Farming plus consulting = connections for John Buck


NEW BLOOMINGTON, Ohio — He manages a well-kept, 700-acre grain farm in Ohio’s Marion County. But the profession for which John Buck is best known is helping other farmers and businesses.

Buck, 42, is owner of TurnKey Leadership Group, which helps provide professional guidance to farmers and other small businesses. He also gives speeches and keynotes special meetings.

He holds an ag education and animal sciences degree from Ohio State University. One day, he could be advising someone on buying more acres; another day it could be a business expansion, or delivering a speech.

As a farmer himself, Buck knows how to give sound farm advice. But he admits that a lot of his job is helping people understand their challenges, and putting them in touch with the right people.

“I might not be the specialist in it by any means and most people aren’t in (everything), but I probably know somebody who is,” he said.

Experienced farmer

Buck said his own farm provides his foundation, because when he advises a farmer about what to do, he’s most likely been there himself.

“As a farmer, I am also somebody who has lived it, breathed it and done it,” he said.

Buck’s work has him traveling the country, as well as other countries, but his own community and neighboring counties are the hub for much of his work. He has a wide range of agriculture within a 50-mile radius. There’s an ethanol plant in nearby Marion called POET, at least one large commercial dairy farm, a major feed mill called Kalmbach Feeds, and there are large flat fields seemingly everywhere.

“We have everything we can throw at them right here in this area,” he said.

Leadership Ohio

He recently organized a tour of local agribusinesses and ag leaders in Marion County called the Leadership Ohio Ag Weekend. The two-day event, Oct. 12-13, featured everything from crop insurance representatives, to conservation and modern livestock farms.

He receives communications help from Cassaundra Dietrich, an Ohio State University ag communications graduate, and he gets additional help from his fiance, Emily Rhoades, who teaches ag communications at OSU.

Buck’s high school agriculture education teacher, Brad Moffitt, said Buck has a professional understanding of agriculture and its biggest players.

“When it comes to technical agriculture, he is a phenomenal resource person,” said Moffitt, who currently is director of membership and market development for Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association. “He knows the latest and greatest in agriculture. And he complements that by being a great leader. His passion for agriculture is unmatched.”

Buck also consults “green” companies and helps farmers and golf course managers develop more green and renewable ways of doing business. He is a representative for Nutek Green, a company that promotes and sells green cleaning agents and lubricants for industrial use. Some of the products are developed from agricultural products, like soybeans.

Although Buck juggles many business ventures, he says they’re “all tied together” and work for the good of agriculture and business development.

And he’s still learning from other leaders about what it takes.

“Just because I’m in leadership development doesn’t mean I know it all,” he said. “You’ve constantly got to go and get refreshed.”

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