Archive for March, 2009|Monthly archive page

Maverick Ag is now on

In Agribusiness, Agricultural Entrepreneurship, Innovation on March 31, 2009 at 8:05 am

You can now read articles written especially for and designed to bring the ag innovation discussion to more readers at Agricultural Business Innovation Deserves our Attention
The United States should embrace the history and future that lay in agribusiness.


Resources for financing and guidance for agribusiness start-up

In Agribusiness, Agricultural Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Small Business on March 29, 2009 at 1:28 pm

If you’re looking to start an agribusiness and you need resources, be sure to contact the Kansas Department of Agriculture. KSDA has a portal to several programs located here.

Another great resource in your quest is the Kansas Small Business Development Center. The KSBDC is online at

And you can always contact Maverick Creative Group at for consultation and referrals.

History’s great innovators are the ones who do something

In Agribusiness, Agricultural Entrepreneurship, Innovation on March 29, 2009 at 11:53 am

Innovation is profitability’s greatest friend, and inaction is innovation’s greatest enemy.

Some of the greatest innovators have made some pretty bad mistakes because they weren’t afraid to take action.

Apple introduced the Newton years ago, and people thought it was the dumbest thing ever. But the clunky organizer helped create a category that spawned the PDA, and Apple took advantage of its learning to create the iPhone.

Thomas Edison said, “invention is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration.” Maybe that’s because he tried and failed so many times before creating the light bulb and the phonograph. Same for da Vinci. Same for Einstein. Same for John Deere, Cyrus McCormick and Eli Whitney.

Being willing to try something new is sometimes just as important as being willing to try. More recently, we’ve seen companies change their stripes in response to new market dynamics and consumer desires. Who ever thought direct-to-consumer purveyor Dell would start selling computers in brick-and-mortar retail establishments?

Perhaps you’ve been doing things on your farm or in your business the same way for a long time. Or maybe you’re thinking about starting a new business.

Whatever your situation, don’t sit around. Do something. History teaches us that those who take action are the ones who win.

Agribusiness innovation speaker set to tour Kansas

In Agribusiness, Agricultural Entrepreneurship, Innovation on March 28, 2009 at 4:13 pm

If you’re an economic development director, chamber of commerce executive or civic group leader, please consider inviting David Mace to come and speak to your group.

You can e-mail David at Refer to the attached brochure for more information.

More resources for ag entrepreneurs

In Agribusiness, Agricultural Entrepreneurship, Innovation on March 28, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Here’s another site with resources for start-ups and other agribusiness enterprises.

Innovation starts with imagination

In Agribusiness, Agricultural Entrepreneurship, Innovation on March 27, 2009 at 10:40 pm

In my business, I have the pleasure of working with imaginative people.

Some of them are creative. Some aren’t. The ones who are imaginative and creative happen to be innovative.

But it starts with being imaginative.

When was the last time you sat down with a pencil and a blank sheet of paper and doodled? Or drew? Or wrote?

Have you daydreamed lately? Sat in front of a fish tank and just watched?

Now I don’t want you to just stop there. But you gotta start there.

Sit down at the kids’ table, pull out some crayons and go to town.

Go to lunch with a friend and blue-sky some ideas about your business or the business you’d like to start.

Sure, you’ll survive if you don’t innovate, but you won’t thrive.

To innovate, you must create, and creating starts with imagination.

So go imagine something great.

Have you hugged a goat today?

In Agribusiness, Agricultural Entrepreneurship on March 26, 2009 at 10:26 am

A steady and rapid influx of Muslim, Latino, African and Caribbean immigrants is boosting demand for goat meat to unprecendented levels.

In order to meet that demand, goat producers are popping up all over the map, including Kansas, where the goat population has grown from 27,000 to 50,000 in the past few years.

Texas is still the biggest goat-producing state, with more than a million head, but other states, such as California with 100,000 goats, are catching on.

At this point, more than a third of the goat consumed in the US is imported because there simply aren’t enough goats, even if you killed them all, leaving none for breeding.

It’s hard to say how long this party will last, but the smart money is asking not just, “How can I get my hands on some goats?” But, “How can I navigate my way down the supply chain to take the best advantage of this trend?”

Great site for help starting a business

In Agribusiness, Agricultural Entrepreneurship, Agricultural Marketing, Innovation, Small Business on March 22, 2009 at 6:42 pm

You ought to review this Web site:

It’s put together by a consortium of university and extension professionals. There is a great deal of useful information and links.

David Mace and Maverick Creative Group unveil Maverick Ag podcast

In Agribusiness, Agricultural Entrepreneurship, Innovation on March 22, 2009 at 4:27 pm

We hope you’ll make it a point to visit and subscribe to the new Maverick Ag podcast.

It’s your chance to hear from innovation experts and passionately innovative aggies, and get a healthy dose of encouragement.

Check it out!

Innovation economics vs. conventional economics

In Agribusiness, Agricultural Entrepreneurship, Innovation on March 22, 2009 at 1:09 pm

This is what it’s all about: shifting from commodity to value-added and from value-added to continuous innovation.

There’s a great discussion of this topic at Twin Cities Daily Planet.

There’s also a link to an article from Business Week published last September about how America needs to innovate its way out of the current mess.

It’s important to remember here that research and development (R&D) isn’t enough to guarantee success. And invention is NOT innovation.

Innovation is when you create something that consumers will pay you for at a profitable price. Invention is when you create something. Much of the R&D we do is focused on invention. And on getting a patent. That’s a broken model.

For us to be successful, we have to concern ourselves solely with producing products and services that fill a gap in the market. That requires as much work outside the laboratory as in it. There is a business side of innovation that is every bit as important as all the scientific research we’ve been funding for years.