Future of Agriculture

Future of Agriculture – Leveraging Data To Optimize Commodity Decisions with Mike Neal of DecisionNext


Mike Neal is the Co-Founder and CEO of DecisionNext, a company that utilizes and analyzes data in a way that helps companies optimize their decision making. DecisionNext’s business relies on giving clients possible market forecasts in an event of a policy change. Regarded as a serial entrepreneur, Mike is fond of starting new businesses and has focused his entire career on mathematical models and its application to critical business decisions. He has founded plenty of SaaS companies, all of which provided highly focused analytics to business users.

 

In this episode, Mike shares what DecisionNext is all about and how it can help the agricultural industry. He also provides insight on the importance of recognizing patterns in today’s market as well as his thoughts on the future of agriculture.

 

 

“Having a rigorous view matters as long as it’s monetized through optimizing the forward position on the buy side or the sell side.”  – Mike Neal

 

 

 

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

 

  • His background on what got him to start analytics companies.
  • What prompted him to leave a good career to go on his own?
  • What is DecisionNext all about and what services does it offer?
  • Is there an element of machine learning that aids in their tools?
  • The two reasons why transparency matters.
  • How big is pattern recognition for today’s businesses?
  • How is working with commodity firms different to retail merchandising firms?
  • Why he says there’s no such thing as a true commodity.
  • What are the steps he takes in coming up with the next big idea?
  • His marathon analogy when it comes to starting a company.
  • His thoughts on the future of food and agriculture.
  • Does he see the government using DecisionNext to do sensitivity analysis on the food supply?

 

Connect with Mike Neal:

 

 

 

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 – How Agricultural Development Creates Food Secure Communities with David Norman of Heifer International


David Norman is the Senior Vice President of Investments Programs at Heifer International, a company that promotes a “pay it forward” approach to sustainable agriculture. Their mission is to end world hunger and poverty while also taking care of the planet by working with communities. This approach seems to be a great answer to the issue of food security and sustainability, as Heifer is driven by the “teach a man to fish” philosophy which ensures the families they help are all able to contribute to eradicating world hunger.

 

In this episode, David explains what Heifer International is all about, it’s humble beginnings, and its mission. He also shares the different challenges they face with every program as well as some of the successes that made it all worthwhile.

 

“You basically want markets to compete for your products.”  – David Norman

 

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

 

  • An example of a market that is not dependable or fair.
  • How they structure their business and programs.
  • How the company selects which communities to target.
  • Will the communities know Heifer International is involved or do they operate behind the scenes?
  • Is there a difference between social capital and trust?
  • Challenges that prevent or delay communities prospering as a result of Heifer’s work.
  • What is the value chain?
  • How do they know if their programs are working?
  • What are the logistics behind their programs?
  • What are their considerations when it comes to where they invest their money?
  • The big challenges we as a society need to overcome for their company to realize their mission.

 

 

Connect with David Norman:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 – How Biotechnology Can Make Us Healthier with Andry Andriankaja and Carl Andre of BASF

 

Andry Andriankaja is an agronomist that specializes in the field of plant biotechnology. Carl Andre is the research manager for the EPA-DHA Canola project at the BASF Plant Science Department who studied how plants convert simple sugars to oil as well as plant lipid metabolism.  They are working together on a big project in biotechnology that will innovate the way we eat and provide our body with nutrients: making the typical canola plant naturally produce EPA and DHA, two types of Omega 3 fatty acids.

 

We all know what Omega 3 fatty acids are and what they can do for the body, but we’re often forced to either eat their food sources or buy fish oil supplements. What if we can consume omega 3 fatty acids in products we’re already eating? Andry and Carl are now working on that answer and have been working on it for the past 10 years.

 

In this episode, Andry and Carl discuss their big project, why they chose the canola plant as their host, and what it took for them to get this far. They also discuss  their vision with regards to the importance of plant biotechnology in the near future.

 

“We pride ourselves to create chemistry for a sustainable future.”  – Andry Andriankaja

 

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

 

  • What’s the project all about the issues it will address.
  • What does getting more EPA and DHA have to do with canola?
  • Where does this technology currently stand?
  • When do they expect the product to hit the market?
  • Why did they partner with Cargill?
  • What made this project possible to start coming together now?
  • Why did they choose EPA and DHA?
  • How farmers can benefit from this project.
  • How will this product influence how people view biotechnology and genetic engineering?
  • Where do they see the future of biotechnology?
  • Countries that are big canola producers.

 

 

 

Connect with Andry and Carl:

 

 

 

 

 

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 – Hydroponics and Controlled Environment Ag with Joe Swartz of American Hydroponics

Joe Swartz is the Vice President of Commercial Sales and Technical Support at American Hydroponic, a.k.a AmHydro. AmHydro is a small company in the United States that designs and builds innovative hydroponic systems, a soil-free way to grow plants, and have been doing so for the last 30 years. Joe Swartz himself came from a family of farmers, and started researching the science of hydroponics when he saw the traditional methods of farming were no longer paying the bills during the real estate boom of the late 80s.

 

After purchasing the family farm from his father, Joe put his formal education and passion in agriculture  to good use and invested time and money into researching and experimenting with different hydroponics system operations. Some said he was a genius, some called him otherwise. Regardless, with hydroponics AmHydro has slowly and steadily made a huge and growing impact towards preserving the environment.

 

In this episode, Joe tells us all about hydroponics, its advantages and disadvantages, why hydroponics farming is still farming, and how to turn it into a profitable business.

 

“The real issue is that we have a need to be able to put agricultural production in areas not necessarily suitable for agricultural production.”  – Joe Swartz

 

 

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

 

  • What is Nutrient Film Technology?
  • How his old-school family reacted to him telling them it’s time to find a new path in agriculture.
  • How has controlled environment ag changed from the 80’s to now?
  • What factors cause people to think controlled environment agriculture is too hyped? Is that a good thing?
  • How would he advise new farmers who want to proceed in getting started as a grower of indoor farming?
  • What is the correct approach at building a hydroponics business?
  • How big does a greenhouse need to be to make indoor farming profitable?
  • The ballpark price for indoor farming packages.
  • What is Aquaponics?
  • Why some controlled environment agriculture growers fail?
  • His prediction for the future of hydroponic agriculture.

 

 

 

Connect with Joe Swartz:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 – Guest Host Michelle Bufkin Shares an Inside Look Into AgGrad


Today’s episode will be a bit different. We normally find guests and have them share their incredible ideas and wisdom on the Future of Agriculture podcast. For this episode, we decided to change it up a bit. This time, we will have a guest host who will then interview our very own Tim Hammerich. Our guest host will be none other than Michelle Bufkin, a freelance writer for Ag Daily Media and also the very person who recently took over our Snapchat channel.

 

In this special episode, we will give you an inside look at the core principles of AgGrad, why it was made in the first place, its vision, and tidbits about my life.

 

“AgGrad.com exists to help people find their place in modern agriculture.”  – Tim Hammerich

 

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

 

  • How AgGrad got started.
  • My favorite part of seeing AgGrad grow since 2015 and my plans for the future.
  • How I choose who to feature in the podcast?
  • Why I chose Snapchat for AgGrad?
  • Why you can’t outsource all Ag careers.
  • Four pieces of advice for students who are about to graduate and go into the workforce.
  • Why I didn’t like to do an internship back in college.

 

Mentioned in this episode:

 

 

 

 

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 – The Logistics of a Farm to Table Restaurant with Jack Gilmore of Jack Allens Kitchen


Jack Gilmore is the owner and head chef of the famous Jack Allen’s Kitchen in Austin, Texas. More than good food and service, Jack Allen’s Kitchen is known for being a pioneer in what we call the “Farm to Table.” According to Jack, at least 80% of every food on his menu is locally sourced. He first got into cooking when he was 15 and taught himself how to cook when he was working part time in a restaurant. By the time he was 18, he realized school wasn’t his thing so he decided to get married and start a family.

 

Jack knew how to cook, so he figured he could make a living out of it. He worked for other people and was able to work with incredible chefs, until he grew tired of working for someone else and decided to start his own restaurant. From cooking for a decent wage to actually owning his own restaurant chain, he has come a long way.

 

On today’s episode, Jack talks about how he started his restaurant business, what made him choose to buy from local farmers as much as possible, and the logistics involved in running a locally-sourced restaurant. He also his thoughts on the future generation of farmers.

 

“I don’t tell anybody we’re a 100% local, I tell them we’re as local as we can be.”  – Jack Gilmore

 

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

 

  • How he partnered with local farmers
  • How much of his menu is influenced by the ingredients available?
  • How he manages the many farmers he partners with as well as the logistics behind.
  • How he plans his ingredient supply forecast with the farmers.
  • How he determines which farmers to work with
  • How he shows his appreciation to the farmers.
  • Why he’s not worried about the next generation of farmers as much as he is about next generation of chefs.
  • The biggest and smallest farms he buys from.
  • Is the farm to table concept still a growing concept nationwide?
  • The future of the local food movement.
  • How does he manage the food waste in his restaurant?

 

 

Check Out Jack Gilmore 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!

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 – 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.

 

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 – 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!

 

Learn more about AgGrad by visiting:

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

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!

Learn more about AgGrad by visiting:

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

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!

Learn more about AgGrad by visiting:

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

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