Author Archives: FRAN

Idle Chatter Podcast – Hot Rod Farmer: Call the police…someone stole my throttle cable!

What you need to know about drive-by-wire throttle control.

Future of Agriculture Podcast – AI for Precision Ag Decision Support with Anastasia Volkova of FluroSat

What the Farm Podcast – Kim Salerno ag social media

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AgTech…So What Podcast – Victor Friedberg on Systems Investing and Transition from Commodity

There aren’t very many Venture Capital funds focused on food systems transformation, but today’s guest co-founded one of them. Victor Friedberg is the co-founder of S2G ventures, a Chicago-based firm that has backed companies across the ag and food industries such as Beyond Meat, Maple Hill Creamery, X, and Y. Victor is also the founder of Foodshot Global, a non-profit consortium of companies focused on creating a food system that’s more healthy, sustainable, and equitable.

Victor’s background is as a tech entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, where he built one of the early social networks and raised money from corporates like Motorola and Venture Capital firms. But now Victor is interested in helping revolutionize the food system, bringing technology, systems thinking, and capital to support game changing innovations.

In this episode, Victor and I chat about a range of things, from how he became interested in the food system (hint: it involves a vacation), to the opportunities he sees for farmers as more technologies and new business models challenge the status quo of the current system.

He also shares a story about the intersection of new technologies and established practices. You’ll have to listen to the episode to hear the story, but here’s the result 🙂

victor amish photo.jpg


To learn more about Victor and what he’s up to, check out these additional resources:

Shark Farmer Podcast – Kylie Epperson rising from ashes

Imagine investing everything into something on your farm… only to see it go up in flames.
Listen to Kylie Epperson talk about her views on farming and more.

Salt of the Earth Podcast – Thomson & Joseph

David Atherton, CEO of Thomson & Joseph, a UK-based dairy nutritionist and soils expert, provides some background to an intriguing soil-improvement programme that he has helped pioneer.

Idle Chatter Podcast – Hot Rod Farmer: Better under pressure… your farm tires that is.

Learn how your tires are the key to soil health.

Future of Agriculture Podcast – Bringing People to the Table to Innovate in Animal Agriculture with Kerryann Kocher

Kerryann Cocher is a Principal at Rock Road Consulting, a practice that focuses on improving the translation of science and technology into something that will give value to farmers, ranchers, and other producers. Kerryann specializes in helping struggling ag businesses to be competitive again by providing re-engineering solutions. She is also an expert on animal health, feed ingredients, and protein production.

Kerryann joins me today to share the various opportunities and untapped potential in animal agriculture. She describes the challenges that the animal agriculture industry currently faces and the solutions she proposes to resolve these issues. She also explains how she brings people to the table to innovate in animal agriculture and why she remains motivated about the success of the animal agriculture industry.

“It’s more than a choice to play in ag; it’s a lifelong commitment.” – Kerryann Kocher

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

  • The jump she made from working in the corporate environment to starting a company of her own.
  • Practical problems she helps her clients address.
  • The reason behind the lack of innovation regarding animal health.
  • How to make the animal agriculture industry more innovative to catch up with the competition.
  • Areas of agriculture that are more at risk than others.
  • How dietary changes can affect the meat and dairy industry.
  • The conversations she’s had with industry professionals about the future of protein.
  • Why she remains motivated in the success of the animal ag industry.

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Kerryann Kocher:

This episode is sponsored by Indigo Ag

What if surviving a drought began with just a microbe? What could accessing 10,000 buyers do for your agriculture business? Indigo Ag helps farmers improve profitability, environmental sustainability, and consumer health by working with growers to reimagine every aspect of the agriculture industry – from soil to sale.

To learn more about Indigo Ag and their mission to improve the environment and agriculture industry, visit IndigoAg.com/Questions

Indigo. From questions… we grow.

We Are a Part of a Bigger Family! 

The Future of Agriculture Podcast is now part of the Farm and Rural Ag Network. Listen to more ag-related podcasts by subscribing on iTunes or on the Farm and Rural Ag Network Website today. 

Join the Conversation!

To get your most pressing ag questions answered and share your perspective on various topics we’ve discussed on the Future of Agriculture podcast, head over to SpeakPipe.com/FutureofAg and leave a recorded message!

Share the Ag-Love! 

Thanks for joining us on the Future of Agriculture Podcast – your spot for valuable information, content, and interviews with industry leaders throughout the agricultural space! If you enjoyed this week’s episode, please subscribe on iTunes and leave your honest feedback. Don’t forget to share it with your friends on your favorite social media spots! 

Learn more about AgGrad by visiting: 

Future of Agriculture Website

AgGrad Website

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Agtech…So What Podcast – Tim Hammerich on Careers in AgTech

Tim Hammerich is the Founder of AgGrad and the host of the Future of Agriculture podcast. Tim grew up on a hobby farm in Northern California selling pigs, goats and ducks. After 8 years working in a feed and grain business, Tim saw an underserved market for helping young people get jobs in ag and agtech. He founded AgGrad to fill the gap.  

AgGrad began as a ‘traditional’ recruiting company where Tim would do the legwork of recruiting talent for agribusiness. It’s since become about helping employees find their place in modern agriculture through a wealth of content for job seekers and employees. 

In this episode, Tim shares his insights on what agtech companies are looking for, tips for getting and staying hired, and ideas for how all ag companies, including farms, can hire ‘right’ from the start.

What are agtech companies looking for? 

Most agtech companies are struggling with customer adoption. Tim’s clients often have a great product, but they’re struggling to get it into the hands of customers. This means that agtech companies are looking for talent that can help with marketing and sales. 

More specifically, agtech companies are looking for employees with a mix of empathy and drive. Empathy, because they need to understand what producers are going through. Drive, because they need to want to see the product be adopted and help the producer succeed. They also must be open to new ideas and able to take complex ideas and make them simple. 

“Agtech requires you to be teachers and consultants rather than traditional marketing or sales roles, you’re really in partnership with the people you sell to”

Culture and Content are Kings

In today’s world, the closest you can come to the proverbial silver bullet that will score you a dream job is content. Employers want to see that you have an ability to think outside the box, not just what your college degree is.   

With the tools available today, it’s easier than ever to create engaging content that helps you build a brand and share your unique perspectives. Whether it’s a funny Tweet or an insightful LinkedIn post, it’s an opportunity to build a new connection.

This same tip applies to companies as well, who can use the power of social media to share their culture with future employees. Gone are the days where a job is one dimensional with a sole focus on salary. Employees, especially young people, want to work for a company that stands for something greater than themselves. 

The biggest mistake that companies in agriculture make, according to Tim, is being too transactional in the hiring process. Like the rest of agriculture, it’s about relationships. Come in with a genuine exchange of value, not just an ask or offer. 

Watch out for the D word

Another pitfall that Tim has seen agtech companies fall into is using the D word: disruption. This can be off putting to future customers as well as employees. While the intention may be around innovation, employees might think, “do I really want to be a part of a business that disrupts?” or “I’m not sure that agriculture needs ‘disrupting’.” 

Listen to the full episode for more tips from Tim on getting a job and finding talent, as well as some of what the future holds for Ag Grad. 

For more from Tim, check out:

Shark Farmer Podcast – Daniel Carmichael carving his own path

Do you return to the family business or blaze your own trail?

Daniel Carmichael could have settled into a comfortable life in the family business, Maplehurst Farms. Instead he decided to take a different path in Silicon Valley.