GFP025: Business first family or family first farm business with Jolene Brown

It can be awkward, weird, tough, and uncomfortable to mix family and business. It can also be great. Any which way you do it you need to get everything in writing, and keep all the details straight.

I will be the first to admit, Kate and I have not been as up on this as we should be. There is a lot we have talked about, but we haven't been so good about putting it down on paper. I find in general getting things down on paper when times are good gives you something to fall back on when times are bad. Even if it just an answer to the question, "Why did we even do this in the first place?"

In this farm podcast you will learn:

  • How to hire and fire your own children
  • How to prepare for when someone kicks the bucket
  • Tools for productive meetings
  • The "deadly Ds"
  • Educating not humiliating, building bridges
  • Why someone else is not always the problem
  • Preparing for bad times during the good times

Interview with Jolene Brown Iowa grain farmer and professional speaker

jolene brown

Jolene Brown will have you laughing while you learn! She’s an award winning communicator, and an honored recipient of the Certified Speaking Professional, the highest earned designation of speaking achievement worldwide! She's known as a Champion for Agriculture whether from the platform, in the magazines, on television, or on the radio.

She is a walking-talking spokesperson and consultant for the family-owned business. With her keen insight and result-centered approach, she's been invited to sit at lots of kitchen tables and family business meeting rooms. Jolene has learned what works and what doesn't. She understands the unique challenges facing parents, siblings, in-laws and "outlaws" who work together. Jolene's popular book, Sometimes You Need More Than a 2x4!, contains how-to-tips so those in agriculture can increase productivity, profitability and peace of mind.

As co-owner and active partner on their Eastern Iowa corn and soybean farm, her practical experience includes plugging a grain auger, hypnotizing chickens and entertaining folks behind the equipment parts counter.

Jolene cares deeply about the ag industry and is on a mission to share leading-edge best practices.  She's a passionate supporter, promoter and champion for the people who feed, clothe and fuel the world.

Her worldwide audiences appreciate her fun-filled humor and real-life stories.  They leave with take home value, great big smiles on their faces and eager to return for more.

Items mentioned in this farm podcast include:

Take aways:

Do you have a plan in case the worst happens?

How does your family function as a business? Have you detailed it in writing?


My skills are ever-evolving as an interviewer. Thanks for taking the time to listen in, and let me know what you think. You can leave a comment below, send me an e-mail, reach me on Facebook or Twitter, or leave a 5 star rating in iTunes if you liked the show.