Ron Curran Creativity, accomplishment & results
Some AccomplishmentsOn the following pages, I included examples of my productdevelopment, communications and training accomplishments. I alsoincluded what others say about my work.
AgSource Cooperative Services Report Development I was Manager of Market Development for ten years. Following are some accomplishments.
AgSource provides DHI information toapproximately 4,000 dairy producers. Part of myposition involved developing new reports forthem.My focus was to move away from the traditionalpractice of just providing numbers and insteadconsolidate numbers into easy to use decisionmaking tools.
When margins arelow, producers often focuson cutting expenses. TheProfit Opportunity Analyzer®identifies and quantifiesuntapped income sourcesthat are far bigger profitopportunities. The report is agreat example of productdifferentiation resulting inless customer pricesensitivity.The Profit OpportunityAnalyzer is AgSource’shighest value report. Iconceptualized, developedand programmed it.
The Fresh Cow , Herd and Udder Health Management SummariesI led the formation of a collaborative partnership with the University of WisconsinSchool of Veterinary Medicine. With their help, we developed these reports. TheFresh Cow Summary contains the patented Transition Cow Index® that is owned bythe Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). I managed the license AgSourcehas with WARF for five years.
Herd Report CardI conceptualized this reportand developed theprototype. We teamed withthe School of VeterinaryMedicine staff, improved itand made the Herd ReportCard the most popularoptional report in AgSource’shistory.As with all other AgSourceDHI reports, I developed allthe training, marketing andweb based materials. I alsoconduced Webinars.I led staff training,developed training materialsfor others to use andanswered all problemrelated phone calls .
Bou-Matic Product Development I was the Product Manager of Automation products for three years. These productsincluded their total information management system.
Listening to customers, I learned Bou-Matic’s biggest competitivedisadvantage was identificationinaccuracy. Working with the top flightengineers I managed, we developedSmart ID™. This technology turned thecompany’s biggest disadvantage intotheir most effective selling point.
While at Bou-Matic, I led development of the Signature Series Detachers (SSD). Much of theirsales success was due to my research of competitive products prior to development andsetting the design and cost specifications so the SSD’s would be market leaders. I also set theprice points so dealers could upsell to the highest margin 4400 unit.
The Companion Detacher was aproduct in development when Istarted at Bou-Matic. I resisted“feature creep” pressure anddelivered the product customerswanted. This unit maintained aNorth American market shareover 45% in its category while Iwas at Bou-Matic.
Trade Magazine and Newspaper Articles I Have Written
Agri-View columnsIn 1995 the agricultural press wasin a populist negativity funk.Wisconsin’s agriculture was in themidst of change and everyonefrom the government, to theGreen Bay Cheese Exchange tosuccessful expanding producerswere blamed.Someone needed to speak outabout the positives and correctthe false paradigms that enabledmany producers to externalizetheir problems. Since no one elsestepped up, I submitted somecolumns and the next thing Iknew, I was on a two yearadventure of changingperceptions.
Effective communication isessential in today’s marketplace. “Say what you meanand mean what you say” aremy writing guidelines. I can use my writing skills toget my employer’s sellingpoints in front of the public, asin this recent article.The next slide is an article Icollaborated on with twoGenex employees.
Bachelor Level Courses TaughtMacro, Micro and International Business Economics
I taught night classes at Teacher Evaluation CommentsUpper Iowa University(UIU) from 1999 to 2001. “Ron is very good at teaching theUIU has very diverse Introduction to Macroeconomics.students. His style is different but life changing.”Most of my experience “Ron really had a lot to offer thehas been working with class with all his experience.”farmers. UIU gave me theopportunity to teach to a “Ron, you do a great job ofcompletely different explaining complex topics andaudience. As the issues. Thank you for teaching youevaluations point out, I are one of the best teachers atwas able to communicate UIU.”on terms they could relateto.
“Great slides. Great real worldexamples. Made topic very Finishing up an economicsinteresting. Thanks.” class at 9:00 PM with students who had already“Very personable with put in a full day of workstudents, made learning fun – was challenging but fun.interesting – Great class.” For the first week or two,“Outstanding teacher, one of we used the assigned text(the) best I had at UIU. Great book. Then we went "realsense of humor. Made class world". We used current articles in the New Yorkfun. Made information very Times and Wall Streetpractical, this much Journal for theirappreciated.” assignments.“Outstanding teacher,humorous. Engages group.Loved his classes.”
“Ron is the best teacher I’ve had in a yearSelling ideas and selling and a half of class. I learned more from hisproducts requires the class than I expected to.”same skill sets and “Ron is a great instructor. I enjoy takingdedication. classes with him. He shows great enthusiasm in teaching.”Ive been successful in “Great instructor.”marketing and in teaching “Well prepared, very enjoyable class.”because I truly enjoy “Ron is an excellent instructor.”working with and helpingpeople. Im willing to “Ron was a great teacher. We are sad toexpend the effort that it see him go. “takes to go from good to “Ron Rocks – it will be a big loss to Upperwhat some students Iowa – he is a teacher that teaches aboutdescribed as "Great”. the here and now. Thanks Ron.”
Farm Business and Production Management classes taught to adult producers
I taught adult Farm Teacher Evaluation CommentsBusiness and “Ron is articulate, knowledgeable, accurateProduction and concerned about his students”Management classes “Very informative and full of new ideas. Veryto farmers in Oconto, up to date.”Marinette and “I learned much and enjoyed the class.”Florence Counties.This was a terrific “I like that Ron will get the answers toprogram that questions promptly and also shared questions and their answers with other classes. It adds acombined class room lot to the normal prepared material.”with on-farmeducation. “The course was up to date and informational.”I changed the focus of “Very informative. Balanced ration alreadythe program from showing results in milk tank. Very informative and current. Helps decide what information istopics like dehorning correct.”calves tomanagement.
“Very informative and up to date.Excellent teacher and materials.” The NWTC Farm“Ron is a very good teacher. He goes out Business Managementof his way to help the students in his class. Program used 17 year oldAlso, he brings other topics up in his class materials on a rotatingat various times that are useful in our basis (soils, dairyfarm operations.” nutrition, farm“Excellent. Many new ideas were management andpresented to us.” facilities).“I feel the course is getting better everyyear. Ron puts a lot into answering all That just wasnt going toquestions even if not on the current work for me. I put in manysubject matter.“ late nights rewriting all the“Very interesting and current. Ron is very materials I used. Myknowledgeable of new things and always students appreciated thegets you the answers to your questions.” effort and that was what mattered.
Wisconsins VTAE system has “Very practical informationsome excellent teaching presented in an interestingprograms I took advantage of. manner.”One I incorporated in my “I learned so much from Ron. He isteaching was an excellent teacher.”"Outcome/Competency Based “I like the Update and new ideas.”Teaching". “Everything was real interesting and I learned a lot. The farm toursIn the first class, the syllabus I are real good ideas for differenthanded out listed exactly what management ideas.”they were going to accomplish “I was impressed. Ron presentsduring the class year and at different options, a lot ofwhat level of proficiency they information and does it in aneeded to accomplish them to relaxed non-threatening way.”get an A, B, etc. “Ron makes this course really worth while. He does a super job of applying up to date information and technology.”
“It is an excellent course. It covers thingswhich are relevant to everyday life on the Teaching gives me thefarm.” opportunity to learn from“The material is informative and the my students. Making theinteraction with the class is great. Ron is classes a two way conduitvery easy to work with and is always very of information is important.helpful in class and on farm calls.” Listening is a skill I“Fun and informative.” continue to use.“Most of the information in course was upto date and meaningful. Instructor is verywilling to listen to input from students.”“The course is very informational and anasset to any farmer.”
I started at NWTC with 56students and one with an RHAover 20,000. I left with 70students in my program andwith four RHAs under 20,000.Adapting Total Mixed Rationswas a key to our success.On the left is an example of alearning module I developedthat has been used bynutritionists and educators in anumber of states.
With 70 very busy students inmy NWTC class, scheduling on-farm training with everyone inthe summer was difficult. Icame up with the idea of doinga monthly newsletter with oneof the new computer softwarenewsletter programs.The students really liked itsince it wasn’t invasive. It alsofocused on what was timely.
I want to be part of thegreater community Iwork in while alsohelping young peopleinvolved with industryorganizations. In thepicture, I am receivingthe “Friend of theAssociation of WomenIn Agriculture Award”. Ialso received the“Friend of BabcockHouse Award”.
In 1988, I approached World DairyExpo management aboutincorporating a dairy cattle judgingcontest for two year collegestudents into the event. With thehelp of some very committedvolunteers , we brought the PostSecondary Judging Contest intoexistence in 1989. We added thefirst ever “Practical Contest” fiveyears later. I was Superintendentfrom inception through 1996.Although my views on dairy cattletype evaluation have evolved, Icontinue volunteering and enjoywatching participants grow whilemaking and defending theirdecisions.
I maintain a lifelong commitment to learning.Receiving my Excellence in MarketingCertification from the University of WisconsinSchool of Executive Management in 2008.