Future of Agriculture

Future of Agriculture – Bootstrapping a Farm Management Software Company with Nick Horob of Harvest Profit


Nick Horob is the founder of Harvest Profit, a company that provides a set of management tools focused on the business side of the farm. Their aim is to allow farmers make decisions based on objective analysis and data, preventing emotionally-driven choices which in turn gives them better, long-term returns. While Nick grew up in a family of farmers, his extensive experience in risk management, real estate investment, and business best practices motivated him to start Harvest Profit so he could help farmers not just increase their yield, but to let them know where to invest and where to cut their investments.

 

In this episode, Nick explains what Harvest Profit is all about. He discusses the many problems encountered by farmers when it comes to investments and how their services provide the answers to those issues. He also shares why his company stands out among the competition, their goals for 2018, and his thoughts on the future of AgTech.

 

“Producing a crop is a combination of hundreds if not thousands of micro variables.”– Nick Horob

 

 

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

 

  • How does Harvest Profit improve a farmer’s business?
  • What inspired him to start Harvest Profit?
  • Farmers attitudes towards new technologies and new software.
  • What makes Harvest Profit much more attractive to farmers than other competitors?
  • What it’s like to compete with bigger companies?

 

Connect with Nick Horob:

 

 

 

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!

 

Learn more about AgGrad by visiting:

Future of Agriculture Website

AgGrad Website

AgGrad on Twitter
AgGrad on Facebook
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Future of Agriculture – Investing in the Future of Agriculture with Tyler Mayoras of Advantage Capital Partners


Tyler Mayoras is a Principal at Advantage Capital Partners, a company that invests in small businesses that are ready for growth. As a principal, his duties revolves around screening and identifying potential opportunities for investments, facilitate due diligence, and close transactions. His primary focus is on investments made by their agriculture wing, aptly called Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners. Some of the most prominent businesses he watched over were Hip Chick Farms, Shenandoah Growers, and NurturMe.

 

In this episode, Tyler shares the kind of businesses their company looks for when it comes to investing. He explains their requirements, what convinces them to invest in that particular business, as well as why almost half of the businesses they look at are rural or close to rural. He also shares how the government is involved in their investments and his experience working with NurturMe, a gluten-free baby food company.

 

“A lot of the whole food revolution is being driven by people under 40: The Millennials and Generation Z.”– Tyler Mayoras

 

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

 

  • The type of investing Tyler does with Advantage Capital Partners.
  • How hard is it to invest in a new industry?
  • Would wheat-based products still be considered plant-based?
  • Is it hard to merge those who are interested in progressive food and ag business and those supporting a rural economy?
  • The trends in the natural space and how companies manage to stay unique.
  • What do they consider as impact investing?
  • Spaces he would like to find more companies to invest in.
  • The impact of information accessibility on food trends.

 

Resources Mentioned:

 

 

Connect with Tyler Mayoras:

 

 

 

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!

 

Learn more about AgGrad by visiting:

Future of Agriculture Website

AgGrad Website

AgGrad on Twitter
AgGrad on Facebook
AgGrad on LinkedIn
AgGrad on Instagram

Future of Agriculture – Cellulosic Biofuels (Part 3) with Eric Mork of ICM Inc.


This is the perfect end to our three-part series on cellulosic ethanol. You have heard from Dr Brown describing why we should care about the industry and informing us of its fundamentals. You have head from Michael McAdams describing some exciting new ideas affecting the industry and articulating how the government is involved.

Now we speak with someone in private industry. Eric Mork works for ICM that designs, builds, and manages ethanol technologies and business models. One process ICM has developed solves a very practical problem: how can we get more from the plants that we already have?

They have accomplished this by retrofitting corn ethanol plants to also make cellulosic ethanol out of the non-corn residue that they get in. If you’ve ever seen a truckload of corn leave a farmer’s field, you know that there is more than corn in there! ICM’s process uses that residue to make cellulosic ethanol in addition to the corn-based ethanol that the plant is already processing.

These are collaborative, interesting, and effective solutions that are going to lead us to future technologies that produce more food, fiber, and fuel using fewer resources.

Visit ICM’s website.

 

Thanks for listening!

We really appreciate you taking the time to listen to the Future of Agriculture Podcast. The response has been outstanding. Please feel free to leave a note in the comment section below.

The best way to spread the word about our Podcast is to share your favorite episode using the social media share buttons in the podcast player you are using.

You can also leave a review on iTunes. This helps us spread the word about the people, perspectives, and innovations that will provide our future food, clothing, fuel, shelter, and natural resources.

Future of Agriculture – Cellulosic Biofuels (Part 2) with Michael McAdams, President of the Advanced Biofuels Association


Michael McAdams knows biofuels. He knows the issues, the history, the players, and the future. He is passionate, well-researched, and you can hear it in his voice that he truly cares about this topic.

If you listened to episode 009 you heard the basics of cellulosic biofuels. In this episode, we learn about the governmental and private industry sides of the equation. What does it take to get cellulosic ethanols up and running? What is meant by a drop-in biofuel and why is that exciting?

Mike even describes some exciting work being done to turn algae into biofuels with 20x the per acre efficiency of corn. There are so many interesting aspects of this topic, we could make this a 10 part series! But sorry, we’re only doing three.

 

Visit the Advanced Biofuels Association website to learn more about their work.

 

Thanks for listening!

We really appreciate you taking the time to listen to the Future of Agriculture Podcast. The response has been outstanding. Please feel free to leave a note in the comment section below.

The best way to spread the word about our Podcast is to share your favorite episode using the social media share buttons in the podcast player you are using.

You can also leave a review on iTunes. This helps us spread the word about the people, perspectives, and innovations that will provide our future food, clothing, fuel, shelter, and natural resources.

Future of Agriculture – Cellulosic Biofuels (Part 1) with Dr. Robert Brown of the Bio Institute at Iowa State University


This episode begins a three-part series on cellulosic ethanol and other cellulosic biofuels.

What if we could take one of the most prolific, abundant, renewable, and sustainable items on the plant – Cellulose – and make fuel from it?

Well, we can! Sounds fantastic, but there are, of course, challenges. It’s expensive, the conversions aren’t as great as we’d like them to be, there is a lot of work that needs to be done to improve the processes in order to make cellulosic biofuels a widespread reality.

This is the first part of the three-part series where we explore these opportunities and challenges with cellulosic biofuels. Dr. Brown describes a future where farmers can produce biomass that is specifically bred to be processed into fuels that can go directly into an engine. This would, of course, take collaboration between seed companies, farmers, ethanol plants, and fuel manufacturers and retailers.

 

Check out Dr. Brown’s Bio Institute at Iowa State University.

To learn more, pick up a copy of Dr. Brown’s book “Why Are We Producing Biofuels?”

 

Thanks for listening!

 

We really appreciate you taking the time to listen to the Future of Agriculture Podcast. The response has been outstanding. Please feel free to leave a note in the comment section below.

 

The best way to spread the word about our Podcast is to share your favorite episode using the social media share buttons in the podcast player you are using.

 

You can also leave a review on iTunes. This helps us spread the word about the people, perspectives, and innovations that will provide our future food, clothing, fuel, shelter, and natural resources.

Future of Agriculture – Farm Economies of Scale with Lon Frahm of Frahm Farmland Inc


How does a 30,000-acre farm operate with just 9 employees?

Lon Frahm shares with Tim how he has grown his row crop operation to over 30,000 acres, and how he uses economies of scale such as self-insuring and storing his own grain, to develop advantages over other farmers.

Lon has a very impressive story. He took over his family’s farm upon his father’s death when he was just 28 years old. He has lead the operation to tremendous growth over the past 30 years and has experienced very little employee turnover.

Lon knows the value in keeping good people on the team, learning quicker than your competition, and networking with peers in the industry.

Whether you are a farmer, in agribusiness, or not in any related field, there are still some business gems in this episode.

Learn more about Frahm Farmland at http://www.frahmfarmland.com

Wall Street Journal Article Featuring Lon Frahm

Visit http://www.AgGrad.com to connect to careers and employers in agriculture.

Reach out to Tim on Twitter @timhammerich.

Future of Agriculture – The Zillow of Farmland with Terva CEO Steven Brockshus Final


Steven Brockshus is the CEO and Founder of TERVA, an online real estate marketplace dedicated to empowering farmland professionals with knowledge, insights, and data. They aim to build a marketplace not only to educate, but to also connect with people looking to buy and sell farmland. He aims to bring the agricultural real estate industry online to shift the industry and how people interact and think about farmland.

 

In this episode, Steven shares his story on how he started TERVA as well as the moments and people in his life that inspired him to do so. He talks about what it can do now and what it sets to do for farmers in the future, and why TERVA is a great resource for those planning to retire on the countryside.

 

“Disruption in the ag context is different than a disruption in a Silicon Valley or social media based business.”– Steven Brockshus

 

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

 

  • What is TERVA, their vision, and mission?
  • How the startup company he interned with inspired him to create TERVA.
  • How being in the FFA made him a better business leader.
  • Who finds the most value in using TERVA?
  • The format people want when using TERVA.
  • Where do they plan to expand next?
  • How they convince potential investors.

 

Resources Mentioned:

 

 

Connect with Steven Brockshus:

 

 

 

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!

 

Learn more about AgGrad by visiting:

Future of Agriculture Website

AgGrad Website

AgGrad on Twitter
AgGrad on Facebook
AgGrad on LinkedIn
AgGrad on Instagram

 

Future of Agriculture – A Ruminant Revolution with Dr. Peter Ballerstedt


Dr. Peter Ballerstedt is a Doctor of Animal Nutrition and is an expert in forage and ruminant nutrition in agriculture. He stepped out of the agriculture industry for some time and ventured in the tech world for many years. He came back because he realized a fantastic source of health could be found through leveraging animal agriculture, specifically ruminants. A stern believer in grass-based animal nutrition, Peter calls this – the potential of ruminants to lead the way towards healthier diets – the Ruminant Revolution.

 

In this episode, Peter discusses what his Ruminant Revolution is all about. He addresses the need for ruminants and why it’s one of the best sustainable options to support an ever-growing human population. He also dives in on some facts regarding cultivable lands and current innovations in the ruminant agriculture industry.

 

“Our grassland resources are our largest and least well-utilized resource that remains.”– Dr. Peter Ballerstedt

 

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

 

  • What made him love ruminants?
  • Why do we need a Ruminant Revolution?
  • What the is diet like of mostly meat eaters and the diet he recommends today.
  • The steps needed for rangeland industry progression to catch up with road crops?
  • Why Ruminant Animal Agriculture isn’t competitive with human beings.
  • Why he favors grass-based agriculture.
  • His thoughts on the saying “You are what you eat.”

 

Resources Mentioned:

 

 

Connect with Dr. Peter Ballerstedt:

 

 

 

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!

 

Learn more about AgGrad by visiting:

Future of Agriculture Website

AgGrad Website

AgGrad on Twitter
AgGrad on Facebook
AgGrad on LinkedIn
AgGrad on Instagram

Future of Agriculture – Investment Banking in Agriculture with Wall Street Cowboy Chris Narayanan of C.R. Narayanan and Co

Chris Narayanan is a US Marine Corps veteran, and the President & CEO of C.R. Narayanan and Co., a veteran-owned investment banking firm that provides services to both companies and investors linked to the agribusiness supply chain. Chris obtained hands-on experience in the agricultural industry by being a ranch hand in his youth and working at investment banks that had agribusinesses as one of their largest clients. Because of his experience, Chris has developed extensive knowledge in valuing different types of agricultural companies and enterprises to measure investment suitability.

 

In this episode, Chris shares his experience working on Wall Street as an investment banker. He talks about his background in agriculture and how he ended up founding his own investment banking company that primarily services that business category. He also shares tips and ideas regarding investment banking as well as his insight on the future of agricultural business investments.

 

“Middle market companies are just past the venture capital stage, but haven’t gone public yet.”– Chris Narayanan

 

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

 

  • Difference between investment bank and traditional banking
  • The trend over the last 10 years in agriculture investments.
  • How he handles the busy life of investment banking.
  • How big does a company need to be for it to make sense to use their services?
  • What is a middle market?
  • Where should companies go to if they can’t afford an investment banker?
  • How they decide to raise money through private or public sources.
  • What’s it like to work on Wall Street?
  • How involved is he during negotiations?
  • His insight on the future of agricultural investments.

 

Connect with Chris Narayanan:

 

 

 

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!

 

Learn more about AgGrad by visiting:

Future of Agriculture Website

AgGrad Website

AgGrad on Twitter
AgGrad on Facebook
AgGrad on LinkedIn
AgGrad on Instagram

Future of Agriculture – A Level Playing Field For Farmers Through Data with Charles Baron of Farmers Business Network


Charles Baron is the Co-Founder of Farmers Business Network, an idea conceived by farmers for farmers. The company aims to gather unbiased and objective information with regards to agronomics and commodities. The idea is to pool available data from individual farmers, so every farmer in their network would benefit from them. The company started three years ago with just 3-4 farms, but through word of mouth and good service, they now have close to 4,700 farms within their network. Charles and his team plan on ultimately expanding his reach outside the U.S. and continue to improve their data interpretation and gathering services.

 

In this episode, Charles explains the idea behind Food Business Network, what drove him to become a farmer, and the problems farmers face in the U.S. that go unnoticed. He also shares how his company managed to grow their network to what it is now, and their outlook for the future of their company.

 

“Farmers Business Network exists to bring benefits back to our farmers using our technology and network.”  – Charles Baron

 

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

 

  • What problems does Farmers Business Network solve for farmers?
  • Why farmers have the worst economics.
  • The uses of Farmers Business Network in terms of commodity prices.
  • What does the side benefiting from the status quo think of their company’s business strategy?
  • How transparent is farmer’s business network? Why did some hate their price transparency?
  • What kinds of farms do they cover?
  • How do they make sure the data is validated?
  • How do they market their services to farmers?
  • His thoughts on fluctuating commodity and input prices.
  • Any plans on serving the animal agriculture side?
  • What gets investors excited about Farmers Business Network?

 

Resources Mentioned:

 

 

Connect with Charles Baron:

 

 

 

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!

 

Learn more about AgGrad by visiting:

Future of Agriculture Website

AgGrad Website

AgGrad on Twitter
AgGrad on Facebook
AgGrad on LinkedIn
AgGrad on Instagram