Last week was “Thank a Farmer Week” so the next two blogs are timely. I spent part of last weekend with the Tim and Laurie Lichte Family in Lexington, MO. The Lichte Family farms for a living and they do it the right way. Farming’s an industry you are born into but that doesn’t mean you’re good at it. You’re good at it when it’s your calling. At times people choose health care careers because of the promise of prestige or money but those who are good at it are good because they’ve found their calling the same is true of farming. You can be born into a farm family and continue the family legacy but your good at it when your birthright is also your calling. So before I proceed I want to thank the Lichte Family and all the other U.S. Farm Families who feed and clothe the world.
I pay attention to other industries because I believe we can learn from them. I also pay attention to the work of industry leaders in all settings because I believe a succesful leader in one industry can be successful in any industry.
Tomorrow’s blog will be by one of Missouri’s leaders in agriculture. The blog is by Bill Streeter, President and CEO of MFA Incorporated. In a recent Today’s Farmer article Mr. Streeter wrote “Individuals at our locals choose to do business with us because they believe in and share our mission, and they see the benefits of MFA products and services”.
I made a point to keep that quote because it resonated with me and it relates to the importance of our Mission at GVMH which is “To provide exceptional health and wellness services with friendliness and compassion”. An agribusiness and a health care organization committed to their mission to serve others – who would have thought!
As different as you might believe agriculture and health care to be there are many similarities. Both businesses are led by entrepreneurs – farmers and physicians. Both businesses have embraced technology and their outcomes are improved by the use of technology. Both businesses are heavily subsidized by the federal government and forced to live in a world of price setting. Both businesses are vital to the communities they serve and finally, both businesses must be quick to adapt to survive.
When I asked Mr. Streeter to provide a guest blog he jumped at the opportunity. Agriculture is important to our area therefore it’s important to our organization. Check back tomorrow to read Mr. Streeter’s blog and his perspective on what we do at GVMH and how it relates to the agriculture business he leads.
As a side note, my father retired from MFA in 2007 after a career spanning more than 40 years. I know the industry and respect MFA as an organization. Just as in health care, things aren’t always easy in agribusiness and companies in both industries have their ups and downs. I’ve seen first hand both MFA and GVMH bounce back in tough times by focusing on their mission and serving their customers. I also know first hand that both GVMH and MFA are committed to those they serve and both are governed by an elected board of directors.
Here’s a brief bio on Mr. Streeter:
Bill Streeter grew up in Lilborn, Mo. He attended the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he graduated with a bachelor’s of science degree in agriculture. He then served in the United States Army, including a tour in Vietnam.
His 35-plus-year career at MFA includes management positions in the farm supply division as well as vice president of corporate sales for the cooperative, which included managing plant foods marketing, agronomy services and corporate communications.
In 1998, he was appointed senior vice president of agri services, a position he held until he was selected by the corporate board of directors as president and CEO of MFA Incorporated, effective March 1, 2009.