AMES, Iowa ― A new educational video designed to offer insight and support to agriculture and conservation professionals interested in private consulting is now available from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The video was created to provide information and build the skills of those who are at the beginning of their career as a consultant.
The 28-minute video features Joe Lally, a registered Technical Service Provider and Certified Crop Advisor from Denison, Iowa. Lally, who began a career in private consulting in the 1990s helping hog farmers create manure management plans before spending 13 years working with the Heartland Water Quality Project at Iowa State, discusses important business elements of agriculture and conservation consulting.
Lally shares the importance of having confidence and expertise in your areas to successfully enter the business of private consulting.
“It takes time to get there,” Lally said. “You must have a pretty broad experience at incorporating conservation with both fundamental and mainstream agriculture and making those features work for each different client.”
Lally discusses the ins and outs of running a consulting business, including the pricing of services, scheduling and managing employees. He also addresses the challenges associated with transitioning from a career in industry to one in consulting. Lally shares his first-hand experiences gaining credibility and building professional networks, including when and how to reach out to specialists like attorneys, bankers and feed nutritionists.
Nancy Grudens-Schuck, associate professor in agricultural education and studies at Iowa State, interviewed Lally in the video as part of the Become a Prairie Strips Consultant Project, which was supported by the McKnight Foundation and ISU Extension and Outreach.