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Absorb Lessons From A Farmer Who’s Traveled To 16 Countries To Study Agriculture

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Archie Griffin’s passport book would be the envy of any jetsetter. In two years, he visited farms 16 countries — all with the goal of bringing new ideas to his Washington, N.C., tobacco, corn, soybeans and wheat operation.

Griffin was a 2018 Nuffield Scholar, which is an international program that started in 1947. Although it is still gaining traction in the U.S., the Nuffield International Farming Scholars program is an elite opportunity for producers across the globe. Each class of up to 85 farmers and ag professionals embarks on an international journey to study key issues and develop a worldwide network.

Mayberry will speak at the 2021 Top Producer Summit, which takes place Feb. 15-17 in Nashville. A recording of his session will be available for on-demand viewing during the online Top Producer Summit, Feb. 23-25. Register now!

Griffin serves as vice president of Griffin Farms, which produces tobacco, corn, soybeans and wheat. He used his scholarship to study how farms can find success if their primary products are facing declining consumption, value and profit margins. 

Griffin visits with AgriTalk Host Chip Flory:

“It’s not until you step outside your comfort zone that you truly begin to grow, change and do things differently,” he says. “What I’ve learned through this program is just amazing.”

Griffin returned to his family’s operation in 2012—the height of the commodity boom. 

“As prices started going down, all I heard was this is the time to tighten your belts. Agriculture is cyclical,” he recalls. “Part of me being young and naïve, I didn’t want to believe all of that. I set out looking at how to grow during uncertain times. I specifically looked at transformative production practices to optimize farm resources and markets.”

During his international farm visits, he discussed finance and budgets with farmers, looking for common threads and innovative ideas. He even spent a month living in a tent in Africa and shadowing local producers.

Now, Griffin shares those lessons he learned with other farmers. 

“I want to help other farmers benefit from what I learned during my experience,” he says.

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