Bill Rancic speaks Nov. 14 during the Corn Belt Seed Conference. (Chris Lusvardi photos)
Bill Rancic speaks Nov. 14 during the Corn Belt Seed Conference. (Chris Lusvardi photos)

Indianapolis, IN (December 4, 2023) – Bill Rancic recognized he needed to seize an opportunity nearly 20 years ago as he experienced a life-changing event winning Season 1 of The Apprentice.

He says others need to be ready when similar opportunities are presented.

“True leaders looking to grow reach out and grab ahold of an opportunity and do something with it,” Rancic says. “Leaders are good decision makers in a timely manner that don’t let opportunities pass them by.”

Rancic was one of the keynote speakers Nov. 14-16 during the Corn Belt Seed Conference organized by the Indiana Crop Improvement Association in Indianapolis, IN.

The conference, with the theme “Seeds of Change: Cultivating Leadership” featured sessions about leadership, agribusiness trends and current issues, and industry updates, along with time for networking and visiting with exhibitors.

For more photos from the conference, see the Seed Today Facebook page.

The Time to Win. Another of the keynote speakers, Jay Baer, talked about the importance of time in a business. Baer wrote a book The Time to Win: How to exceed customers’ need for speed.

“We care about time more than ever,” Baer says. “Time is the only resource we all share equally. Two-thirds of customers say sped is as important as price.”

Baer says if a business gives customers time, they will give them money. If a business costs customers time, he says it will cost them money.

“A culture of responsiveness is created from the inside out,” Baer says. “We care about time more than ever.”

Awards. During a luncheon Nov. 15, ICIA presented its annual awards, including the Distinguished Service Award to Kevin Cavanaugh.

“You need to have a passion for what you do,” Cavanaugh says. “I’m always excited talking about the latest genetics coming in corn.”

Dr. Karen Plaut, the former of Purdue University’s College of Agriculture and current Executive Vice President for Research, received the Crops and Soil Merit Award. While at Purdue, she was on the cutting edge of forward-thinking research projects, says ICIA Board Member Marshall Martin.

“We didn’t just do it for Purdue,” Plaut says. “We did it for all of you to teach things that make a difference for your business. We want to have quality talent to make sure we have a vibrant industry.”

For more information from the Corn Belt Seed Conference, see the upcoming First Quarter issue of Seed Today.

Written by Chris Lusvardi, Seed Today editor

Jay Baer speaks Nov. 15 during the Corn Belt Seed Conference.

Kevin Cavanaugh, left, receives the Indiana Crop Improvement Association Distinguished Service Award from President Gene Kassmeyer, right.

Dr. Karen Plaut receives the ICIA Crops and Soil Merit Award.