Future of Agriculture 050: Strategic Communications and Balancing Side Hustles with James Garner of Cogent Communications

Today’s guest is my close friend, James Garner. He is a partner in a company called Cogent Communications that does public affairs work in agriculture and agricultural businesses in Sacramento, California. For ten years, he has been a part of a band called Johnny Cash Tribute Band, where he is the group’s manager and front man. On top of these varied roles, James has also been doing drag racing with his dad. James’ father has been a part of a drag racing team as a racer for years.

On today’s episode, James talks about the significant changes that occurred in his life when he started Cogent Communications with his colleague, together with the ideal clients they work with. He also points out the strong suits that have kept them on top of their game, which are understanding the issues on the farm and coherently communicating these matters to the board (local, supervisory, or regulatory). James also elaborates on what currently seems to be a mild concern, but can be a hot one in the future because of its impact at the farming level – the Food Safety Modernization Act.


“We try to be cogent in all our communications – clear, logical, convincing.” – James Garner


This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

  • How technology helps shape the communications and data collection in James’ work
  • High-level issues affecting the clients and what James and his team do: water, water quality, and sustainability
  • James’ magic formula for building healthy business relationships
  • More tips on establishing good business and personal relationships
  • An on-going concern that the consumers keep asking for but valued much and lived out by farmers

Check Out James Garner Across the Net:


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Tim Hammerich

Tim helps agricultural companies find talented employees. Originally from California, he is now based out of Austin, TX. Before launching AgGrad in 2015, Tim’s background was in management, sales, marketing, commodity trading, merchandising, risk management, logistics, public speaking, group facilitation, and grain operations. His goal is to take the traditional college career fair experience and replicate it online so that jobseekers can learn about opportunities, interact and receive feedback, and connect with employers in the agriculture industry.

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