Today, I look at our staff and my own personal wealth of knowledge.

My goal in 2017 is to gain a better understanding of how our analysis results impact the decisions being made by the people submitting samples. Today, it is too easy to perform the day to day tasks of running analysis and reporting values. It is time to take the next step and apply some knowledge as to what those numbers mean and what processes impact those values. I think more of this knowledge is needed.

Today, schools teach the basic methods and procedures of how to run a test like pH or the presence of allergens in foods. Getting to the next level of knowledge is where more difference can be made.

There is so much focus on building better technology that can perform analysis faster with better convenience. Companies are out there trying to build soil testing systems that can be taken with them into the fields to measure analytes. I am sure we will get there some day, and we are watching this technology closely. However, even with all this technology, there are still a large number of people who don’t know what some of the soil analysis values mean or how to apply these values to the application of soil nutrients.

I am working on addressing this issue that faces all of us. I am bringing in people who have knowledge in these areas, and I am connecting them with our associates. I am reading current and past articles that address the interpretation and application of report values. I also think it will be critical to building up a library of resources that people can refer to and access on finding this information. It is not easy to find information that is unbiased.

Building knowledge is a process. It is also not for everyone. There are a large number of people who are very comfortable performing work without understanding what value their work provides.

As a leader, I need to really instill a “sense of awareness” with my workers to ensure they understand that the work that they perform is important and ultimately adds value for our clients.