards. It is rewarding to hear a listener or audience member who has consumed your content or followed instructions that were provided and saw a successful outcome. It’s also rewarding to get feedback that the content being produced was timely, or had exactly the value they were seeking, or was entertaining and made them laugh. It is also rewarding to hear an advertising client state the ads or marketing structure our team put together was successful and sales were in excess of what they had originally planned. It’s also rewarding when those clients are excited for the brand, new content or style, or other products that we create, knowing it will set them apart from their competitors. Lastly, it’s rewarding to see the people that you work with enjoying themselves and at times reaping financial benefits right alongside you.
Where is your industry headed? What excites you about the future in this line of work?
I think our industry will be headed in the direction of more market share. When you look at competition outside of those directly doing what our media company is doing now, you look beyond those who are doing it the way it’s always been done before. As our industry continues to expand and gains the trust and popularity of more clients, you will see the sophistication of packages, offerings, and more will continue to grow. It will be fun to watch the industry grow and evolve as more funds and more companies get interested in the service. I am excited to continue to try to lead the media sector for agricultural businesses that are looking to partner with social media influencers and through contact-created platforms.
What advice do you give people who want to get into your field of work?
The first advice that I give them is to just get started. There are many times I have had ideas for a long time and delayed implementation for the fear of failure. When I actually did start them, they were a success and you wonder why you didn’t start sooner. The second piece of advice I give is to start small and focused. Begin with a very clear motivation and an opportunity with a strong relationship to grow alongside. Next the advice I give is, don’t be afraid to partner with others or collaborate. It is OK to be competitive, but if you can find a way to raise the tide, all ships will rise with it, including yours and your business’s. Another fun piece of advice to give is to inject your personality into the product that you create. If you pretend to be somebody else, it will become exhausting or it won’t come off as genuine. It’s much easier to be yourself because people will respect genuine sincerity rather than those who are acting.
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?
I am always willing to help those that are interested in receiving guidance and advice. I have had many mentors that have helped me get to where I am and are leading me to where I want to go. Feel free to reach out at any time by emailing me at email@example.com or you can call us at the number on our website. Even if you don’t know what mentorship looks like, having a relationship or a person to bounce ideas or questions off of that can be unbiased is valuable.