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Cleo Franklin


Mahindra USA, Inc.


Houston, TX

Job Title

Vice President - Marketing and Strategic Planning

Are you a Master or a Maverick?

I am a Maverick without question. My grandfathers were 3rd and 4th generation famers in Wardell, Missouri, and Casscoe, Arkansas. These self-reliant, hard-working, industrious innovators passed along to me their maverick spirit – the drive to never stop seeking a better way to do things. They did it all on their farms: carpentry, crop rotation, planting, harvesting and then a little shade-tree mechanics. They taught me not to become fenced in by the conventional. I appreciate striving to become a master which for me is a destination, however every day brings new challenges which requires new learning's and daring to innovate to create new solutions in our ever-changing dynamic market...which requires a passionate and innovative Maverick approach.

What advancement in technology do you foresee in the next 10-20 years?

Precision farming technology focused on creating greater yield and minimizing risk through robotics and intelligent design. Integrated technologies taking farmers seamlessly from planting to maintenance to harvest with greater accuracy and predictability. This includes an increase in autonomous machines that are both self-guided and require lower maintenance. Farmers won't be operating machinery as much as programing it from a remote location to perform their operations.

Farming is all about the yield to risk ratio. These next tools need to address how to lower that risk ... while increasing yield.

What would you say to policy makers if you had the chance?

Learn as much as you can about agriculture, get connected to the value chain stakeholders and participants to understand policy decisions down and upstream and most importantly...take action.

A lack of knowledge equals bad policy and indecision provides no solutions. Stay in touch with the world around you and the people you represent. Realize the impact of your decisions goes beyond farmers to impact manufacturers, suppliers and ultimately we the consumer.

What Others Have to Say

What Policy Makers Need to Know
Gregg Halverson shares his thoughts on what policy makers need to know and understand.
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The Future of Technology
Kip Tom discusses what he thinks the future of technology will bring.
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Becoming a Master or Maverick
Tim Richter shares his thoughts on what other producers need to know to become a master or maverick in ag.
Watch video »