Positioning Farmer Sentiment – Top Farmer Workshop

I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Howard Doster as a Teaching Assistant with the Purdue Top Farmer Workshop. I attended Purdue from 1987 to 1989 to complete my master’s degree. I really enjoyed seeing Dr. Doster interact with the audience to gauge farmer sentiment on the current outlook. He was skilled to bring out comparisons from past years – this allowed an objective assessment to determine if the outlook was getting better (or not). He was effective in bringing out that discussion and points. In my work beyond Purdue, I used the concept that I learned from Dr. Doster. I called it the “Doster Index” and I used it many times (e.g. status meeting for software development project). The use of comparisons from past period helped to get feedback and to understand concerns that team members had. When using the “Doster Index”, I explained the interaction that Dr. Doster had with the Top Farmer group. I really enjoyed working and interacting with Dr. Doster. He had such a positive attitude and interest in other people. I appreciated the interest and support that he provided me. Stephen Sharpe.