John Mueller was never a fan of cell phones.
The dairy farmer from Clifton Springs, New York, didn’t even own a cell phone until just a few years ago.
“They’re too much of a distraction,” he says.
It is not that Mueller, a partner at Willow Bend Farm, is against innovation. As a farmer, Mueller utilizes many of the latest technological advances on his farm, like self-guided tractors and electronic identification chips for cows.
He would rather focus on growth, he says, than be tied to a phone.
“We just like to see things grow. Whether it’s the cows, or the corn, or the people who take opportunities on the farm and seize them,” Mueller says.
Mueller’s management style is focused on employee empowerment. His management team is empowered to make their own decisions and learn from them. He says the programs he instills for professional development motivate him as the leader of a farming operation that encompasses milking 5,000 cows, raising 4,500 young stock and tending 9,000-acres.