Future of Agriculture

Future of Agriculture – Farmers Investing in AgTech with Spencer Stensrude of Ag Ventures Alliance and Matthew Rooda of SwineTech

Spencer Stensrude is a business analyst for Ag Ventures Alliance, a company that invests in startups aimed to support and innovate the agricultural industry. The company itself was formed by farmers in Iowa in the late 90s. One of their latest investments is a company called SwineTech and is headed by Matthew Rooda. As the name implies, SwineTech is a company focused on innovating the swine industry, and right now its focus is on preventing sows from crushing their piglets.

 

On today’s episode, Spencer and Matthew talk about how they met, what their companies are all about, and how they started working together. They also share their prediction for the agricultural industry in the future and one of the biggest issues in the pork industry and how it’s affecting the economy.

 

“We are happy the company making money and sending us a check vs having to sell the company to someone else to pay back the investors.”  – Spencer Stensrude

 

 

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

 

  • What is SwineTech all about?
  • How did they discovered the piglet problem and how they developed a solution?
  • The success rate of their new technology.
  • The process from getting the startup ready to actually getting an investment.
  • Matthew’s long term vision for SwineTech.
  • Why Ag Ventures invested in SwineTech?
  • The price point of SwineTech’s product for producers.
  • The timelines and process involved in investing in SwineTech.
  • The focus of Ag Ventures for future investments.
  • The first objection Matthew usually gets from producers when selling his product.
  • What excites Spencer about the industry and his prediction for the future of agricultural technology.

 

 

Check Out Spencer Stensrude Across the Net:

 

 

 

Check Out Matthew Rooda Across the Net:

 

 

 

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.

 

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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!

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Future of Agriculture – Disruptive Agricultural Technologies with Aidan Connolly, CIO of Alltech


Aidan Connolly has been with Alltech for 17 years and is currently its Chief Innovation Officer (CIO).  Alltech is a company that helps farmers feed the world, raise healthy animals, and protect the environment. He works with the company’s research department focused on developing nutrition-based technologies that will capitalize on insights gained through Alltech’s investment in nutrigenomics. Aidan’s main tasks as CIO is to spearhead Alltech’s projects in multiple facets of the agricultural industry, make sure they’re always on the cutting edge when it comes to current technology, as well as incorporating new technologies into how food is produced in the future.

 

On today’s episode, Aidan shares how he became Alltech’s CIO and how the company decides which innovation to invest in. He also explains the disruptive technologies that will greatly affect the agricultural industry in the near future.

 

“Brain power and imagination are going to be very important in terms of the roles we play.”  – Aidan Connolly

 

 

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

 

  • Alltech’s views on disruptive technology.
  • How they strategically decide when to invest in an innovation.
  • What is the Pearse Lyons Accelerator?
  • The 8 potentially disruptive technologies.
  • Is artificial Intelligence something humans should worry about?
  • How he prepares his children for the future.
  • Since 2009, TOP US food and beverage companies have lost an equivalent of $18 billion of market shares. How does this affect agriculture?
  • Can the “local food” movement scale?
  • How should we balance thinking about innovations and our busy lives?

 

 

Mentioned in this episode:

 

 

 

Check Out Aidan Connolly Across the Net:

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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!

 

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Future of Agriculture Podcast – Misfit Farmers with Scott Wettstein and Dr. Curt Livesay from Dynamite Ag


Do we take basic decision making for granted? Do we just assume that our practices in the past should be our practices in the future? Using data based information, there may be ways to become more efficient and productive while saving money and resources.

Dr. Curt Livesay from Dynamite Ag is one of those people who questions basic assumptions. He focuses on agronomy or soil management and crop production. He has been a guest on a past episode, but we mostly discussed the cannabis industry.

Today, Dr. Curt Livesay shares his data based process especially around the subject of nitrogen use. We look at nitrogen efficiency and getting the desired amount of nutrients without creating waste. We also talk with Scott Wettstein, a farmer from Lidgerwood, North Dakota. If you like thinking for yourself, this is a great episode for you.

 

“When we test and find products that actually work, we take those on and promote them to our growers.” – Dr. Curt Livesay

 

This Week on the Future of Agriculture Podcast:

  • How Dynamite Ag prides themselves on research and education
  • How Dr. Curt Livesay always had a greater vision and wanted to sell based on independent research
  • Nitrogen research and accepting the idea of “what everybody knows”
  • Nitrogen is not uniform in the soil profile
  • 360 Yield Center produces the Y drop which drops from a sprayer and places nitrogen closer to where the plant needs it
  • Overapplying nitrogen’s negative impact on the environment
  • Looking at cost savings and capturing the yield goal based on Curt’s research
  • Research versus tradition and nitrogen soil tests with sensors

 

 

Check Out Dynamite Ag & Dr. Curt Livesay & Scott Wettstein Across the Net:

 

 

 

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!

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Future of Agriculture – Finding The Right People for Your Agribusiness with Bob Broeckelman


There was a time when people found a job and stayed there for most of their working lives. Those times are in the past with modern statistics saying that 67% of employees leave a first job within the first 2 years. Having a job that is a good fit is not only important for employer cost savings, but it also makes a difference in the employee’s happiness.

Bob Broeckelman was interested in agribusiness right out of high school. He has been an FAA officer and advisor, an ag teacher, and is recently retired after 33 years working in the Farm Credit system.  He understands the importance of human capital and why it’s important for people to understand and find what is the right fit for themselves.

Today, we talk about tools used to create profiles and questions to create good matches for people and jobs. We also talk about how this method helps the employer and employee.

 

 

“We were trying to do the students a favor by putting them in the right jobs.” – Bob Broeckelman

This Week on the Future of Agriculture Podcast:

  • How matching people who were good fits for jobs drastically reduced turnover
  • Tools used for finding the right fit such as interview questions and questionnaires
  • Using the predictive index for behavioral profiles
  • Using questions to narrow down the top and bottom applicants and how these profiling methods were effective in many positions from loan officers to truck drivers
  • Cost lowering effects of matching people to the right jobs before hiring
  • How results proved the accuracy of these methods in success and retention rates
  • How the age they started working was the biggest predictor of success
  • How Bob noticed a decrease in critical thinking skills in interviews since the 80s
  • How we will grow by taking risks and having an open mind and attitude

 

Check Out Bob Broeckelman Across the Net:

 

 

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!

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[email protected]

Future of Agriculture – Technology for Grazing Management With Byron Palmer and Christine Su of PastureMap


Grasslands and grazing cattle go hand in hand. Yet, grazing cattle can be a complex process with things like dynamic business practices, the ecology of the grasses, and the biology of the animal all needing to be considered. Grass-fed beef and other grass-fed agricultural products are also fueling the modern-day demand for pastures and grazing opportunities.

I recently came across a business that is trying to solve issues associated with pasture management and cattle grazing. Christine Su is the co-founder and CEO of PastureMap, a platform that collects data on different areas that are being used for grazing. It helps build on that data to help with making informed decisions on the entire process.

Byron Palmer is a livestock rancher who grazes cattle in Sonoma County. He is one of the people doing the work and putting future agricultural ideas into practice. He is the owner of Grounded Grasslands. Byron grazes cattle for farmers and manages pastures. Today, I talk with Christine about PastureMap, and with Byron about how he uses the software.

 

“We have a lot of respect for the tradition of planned grazing and the emotional component, so we follow adaptive planned grazing methodology very closely.” – Christine Su

 

This Week on the Future of Agriculture Podcast:

  • How PastureMap helps grazing managers who practice multi-paddock adaptive grazing
  • Christine’s background and how she went from a consumer with a business background to reconnecting with the land and food she eats
  • Features of the initial app prototype that could be accessed from a smartphone
  • An iterative process of launching live modules and beta testing future prototypes
  • How their mission is to help ranchers make more profits by building healthy grasslands
  • Focusing on soil carbon data and rewarding farmers by sharing positive data
  • How it’s not profitable to graze without productive pasture planning

 

Check Out PastureMap & Christine Su & Byron Palmer Across the Net:

 

 

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!

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Future of Agriculture – Travel The World Learning About Agriculture with Nuffield Scholar Matt Hocken

What do you think about an all-expenses-paid trip around the world for six months to learn about agriculture? Does it sound too good to be true? It is too good, but it is also true. This adventure is made possible through Nuffield scholarship. Today’s guest, Matt Hocken, is a husband, father, dairy farmer from New Zealand, and a Nuffield Scholar who has travelled globally to research on his chosen topic of specialization – agricultural innovation.

Matt joins me today to share the details of this amazing scholarship program that’s been created for the advancement of agriculture in a global aspect. He gives an overview of the life of a Nuffield scholar and its new international scholarship program. He also shares how this can influence your view of the world and the agricultural industry.

“I think I’ve learned a lot from just observing what you do [in the US]. [Innovation] is also a cultural context.”  – Matt Hocken

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

  • Specifics on the Nuffield scholarship, their scholars, and a list of participating countries
  • Requirements and qualifications for scholarship application
  • Other programs Nuffield scholars take part in while on their trip
  • What’s expected of a Nuffield scholar
  • Elements that Matt looks into in other countries as he studies and writes about agricultural innovation
  • Matt’s agricultural background and the business model he and his family use in their business
  • Backstory of how the Nuffield Scholarship came to be and how it is funded

Check Out Matt Hocken Across the Net:

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!

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Future of Agriculture – Farmer Feedback on AgTech Ideas with Kevin Heikes and Kyle Morrow


Today’s guests allow us to look at agricultural technology and entrepreneurship from two different perspectives. Kyle Heikes is part of the IN10T, a digital agricultural company that created Farmer Trials. Farmer Trials is a platform that connects people who have new ideas and want to test them on real farms. These people get to work with real farmers who have the skill and resources to assess whether these ideas solve real problems that farmers face.

Also with me is Kyle Morrow, a farmer in Indiana who is currently a customer of Farmer Trials. Kyle shares his experience working with the company and allows us to look at matters from a practical approach since one of the goals of the program is to see things from different lenses.

Today, we see that all new and innovative agricultural technology is nothing until tested and proven effective on the farm. Kyle shares how art and science are combined as a growth strategy used by Farmer Trials; the communication process among the farmer, the ag entrepreneur, and Farmer Trials; and when entrepreneurs can approach Farmers Trials if they have new insights and project proposals.

 

“Having something like Farmer Trials where they can try multiple things within a given year accelerate the learning curve to utilizing the data.” – Kyle Morrow
This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

  • Problems that existed on the farm before Farmer Trials came along
  • Requirements farmers had to meet in the past if a company wanted to do farm trials
  • Tasks that Farmer Trials manage and facilitate for agribusinesses
  • Working in the business versus working on the business
  • Why the services offered by Farmer Trials are appealing to companies both big and small
  • How Farmer Trials plan to use the grant awarded tthem by Kansas Department of Agriculture
  • Who determines the compensation for the projects

Check Out Kevin Heikes Across the Net:

Check Out Kyle Morrow Across the Net:

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!

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Future of Agriculture – 5 Takeaways From The First 60 Episodes


While having guests and learning from people with different perspectives are the typical setup of this show, stopping to reflect on the things that have been discussed and talked about is an excellent way of seeing the learning, growth, and future direction of the program. With this said, today, I’m going to deviate from my normal program flow to look back and see where the journey has taken us.

Today, I’m going to talk about the five big takeaways I have learned from the first 60 episodes of the Future of Agriculture podcast. I also explain how these five big things determine the direction and content of the program.

Agriculture should be looked at from as many different lenses as possible. That’s where we’re going to get the ideas.
This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

  • Agricultural technology and agricultural entrepreneurship
  • What agricultural education is about and why it is important
  • Defining cooperative extensions and how this reinforces agricultural education
  • Solving serious problems like environmental impact, sustainability, social issues, hunger, and food waste
  • The generational aspect to each agriculture story
  • Agriculture and empathy
  • How we can practice empathy together in the next 60 episodes of the program

 

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

 

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Future of Agriculture – Building Apps for Agriculture with Peter Schott of Myriad Mobile


Peter Schott grew up in a family with technologically inclined parents who used computers on their farm even from way back in 1984. Because of this, Peter’s curiosity on the possibilities that technology can bring in solving agricultural problems grew. As a result, Peter and another guy from his college dorm decided to work together on offering solutions through mobile apps by establishing their own company called Myriad Mobile.

Today, Peter talks about the significant role that mobile apps play in the future of agriculture and the solution of current agricultural problems. He shares some excellent insights from two different perspectives – one from that of a farmer’s and the other of an entrepreneur. He also explains the significance of knowing your audience, your vision, and the problem you want to solve when thinking of a good app to pursue.

 

“I think the industry is best served if people spend more time listening to their customers and working alongside them rather than telling them what they need.”  – Peter Schott

 

 

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

  • How Peter’s family used computers on the farm in 1984
  • Biggest game-changer for technology on his farm from 1984 to the present
  • How Myriad Mobile came to be and the core of Myriad’s business
  • The platform he created as a result of a cooperative request
  • Challenges of having and creating a mobile team and where he found his success in sales
  • Similarities and differences between developing apps for agriculture and other fields
  • How farmers can differentiate good technology versus salesmanship
  • How powerful Twitter is in connecting with others in the same industry
  • A peak on the process entrepreneurs go through when engaging with a mobile app firm
  • The biggest unsolved problems in agriculture that can be solved by technology

 

 

Check Out Peter Schott Across the Net:

 

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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!

 

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Future of Agriculture – Why You Should Teach Agriculture – Part Two with Dr. Daniel Foster


Today’s episode is a continuation of a two-part series on why you should teach agriculture. In the previous episode, Dr. Daniel Foster, an educator at Pennsylvania State University, shared his insights about agriculture and agricultural education on a national scale. Dr. Foster not only makes a difference in the lives of young people, but also trains teachers who want to make a difference in the agricultural education outside the country.

Dr. Foster joins me today as he talks about agriculture and agricultural education on an international scale. He shares how he tried to help establish agricultural education in Guatemala and the inspiring story when Dr. Foster and his team of agricultural instructors had an intercultural agriculture trip to Korea.

 

“It’s okay to be scared but saddle up anyway because there’s a young person in this world, there’s a young person in America that needs you.”  – Dr. Daniel Foster

 

 

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

  • Possible reasons why there is a decrease in agriculture instructors in the U.S.
  • How agricultural businesses can offer assistance and support on ag programs
  • Why there are high rates of out-of-school and disengaged students aged 16 to 24 in Guatemala
  • Foster’s proposal regarding the development of Guatemala’s agricultural education
  • Why each agricultural teacher is required to do an individualized professional development plan
  • How Dr. Foster expands the global mindset of students
  • Other significant student learnings Dr. Foster hopes his students will discover
  • Challenges prospective agriculture educators face and how Dr. Foster can help instructors

Questions Ag Businesses Should Ask Ag Programs:

  1. Where are the ag programs around me?
  2. What do you have going on?
  3. Where do you need assistance and help?
  4. How can we help?

Check Out Dr. Daniel Foster Across the Net:

 

 

Join our National Teach Agriculture Campaign!

As a primary supporter of the agricultural network, BASF proudly sponsors the National Teach Agriculture Campaign, a movement with a mission to raise awareness about the need to recruit and retain qualified and diverse agricultural teachers.

If you are interested in making a lasting impact in developing the future leaders of agriculture, visit NAAE.org for more details.

 

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:

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