A Conversation With Bill Northey Before His Passing: A Life Devoted to Iowa Agriculture

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Jared Flinn [00:00:18]: You're listening to the Bold Look podcast, your number one resource for everything bold freight trucking. Jared Flinn [00:00:28]: Hey, guys. Jared Flynn with the Bulk Loads podcast. Got Tyler in here with me. Tyler Allison [00:00:32]: What's going on? Jared Flinn [00:00:34]: Well, I don't know how to say this any other way, but today's gonna be a little bit of a somber podcast. So I brought on Bill Northey. He, was CEO of the Iowa Agribusiness association, and, some of you might have known of Bill. He was the secretary of ag for the state of Iowa and was in a lot of different public service, offices, worked in the USDA, but very well connected. But we shot this podcast, I think 3 or 4 weeks ago. Yep. And it was the following week. He actually passed away unexpectedly at the age of 4. Tyler Allison [00:01:16]: Yeah. Young. Too young. Jared Flinn [00:01:18]: And, I just remember I actually pulled up my LinkedIn feed 1 morning and saw it on there. And I was like, is this even real? Like, I just was talking to the guy. So but to give you a little bit of the story, Bill, I've been following him, off and on over the years, I think, through social media. And he actually came across our podcast last fall and sent me just a really kind note about how much he enjoyed really listening to the podcast and encouraged me, to continue what we do, serving agriculture and and trucking. And I asked him. I said I I go, Bill, I'd love to have you on the show. And and he agreed, and That's how we, got on the show. So we filmed the episode, which we're gonna show you here, and, it really, Tells a story about the man that he is. Jared Flinn [00:02:08]: Yep. And, I mean, he talks about his current role, but really, we really dove in to the love Of agriculture. Tyler Allison [00:02:15]: Yeah. His life, if you could sum it up, was just I mean, he his purpose on this earth, he loved to just Serve farmers and ranchers and anybody in the agriculture space and really dedicated his life to that. Jared, whenever we found this out, you you were kinda, Tossing around the idea, like, should we release it, now, or should we wait a little bit, or should we not release it at all? But I think you, kinda came to a conclusion, but this is really a tribute to Bill Jared Flinn [00:02:43]: Yeah. And Celebration of his life. Yeah. Tyler Allison [00:02:45]: A celebration to where we can we can really, show Bill and his passion, what he loved to do, and just the impact that he's made in agriculture. Jared Flinn [00:02:54]: Yeah. So, And I'm gonna talk about this more after the episode, but Bill's daughter actually recently just reached out to me, and I wanna share a little bit of what You had to say. But, before we get started, as we always do, we wanna feature, a truck for this week's podcast, And this truck's gonna be, Joe Reinboldt of Reinboldt Trucking LLC out of Aberdeen, South Dakota. Yep. Joe's been a member on our website, I think over 5 years. And, man, awesome photo that, I think he probably captured here, kinda backed into this grain elevator. It's got the sunset in the background. So just a really cool you know, I love all these different angles of these pictures that we get, and this may be one of the very first ones that's just a head on, A shot of the Tyler Allison [00:03:38]: Yeah. It is the, the month of February in our calendar. Speaking of our calendar, if you guys have any photos, that you are taking right now of your rig, definitely send them into podcast at bulk loads.com. We will feature them. And, also, we are holding them To consider for next year's calendar as well. Jared Flinn [00:03:54]: Yeah. So do that right now. If you have some cool photos, regardless, I just wanna see them. Yeah. Anyways but, yeah, just click on your picture And send it to podcast at bulkloads.com, and we would love to feature it on here, but also, get it hopefully in our calendar for 2025. Awesome. With that said, here is my podcast with the late Bill Northey. Bill, thanks for coming on. Bill Northey [00:04:19]: Yvette. Great to be on, Jared. Jared Flinn [00:04:21]: Yeah. Well, thank you for being a, an avid podcast listener as well for the bulk of the podcast. Bill Northey [00:04:27]: Absolutely appreciate it. And and and it's one of those things that I'm fairly new to this role. We'll talk about some of those things, but I'm I'm learning a lot about, The the trucking business, and and, certainly enjoy hearing your podcast to be able to help get me So I'm better working with our members of the Agribusiness Association of Iowa. Jared Flinn [00:04:48]: Yeah. Well, let's rewind a little bit. Man, you have Quite the history, in the public service sector and, and with agriculture. You are you come from farming roots. Can you talk about that first? Bill Northey [00:05:02]: I do. I my grandparents on both sides were farmers and And, I actually started farming with my grandfather. I grew up on a farm. My dad was farming, and he and grandpa were working together. And then as he wanted to grow faster, So they separated and and continued to work in the same neighborhood together. When I graduated from Iowa State, I went back and started farming with my grandfather. Northwest Iowa, Spirit Lake, is a town, just east of Spirit Lake. And and, growing up, we've fed a lot of cattle, and and what a great way to grow up. Bill Northey [00:05:38]: Feeding cattle feed yard and all the stuff that goes into a making feed and And, showing steers and all those kinds of things. I didn't do very much of that when I went back to the farm myself, had a few cattle, few hogs, Mostly crops. And, and then I started getting involved off the farm. So Iowa Corn Growers Association, the local farm bureau. I just was with a group the other day, and I highly recommend that To anyone out there, find a way to get involved in your community, your business organization. You'll find great people. You'll learn so much. In in the middle of it, you'll Kinda grow into a more capable person that can do more good things for your own business, but Also, potentially, for the industry. Bill Northey [00:06:33]: And and so I went on the Iowa Corn Growers Board when I was in my twenties, around all these really smart bright people that I had all heard from and I didn't hold a candle to, And just learned a lot and really got involved, while still farming at home, and raised in a family. We have 3 daughters, that are now in their thirties, with 6 grandkids now, and Summit on the way, so it is it is absolutely awesome. And so that just really was a great training ground for me, Jerry. Jared Flinn [00:07:11]: Talk about if you can, Bill, because, again, you took kind of a, obviously, more of a path in the in the public service sector of that. What really drove you, to some of these roles? Because, again, yeah, with the Department of Ag, the National Corn Growers, some pretty big roles, in in agribusiness, what was really the motivation behind that, you know, versus going to the family farm? Bill Northey [00:07:36]: That's a great question. It wasn't strategic. It's not like I figured it all out, and that's what I wanted to do from From middle school or high school, I just really did enjoy getting around folks and figuring out how you could make a difference in the 19 eighties. And I will corn growers. We were looking at helping to create an ethanol industry, And, certainly looking at trade and and and farm policy and those kinds of things. It felt like to me That you could make a difference on the policy side. You could help build a market. You could watch an industry evolve where where a dry mill ethanol plant In the 19 eighties or early nineties were 3 or 5,000,000 gallons. Bill Northey [00:08:24]: Lot of technology came along, and Now we have them that are 250,000,000 gallon plants. And it was a lot of things that go into that. And to be a part of that, Again, it was a nonpaid volunteer kind of role, but around some really great people. And so I'd still go home. My Living was on the farm, but, just really enjoyed getting involved in that. Finally, the first Job that I actually have paid for essentially was was once I became secretary of agriculture in Iowa. So in 2005, I decided I was gonna run for secretary of agriculture in Iowa. It's an elected race. Bill Northey [00:09:09]: About a dozen states in the country, it's an elected position. And the balance of the states is at an appointed position by, Typically, by the governor or a board of agriculture. So in Iowa, you didn't have to know the governor personally to be able to run for office. You didn't have to know who the next governor was gonna be, to run for office. And and I did run-in 2006 It was elected in that fall in very tight race. All of the people of Iowa vote in that race. There are a 1,000,000 votes, And and I won by 25,000, which may sound like a lot, but it's not very many out of all those out of all those. And And I guess part of the reason I I got a good friend in Georgia, former commissioner back there that, does a speech now Talking about everybody ought to run for office at least once. Bill Northey [00:10:02]: And I think what a great idea. Because it It does teach you about democracy. You know, you you you you know that people only have a certain amount of time in their life, and that's not to think of your race all the time. You have to be relevant to them. You have to understand that, You know, the wave can overwhelm you. It it matters who your opponents are and how things run. And I think it appreciates democracy with all its warts. You know, not the best person doesn't always get elected. Bill Northey [00:10:37]: I'm not A 100% convinced I was the best person to get elected when I when I did. I I I'm still am very happy that I did, and others seem to think I was. So That was enough to get me elected anyway. I just think, participating in government, and that's one of those things I would have gotten Out of corn growers is a lack of fear of government, a real ability to engage it, make an impact, and not expect The world to revolve around your comments, but you can make a difference. And people our government works best when people participate. They have to know what's what's going wrong. They don't know your world. And if you're able to share that, You add to their knowledge so that they can make better decisions in government. Bill Northey [00:11:26]: That's the elected officials, and that's the folks that or appointed to office or long time career, folks in agencies. They need to know what's going on in the field. Some of them are really good at trying to figure that out, and some of them are just stuck behind their desk, and they really need help From somebody reaching out to tell them, you know, by the way, this isn't working the way you think it should work. And let's Let's talk about why that is. Now I'm not saying it's a wrong policy, but, you know, are you realizing that this is not working? So that's what really led me to run for office. And one of the really great things in Iowa is, You know, we get we just had, recently our our caucuses here in Iowa. So, typically, future presidents tromp around our state. Everybody gets to meet with them, so we have pretty good expectations of our politicians here. Bill Northey [00:12:26]: They need to get out and around. And in Iowa, we have something we call the full Grassley. That senator Grassley has visited 40 years now, I think. Every county, every year, coming home from Washington. We have 99 counties in Iowa. Man, I they sure should expect the secretary of ag to do that. And, that's exactly what I did too for my 11 years as secretary. And It's a wonderful thing to be able to get out and around and meet people, and let them know that you wanna hear from them later if if They send something's wrong or you can be helpful or even if something's going right. Bill Northey [00:13:05]: It's okay to get a hold of us if something's going right too. But That was a great experience for me. Jared Flinn [00:13:12]: Yeah. I was, so several years back, I got involved in Missouri Corn Growers Graham became a member. And, so, Christian County, Missouri where I live, I don't know if there's maybe 2 acres of corn planted. We're we're down here in the Ozarks, Bill Northey [00:13:27]: but I Jared Flinn [00:13:27]: I wanted to get involved up there for that reason, to learn more about, about government and Missouri government. And, you kinda hit the nail on the head. There is a little bit of a fear of, like, I have no idea how this works and Tyler Allison [00:13:40]: Yeah. Jared Flinn [00:13:41]: How government works. And, actually, it it Brought down that barrier of, like, going up to the capital and meeting with different legislators and realizing, wow, these are people just like me. And, and, yeah, I I think I love what you said about visiting all these counties. You know, the the 2 things I always, you know, Resound when you when you're talk when I think about employees, but about people who you are working for, you know, being a a a politician or legislator, People wanna be heard, and they wanna be noticed. You know? And if you can do that, you know, in your state, man, that's gonna make a difference. People that are allowed you know, where they can See and speak to you and and voice their concerns. Bill Northey [00:14:21]: I agree. I there are couple instances on both sides of that. So so I'd I went, with senator Grassley and several of his town hall meetings that he did. And and And after one of those, he came out and he said, you know, that 3rd person they mentioned, I don't remember what it was anymore. Something about some issue. And I heard that 3 other times in the last 2 weeks. And so this senator Grassley was gaining great Great knowledge about what was going on. He said, you know, we need to look into that. Bill Northey [00:14:54]: We need to understand if this is a bigger problem with it, something that I hadn't heard about. And so to me, that reinforced that it was valuable to the political person that was going out. If they'll actually listen and actually engaged. Now just check a box that I visited the county. And then one of the places, again, I don't remember where it was, Just a few months after I was on the job as secretary of ag, I visited some place. And they said, wonderful to have you here. You know, last Time we had a secretary of ag here was over 20 years ago, and at at that event and it And it hit me. They remembered a secretary of ag was there 20 years ago. Bill Northey [00:15:40]: This was that important to them. I can they had a wonderful event. I should validate their event just by showing up. I don't even have to be brilliant or anything. I don't even have to speak. I just Just show up. They should be acknowledged for the great event that they have. And so you are You gain something and you give something when you're able to do that. Bill Northey [00:16:03]: And and That has helped me in other roles after that when I didn't have the same number of things to be able to count. I spent a lot of time here at Agribusiness Association Going to our members' offices and sitting down and visit their facilities and learning and and and understanding Scanning what their new fertilizer shed is like or why they invested in a in a train load out or whether their grain all goes to an ethanol plant and those kinds of things. And I can have some of those conversations when they come to one of my meetings, but not the same as when I go to their place. Jared Flinn [00:16:42]: Yeah. When I went to Jeff City several years back, I got to meet the secretary of Ag from Missouri. But even learning just how big agriculture is in Missouri. I mean, I grew up on a farm and was an FFA, and but, I can remember just hearing some of these stats about, you know, being, I mean, in the top 5 in cow calf production and in in turkey production. But Bill, I'm gonna put you on the spot here, but, I mean, obviously, Iowa is a mega house for agriculture. You know, can you just I mean, what are some of the stats on agriculture in Iowa? And if you don't know them, that's fine. But, I mean, I mean, corn bug corn and bean production gotta be huge, but I'm sure another I mean, there's other parts of agriculture too. Bill Northey [00:17:29]: Yeah. We, You know, that's one of the fun things. You do get to know your state even more. And you you spend all this time preparing, and and then you Go out and you learn so much more than what you ever prepared for. I remember one time looking at, the corn Production numbers that were coming in. And, of course, Iowa's number 1 in corn production, and corn is the number 1 grown Crop in the in the US. It's also the number one crop in the world, so it's a pretty amazing thing to be that. And I started looking and hearing what other Countries produce. Bill Northey [00:18:04]: There's only 3 countries in the world that produce more corn than the state of Iowa. That's United States, That's China, and that's Brazil. The whole European Union combined produces about the same amount of corn as what Iowa produces. You take all the grain that's produced in Canada, wheat, barley, corn, Oats, you combine that, and it's about the same size pile as the pile of corn is in Iowa. It's just An amazing and again, even as an Iowa farmer, it was simply home. It wasn't that big a deal. I appreciate Iowa agriculture more. Now soybeans, Illinois is always number 1. Bill Northey [00:18:50]: We're number 2, but a huge pile. And, again, a small number of countries That produces much as what in Iowa or in Illinois produce. We produce more pigs in Iowa than any other state. Tyler Allison [00:19:02]: Yep. Bill Northey [00:19:03]: 22,000,000 pigs. We only have 3,000,000 people. So we have 7 pigs per person in Iowa. We're also the number one egg laying state. We have about 55,000,000 hens in Iowa. So, just short of of, 30 or of 2 of let's see. Let me get that number right. 3,000,000 people just short of 20, hens per person. Bill Northey [00:19:32]: So Yeah. A dozen and a half eggs every day for Every person in Iowa. So needless to say, they don't those don't all stay in Iowa. We don't we don't eat a dozen and a Jared Flinn [00:19:41]: half eggs. Bill Northey [00:19:43]: They get shipped all around. And, of course, a good sized beef production state, I think, 4th in, in in beef feeding. Not as big as as Missouri is in the cow calf business, but one of the bigger cow calf businesses out there too. So, You know, in Turkey, it just there are just so many good things. We're we're a top 10 dairy state. Just lots of things. And then with that, you gotta have all the things that my members here do. They gotta produce feed. Bill Northey [00:20:16]: They gotta buy corn. They gotta move it. We're number 1 in ethanol and biodiesel production, in the country as well. And, So all the things you need, the crop growing stuff has to get there. So the seeds and the fertilizer and the and the, Herbicides all need to get out to those farms too. I wish I knew what the tracking numbers were, But but, we certainly have for a state of just 3,000,000 people, we have an awful lot of trucks Run around in Iowa because we have a lot of things to haul. Definitely on and off the farm, but from our manufacturing plants and other things that we have in Iowa as well. Jared Flinn [00:20:58]: Yeah. Well, I know just for our platform bulk loads, I think Iowa is number, I think it's either 3rd or 4th in, memberships, trucking memberships for bull haulers and agriculture haulers. So it makes perfect sense with the production of, Tyler Allison [00:21:15]: Yeah. Jared Flinn [00:21:15]: Of agriculture in Iowa. Bill, I wanna turn a little bit and and talk about kinda your role. But just in a broad sense, Talk about the importance of organizations like yours, in the ag space because the we talked about it earlier about getting involved in in In some of these organizations, and, you know, there's a lot of people out there and maybe small farmers or small agribusiness, or maybe you're in ag, but not in involved in that. But talk about the importance of being involved in some of these organizations and and what difference that can make. Bill Northey [00:21:50]: I I think it's huge, Jared. I think it's a great question because I I think that it's pretty easy to stay really busy at home And just say, why do I need to pay that 50 or 500 or $5,000 to somebody that That I don't know what they do. And and yet, I think even if you simply are a member And get the newsletters and keep up on the information and get a chance to know the person who's sitting on a board or a committee and be able to share something with them that Helps them understand what the issues are in your industry, whatever that is. There's there's industry associations for everything. So at at USGA, I was in a place where we had farm programs and conservation programs and crop insurance. And I I gotta see all kinds of organizations I never knew existed. I I didn't know there was a US YACC organization. They came to us talking about, the COVID relief program. Bill Northey [00:22:56]: And and, of course, there's organizations out there. If you haven't heard of them, it may be that You just haven't connected with them, but there are organizations. And for me, they were hugely helpful both in my role at the state secretary of ag As well as at USDA to come in and share those issues. I don't have a chance to meet with everybody. Even if you travel around, I'm not meeting with everybody involved in agriculture. Even if I get to 99 counties in a year and I get to lots of other events, They can come in and say these are our priorities. These are the things that are impacting our members most, And they even help when the members may be impacted differently in different segments of the industry, maybe different locations, and Southern Iowa corn farmer versus a northern Iowa corn farmer. Somebody close to an ethanol plant or somebody farther away. Bill Northey [00:23:53]: They could share, This is the area where that is most important. And so we're in favor of this policy because It is the best for corn growers generally or cotton growers or others. And so it's Hugely helpful to people that are in office. It also then allows you as an office holder to reach back out and say, hey. I've got a question about Growing potatoes in Maine. I got to know Maine folks. And so tell me, is that gonna be the same issue as the Idaho folks on this? Or is it different, and why is it different? And so those organizations are real resources for folks, that are in government, especially. But even folks in other industries. Bill Northey [00:24:41]: We do a lot of work with other associations, to talk through what our challenges are. In Iowa, we we have an Iowa Motor Truck Association. Great organization. They help lead an effort On liability protection for truck drivers, and, of course, we're all over supporting that, and they helped lead that. And In in others, organizations did that. We probably wouldn't have been that that's a huge priority for us, But we have a lot of other things we're working on. They could lead that, and we could be supportive of it. And so Those are things that are really valuable as organizations when you're able to work together too. Bill Northey [00:25:26]: Personally, it was a great place to grow And connect in some of my best friends or people I met in corn growers. I just saw one of them again, you know, 30 years ago, 40 years ago. And friends that you get all over the state or all over the country because of that, it's a really rewarding Kind of thing personally in addition to the professionally, it's an important thing to do. Jared Flinn [00:25:53]: Yeah. Bill, can you talk just in you know, With what's been going on over the past couple years, but even looking into 2024 and 25, what are some of the issues right now, maybe kind of the Kinda front and center, in specifically in the Agribusiness Association with Iowa, some of the topics or or, issues that the that you guys are addressing with the organization members. Bill Northey [00:26:18]: So for for our members, they're always They're always interested in the profitability of a farmer. Farmers aren't profitable. It complicates their world a lot. They're not gonna be buying the products. They're gonna be harder to get paid, all kinds of things. So Yeah. We're very interested in that, interested in a farm bill. It's not something that Impacts our members directly, but indirectly, it's a pretty big deal. Bill Northey [00:26:43]: So if prices of commodities start to drift lower, That makes our folks nervous. We've had good crops in spite of some dry weather. That makes our people feel good. So that profitability, the producer is important. On the government side, we've we've seen a Regulations come at us from lots of different ways. From EPA, looking at herbicide strategy, which would restrict the ability to use some of our herbicides in all of the fields. We'd have to skip buffers. We have to Comply with conservation practices just to use what's a label amount. Bill Northey [00:27:24]: It adds confusion between the farmer and An applicator, of what's available. It's been slow to get some of the new products registered. There's a lot of confusion out there about biologicals and the different products products that are coming there. New technology is wonderful. We want it. In some cases, coming so darn fast, it's hard to keep track of it. You know? Should you buy a drone to spray, or should you use a biological? Or, You know, what are the different things? Maybe it's a planner attachment that is actually gonna make you more money. How do you sort through all those things at the same time. Bill Northey [00:28:03]: And our members are doing that, but they're trying to help their you know, many of our members are cooperatives or their their privates that are dealing With farmers that are overwhelmed, by all that decision making that's going on. On the trucking side, certainly people. And in getting truckers, it's also people for, our our retailers out there. We have some of them using h To a program now, bringing in employees. Not typically putting them in a truck, because they have to have English proficiency to be able to do that. A few folks are if they're coming in from South Africa or other places. But, typically, at least freeing up Some people to do other things in their businesses because they're able to get some help, for part of the year around a crop growing enterprise. So people is definitely a a challenge. Bill Northey [00:29:05]: And we have folks that are not Making investments because they don't have people to man those new enterprises. And they'd love to be able to grow, and they're holding back on that growth, because they don't know where they're gonna get the people to man that new enterprise. We actually I mentioned drones. We have some of our folks that are absolutely looking at drones for spraying. Drones for For, you know, looking at crops, scouting crops, but also looking at them for spraying. And The drones have gotten bigger. We'll have a session at our our at our annual meeting on what to think about for drones, you know, the FAA regulations, the The, the insurance concerns, and how do you make sure you don't hit an airplane that's also up spraying at the same time. So Okay. Bill Northey [00:29:58]: Those technology pieces are coming fast and furious at everybody right now, and they're real opportunities. But But you don't have money enough to buy everything that that that sounds interesting. Jared Flinn [00:30:11]: Yeah. Can you talk about maybe just in the past, year 2, any of the any big wins that the associations had or or big topics that you guys have had that's been a win for The members of the association? Bill Northey [00:30:25]: So, we do a lot with our other ag organizations here in Iowa, and our Focuses mostly on state policy. Certainly, we're very pleased to be able to have that, that limitation on liability for our truckers, we didn't lead that, though. We're just supportive of others that led that. Jared Flinn [00:30:45]: Yep. Bill Northey [00:30:46]: There's been some other reduction in property or in some property tax or some excise tax That that impacted our members too. And we partner with the Iowa Institute of Co ops in being able to address some of those issues. We do some work as well with DOT, and the Iowa Department of Transportation has Implemented, a all systems overweight here, which allows people to buy a permit, And run on most of the roads in Iowa, not the interstates, but most of the roads in Iowa, with Overweight. About 12% overweight, compared to what it would be without that permit. And I we worked with the DOT on How to make more roads available. And, of course, a lot of other folks were working on this too, but it's become a lot more usable For our members and others because of the things that that we all have done together. We have one coming up, Probably this session, that that is a central filing issue when when farmers have liens, On their products, do we need to if if if the folks that that have the liens that have lent mark farmers money, want a 2 party check, then our members have to write a 2 party check for the corn that they buy or other things. And we want that to be as easy as possible. Bill Northey [00:32:18]: And One of the changes that's being talked about would not be easy for our folks. So, right now, we don't have that wind in the In the backpack yet, but, but we think we're on our way to making sure it doesn't get worse. So There's pieces. We also then do a lot of work with our national association. So we, we were just on a call this, today, earlier with Ag Retailers Association, CropLife is the the, the the chemical companies of the, we'll have the Fertilizer Institute CEO at our annual meeting, in February. ARA, Ag Retailers CEO will be there as well as National Grain and Feed, CEO. So those folks all Share with our members. We support some of their efforts, to be able to minimize the negative impact of the Federal government on issues. Bill Northey [00:33:15]: Again, we don't typically lead those. We're supportive of those with the other states. And so, those are things that get definitely some of our bandwidth here and and our members' attention too. Jared Flinn [00:33:32]: I wanna move in, and we'll kinda, land the plane on this one, but talk specifically about the the association. You know, we represent a a huge group, you know, over 7,000 members on our Vocolates platform. Wonderful. Most of them trucking companies. And, again, a lot of them based up there in Iowa. For those companies that that wanna get more involved just in in helping, Would you recommend them getting involved in the Agribusiness Association of Iowa, or or are there other organizations specific to trucking they should? Where how would you guide them to take the next steps getting involved? Bill Northey [00:34:08]: Well, there is a great organization called Iowa Motor Truck, And they represent both, local short haulers as well as a you know, we have a More than our share are some good national carriers here in Iowa too. They're a big part of that organization, so certainly recommend that. But we would love if they have any kind of touch at all in agriculture, work with ag folks to have them involved here at Agribusiness Association too. So, And and if there's folks in other states, I know my counterparts in those states would love to have folks reach out To their agribusiness association or some states. So agribusiness in Iowa was created when Iowa Grain and Feed And Iowa Fertilizer and Chemical Associations came together. In some states, they're still separate. In some states, they're together. In in Missouri, it's Moag. Bill Northey [00:35:04]: And and Kansas has them still separate, but they're operated out of the same office. So every state's a little different, but there'll be people there that that, you know, if you're hauling grain, there's all there's an organization everywhere you go that is Working with those grain haulers and and the ag, businesses in those state. Typically, a feed and grain or an agribusiness So I think it's really helpful. Someday, I've been here about a year and a half. Someday, we're gonna get figured out How many trucks we have across our members, so that, we we get really good participation with our Iowa DOT. The director's been in our office half a dozen times, and we get up there. And so we have a good connection, but I think it's important for Everybody to know that we represent likely many thousands of trucks in in our members businesses, and that trucking regs are impact people different. If you got a 5 person operation or, You know, 150 truck or you contract them or you own them, they're all different. Bill Northey [00:36:17]: And so sometimes, somebody doing something Makes a lot of sense for a lot of people, may negatively impact somebody else. And we're better off knowing More people's experience, so that we can represent everybody a little bit better. Jared Flinn [00:36:35]: Yeah. Yeah. You're exactly right. With the, Agribusiness Association of Iowa, talk about what that looks like as a member. I know you Earlier, you're talking about, different meetings and events and stuff like that. But, just kinda high level, what what is someone expecting when they become a member in Iowa Agribusiness Bill Northey [00:36:55]: So we about have about a 180 companies. About half of those are ag retailers. So they are grain elevators, agronomy providers, folks that are working with farmers every day, either selling them fertilizer or herbicides or spraying form or buying, their corn and soybeans from them or grinding feed, those kinds of things. The other, half is split into those that provide, you know, the the the bigger services to them. They're re they're wholesalers. They're providing chemistry, herbicides or fertilizer or other products to those grain elevators. Sometimes they're building facilities for them, Other things like that or their their accountants or commodity brokers or others that are providing services. I would say most Come originally to Agribusiness Association of Iowa for for the government impact, you know, that we can Get a hold of a DOT on an issue. Bill Northey [00:38:00]: We we have folks that come to us because they have a regulatory issue with one of the state agencies. Maybe it's siding a fertilizer facility and and and they believe they're not being treated right, and we can engage with that and say to those agencies that, you know, you're gonna impact a lot of people if you do it this way. But you're gonna be just as safe or safer if you do it that way, And it'll cost a lot less to implement that, and you'll get more people modernizing and investing in their facilities if you do it that way. But I would say they mostly stay because of that ability to work with others in their industry, that networking. That meeting that we have in, like, in, in February is is about, folks Being able to get together, it's certainly about folks learning about new things that are going on too, and how folks are handling Either new government issues or new technologies or those kinds of things. So they do I I had a banker Friend the other day that's a member here, and they say he comes to learn. Learn about what's next. And so part of our job is to be able to get that in front of folks, whether it's spraying with drones or other things like that, biological products. Bill Northey [00:39:19]: We should be able to help our folks, and we should be doing that. And I think that's what keeps people here as well as Being able to know others in the industry, and they're sitting beside each other at lunch at one of our meetings, they decide, you know what? I think we could work together on a project here, as well as they just learn from each other and and the enjoyment of getting to know More of what's going on in our industry. Jared Flinn [00:39:44]: Yeah. Well, they always say your, your net worth or your network is your net worth. Right? I mean, yeah, Being able to network, and, yeah, we're we're getting ready to have a conference coming up, in in April, but it's for that exact reason, bringing Like minded people together and and solving some of these industry issues and and hopefully bringing them together. Bill, I have thoroughly enjoyed this conversation. Man, I can just tell by speaking with you, you have a servant's heart, I mean, in in your years, in the public sector and even what you're doing now. So I just wanna say it's it's it's an honor to be talking with someone like you and someone to have a passion for agriculture. You know, I I always say I've been blessed to To be in the businesses that I have in agriculture and use agriculture as a vehicle, you know, to fuel my passion, and I could tell you're doing the same, with what you're doing, with the Agribusiness Association of Iowa. So, man, I just, thank you again for for coming on the podcast. Bill Northey [00:40:43]: I appreciate it. Thank you for for reaching out. Thank you for having it on. Thank you for the many hours that I get to listen to you as well and learn. And, certainly, thanks to everybody out there who works with you and does such a great job in this industry. We are blessed, as you said, to be in an industry with some of the greatest people. And that network sometimes really valuable for the business that it can bring And the things that it can do to make everybody better, but it's really a very enjoyable part of life too. Right? The The people that we get to know over time. Bill Northey [00:41:21]: So appreciate it, Jared. Thank you. Jared Flinn [00:41:24]: So, Tyler, I said before we started the show, Bill's daughter, Katie, reached out to me just recently, and it was, really cool. So after the podcast, I went ahead. Bill talked about his, 6 granddaughters on the show, and I wanted to surprise him. So I actually, wrote him a letter and put 3 of our semi Sam books, which here and, sent them to him. And his daughter reached out to me and said, hey. Thank you so much. We received the books And the kind note, and we actually put the books in the memorabilia Wow. At his visitation. Tyler Allison [00:42:04]: That's cool. Jared Flinn [00:42:04]: And, Joe, he can put the, if you put the photo up here but, yeah, here's a display of the books. And I'm not doing this for semi Sam's sake, but, like, I thought, like, wow. I just, You know, just had this conversation with him and the timing of this, and then they use the books. Tyler Allison [00:42:19]: Yeah. I think it ties really well into and I think that's what his I was trying to do is just kinda show off, how much Bill loved and advocated for agriculture. And I think these books just show, You know, just his passion and and how he was teaching the next generation, and his granddaughters, just The, agriculture trucking side. But, Joe is also going to link his obituary, in the show notes that you can go and read, just kind of about his life. But, yeah, Jared, if you wanna go ahead and share some of what his daughters, told you. Jared Flinn [00:42:53]: Yeah. So Katie Matson, is her Came, and she'd reached out. And, this was actually a post that she put out there. I don't wanna read this post. This wasn't to me, but, This is what she wrote about her dad. And I'll say this even before I read this. Like, this is something I know I'm older than you, But, I I read this, and then, like, this is what I wanna strive to be when I depart from this earth, and with these accomplishments. I know many of you all have probably listened to this podcast probably can resonate with this. Jared Flinn [00:43:22]: So I'll try to do this without a dry eye. If I do, take Continue reading. So but he says, but Katie wrote this. She said, yesterday, we buried my father. I still struggle to believe that This isn't a bad dream. Dad was an extraordinary man. He was a 4th generation farmer who was passionate about conservation. He was a politician who beloved who was beloved by people in both parties. Jared Flinn [00:43:52]: He was an incredibly diligent worker, often the first one and the last one out. He was a dedicated Iowa Seder who planned to start a scholarship Open doors for the younger people in agriculture. He was a masterful communicator, regularly writing and delivering heartfelt and intelligent speeches. Is he was a caring, visionary, and incredibly skilled boss. He cared about all taking notice of those In the back of the room and those in supporting roles, learning their names and stories, still remembering them decades later. He was one of the busiest people I knew, but you never felt it with him as he was always fully present with you. He was quietly mentored, or he quietly mentored countless people. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, Son and brother. Jared Flinn [00:44:47]: His face lit up with playing with his grandchildren at family events and made sure he would sit with the kids table calling him little Billy. This past week, I've heard and read countless stories about how he cared for others, helped them, and made them feel special. He looked up to I've looked up to him my whole life and found myself even more awestruck by the life and character as I learned more of what he quietly did for others. I desperately want to follow in his same footsteps to have his courage, his listening, his care for others, his work ethic, His way with people, his leadership skills, his communication skills, his presence in every conversation, I wish I could leave as large of an impact on the world as he did, yet I know I will never be exactly who my father was, and he wouldn't want me to Be, or try. He loved each one of us girls. We're we are the people we are today because of him and our mother. None of us are agricultural politicians, but we'll forever embody different aspects of him, and we will seek to honor his memory. I still hear his gentle voice as he leaned in to hug me and say, love you, my girl, and we'd love you, Dad, we miss you. Jared Flinn [00:46:08]: So Tyler Allison [00:46:09]: that was wonderfully written. Jared Flinn [00:46:10]: Yeah. Yeah. So, Katie, I guess I didn't for your permission, but, hopefully, you don't mind me sharing that. I think that was just, man, a great, written testament of kind of who Bill was, And that and, like I said, hopefully, listening to Bill in the show or in the previous show, you can tell that as well. Tyler Allison [00:46:30]: Yeah. Yeah. Definitely sad situation, but, I think it shows that, you know, every day, you know, it's just, the blue. It's unexpected, and our life here on Earth is limited. So just make every day lead with kindness, and just make every day, a positive day. Jared Flinn [00:46:51]: Yeah. Yeah. I I just look back. I mean, man, we go through the same struggles in life, and there's the same Challenges every day, but, man, the impact that you can have on other people, big or small, can pay dividends. You don't know when people are watching and booking. So, yeah, take every day for granted for sure. So, Bill, man, we know you're in heaven, and, man, can't wait To see you down the road when we're there as well. Yep. Jared Flinn [00:47:16]: So, before we close out of here, just a kind of a a couple quick things. The conference is coming up. It is. It is getting really, really close. Make sure and get your tickets bought. I know we say that every podcast, but, man, you don't wanna miss this. We've gotten a couple more sponsorships. We've got, some more lineups, more guest speakers, and, man, this is gonna be Awesome. Tyler Allison [00:47:38]: Yeah. We've had a couple people reach out to us and say that they don't know if they're gonna make it simply because they can't step away from their work, their day to day operations. They may be a 1 or 2 man company. We totally understand that. And this year, we have actually Set up. We'll have in the conference area, set up specific tables and workstations. That way you can actually Step out of the conference, and we'll actually have dedicated breaks for this. But you can go to that table, and you can actually get some work done. Tyler Allison [00:48:07]: We understand in this industry that The wheels never stop, turning, and we know that, the business never stops. So we want you guys there to grow your business, Take in all the knowledge, but also we know that you still have to work, during the day. Jared Flinn [00:48:20]: The last thing I'll say is you can't afford not to come. Yes. And the businesses even last year that were in attendance and where they are today, I mean, they're 10 x ing it. Yep. And, man, we want you to 10 x it as well. Think sometimes you don't you don't think you can get out of where you are. We can help, and others can help that are gonna be at this conference. So make sure Playing on it April 26th through 28th. Jared Flinn [00:48:43]: Go to bulk freight conference.com. Get your tickets right now. Yep. So awesome. Anything else before we close-up? Tyler Allison [00:48:49]: Jared, you know, 72% of our, viewers on YouTube are not actually subscribed to our channel. Jared Flinn [00:48:54]: Oh, yeah. Tyler Allison [00:48:54]: Yeah. So What we're gonna ask for you right now is if you can, Jared, you're gonna point to it right there. There's going to Jared Flinn [00:49:01]: be a little Yeah. Right here. Tyler Allison [00:49:03]: A, subscriber right corner. Notification there. If you Click that. It'll subscribe you to this channel. That way you can be notified of all the content that we put out. But also, Jared, you do all these podcasts, for our members and for the community simply to give them knowledge of how to grow their trucking business, and just tools and resources in the industry, we don't ask anything of you guys besides if you could just subscribe and help this channel. Jared Flinn [00:49:26]: Yeah. And this this show especially probably reaches more than just the broader trucking community. So, we do push out A lot of content, even nontrucking, but even just business wise. So, man, if you're listening to this for the 1st time, make sure to hit subscribe. I guarantee there's gonna be other shows that you're gonna wanna tune into. Yep. So awesome. Last but not least, we always close out in prayer. Jared Flinn [00:49:47]: Before we close out in prayer, we do have a prayer email. It's prayer at bulk close.com, And we have heard stories of people that are having, there's cancers. There are different surgeries that people are having, health concerns, family issues, we are praying for all of you. If you have any of that, we serve a large God Yep. And an infinite God. And sometimes we don't think that he listens or cares, but he does. That's why we pray and we petition these to the lord. These are ones that we take serious. Jared Flinn [00:50:19]: We don't do it to glorify ourselves. We do do the glory for God, and we wanna pray for you. So if there is something out there, even small, And you think small, let us pray for you. We wanna be there. So awesome. Tyler Allison [00:50:32]: Well, if Jared Flinn [00:50:32]: you don't mind, I'll go ahead and close this out in in prayer. Father god, first and foremost, we thank you for this day. But lord, thank you for the introduction of Bill Northey And, just the life that he lived, on this earth and the people that he Impacted in the difference that he made. Lord, we don't understand your timing, and sometimes that's hard. But, lord, we know that you are in control, and, lord, that you have plans for each and every one of us, lord. So, lord, we give this up to you. Lord, thank you for Bill. Lord, do we still are we praying for his family at this time, as we know that there's still hurt And mourning in this process, lord, so we lift them up. Jared Flinn [00:51:21]: Lord, I thank you for the opportunities that you give us every day. Lord, thank you for The bulk loads community, the broader trucking and agricultural community as well, lord. Thank you for these opportunities that you give us and the reminders, that this Time on earth is so short and so precious. So, god, we thank you very much, and, in everything that you do. Thank you as always for listening to the Bulk Loads podcast,