The Upside of Not Having A Clue About Ag

By Marvin Hooker, Account & Analytics Director

In this industry, you’ll find that most agencies have an area of expertise or a niche that they tend to cater to. At AC&C, we are definitely the Agriculture experts. This may seem like you have to have an ag background, come from an ag family, or know a lot about ag to join our agency…Fun fact – that’s not necessarily true! My name is Marvin and I am the Account and Analytics Director.

In my case, you could say I was raised on the asphalt and not on the soil or in an orchard, or vineyard…or any other name you can think of for an ag property. I grew up in a military household moving around from city to city. Moving made me curious and want to learn about each new city we ended up in.  This gave me some leverage when feeling out of place because I would ask a lot of questions. After all, having the curiosity and eagerness to learn are qualities we look for when hiring and they’re qualities that will lead to success in the long run.

Not having a clue about ag really piqued my interest to understand the industry, learn where our food came from, and get to know the people that grow it.

Not having a clue also inspired me to ask my boss a million questions about the industry. I wanted to know everything, and everything was new to me.

I wanted to know all of it. Anytime I got “car time” on the way to a meeting with the boss lady, Ali, I used to ask, “What kind of tree is that? What vegetables are growing there? How come there is so much water in that orchard?” Now I drive around town and catch myself saying things like, “Oh, those are almond trees…walnuts coming up on the left! I’m not sure what crop that is, but I’m going to find out. Look at those tomatoes growing!” I worked hard on educating myself about the industry so I would be confident when speaking with clients, and most importantly, understand their stories so we could tell it correctly.

I also remember being out on a video shoot in the middle of an almond orchard and asking our client about something on one of the almond trees. He said, “No one has ever asked me that question before.” It goes to show that even if you don’t have a clue about the topic at hand, don’t be afraid to ask all the questions!

By now I’ve been on more than three dozen shoots, ranging from interviews in an orchard, flying a drone over planting machines, harvesting tomatoes, going to Oregon to film cattle, and interviewing ag accountants in a bean field.

These days, I could talk about ag all day long, but I’ll save that for another blog post because the moral of this one is that you shouldn’t be afraid to try to join our team because you don’t have an ag background. Better yet, don’t be afraid to pursue your dreams at any agency because you feel like you don’t know enough about something. Shoot your shot and prove your worth. I did, and I’ve grown to love an industry that provides so much to our nation and meet so many genuine people who make it happen.