Podcast Episodes

Future of Agriculture – Profitable and Sustainable Agriculture at Scale with Shonda Warner of Chess Ag Full Harvest Partners

Shonda Warner is the Owner of Chess Ag Full Harvest Partners, an asset management business that specializes in investing in the agricultural industry. She has over 25 years of experience in financial asset management and once held the position of Executive Director at Goldman Sachs. Shonda gained experience in trading grains from her career at Cargill in Kansas City and Minneapolis.

Shonda joins me today to discuss how Chess Ag Full Harvest works and how it makes investing in agriculture easier. She shares her inspiration for starting the company, the systems they have in place, and their commitment to having a good impact on the environment. Shonda also shares her advice to those who want to start a business in the ag industry.

“We need to be good stewards of the earth and the communities in which we’re active.” – Shonda Warner

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

  • How she formed the idea of starting Chess Ag Full Harvest Partners
  • The company’s first investments and their returns.
  • The problems they want to solve involving ancillary services to make farming a successful venture.
  • Her sales pitch to investors and the projects she proposed.
  • Their commitment to the environment and the community.
  • The scale of their operations and their plans for further expansion.
  • The products they produce in their facilities.
  • Her advice to the young generation who are interested in starting their own ag business.

Resources mentioned:

Connect with Shonda Warner:

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

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

Shark Farmer Podcast – Cameron Hingtgen the future of agriculture

Idle Chatter Podcast – Hot Rod Farmer: What you don’t hear may be causing problems!

How to identify electromotive interference in your equipment.

EMS scope graph

What the Farm Podcast – Aleana Young cheesy dreams

Aleana Young took a leap of faith and opened her own specialty cheese shop in Regina, Saskatchewan. Now she deals directly with the end consumer everyday, providing them with poetic descriptions of her imported cheeses. Listen as she tells Rob and Lesley what she has learned from her customers and how it is all about the cheese experience.

Salt of the Earth Podcast – MagGro

In this episode, CEO Gary Wickham outlines some recent successes for this innovative precision-farming solution, assisting farmers meet their twin profitability and sustainability goals, whilst protecting the environment. Dublin-based MagGrow is a patented and proprietary technology that helps solve the problem of droplet formation, experienced within conventional pesticide spray applications.

OntarioAgCast – Cody Creelman, Disruptor Cow Vet

Cody Creelman, Disruptor Cow Vet on life changes, keeping up in the digital world and jumping in with both feet.

Visit Cody’s website here codycreelman.com

Future of Agriculture Podcast – Synthetic Biology with Dr. John Cumbers of SynBioBeta

Dr. John Cumbers is the founder of SynBioBeta. SynBioBeta prides itself as the premier innovation network for innovators, investors, entrepreneurs, and biological engineers. Their focus is introducing synthetic biology innovations to improve the human condition and make life more sustainable. John is a recipient of multiple grants and awards from NASA and the National Academy of Sciences for his work in the industry. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry from Brown University, his MSc in Bioinformatics from Edinburgh University, and a degree in Computer Science with Information Engineering from the University of Hull.

John joins me today to discuss the potential of synthetic biology if applied to today’s agriculture sector. He explains what SynBioBeta stands for, what they want to accomplish, and the innovations we can look forward to as consumers. He shares his thoughts on lab-grown meat, the Anti-GMO crowds, and the future of Mars exploration. John also discusses what we can look forward to from their Beta Space Event.

“Synthetic biology is not actually what you do – it’s the way you do it.” – Dr. John Cumbers

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

  • What SynBioBeta is and what they aim to achieve with synthetic biology.
  • The innovations synthetic biology has made possible.
  • His thoughts on plant-based meats and cell-based meats.
  • How Rural America can benefit from what he calls the “Bio Belt.”
  • What needs to happen to pursue a “Bio Belt” hub program.
  • How the Anti-GMO community reacts to their technological innovations.
  • Why everybody should have a bio strategy.
  • What extremophiles are and how they can help produce food in space.
  • His opinion on the future of Mars exploration.
  • What people can look forward to the Beta Space event.

Resources mentioned:

Connect with Dr. John Cumbers:

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

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

Shark Farmer Podcast – Alyssa Badger strength in confidence

Alyssa Badger is one of the most impressive people you’ll ever meet. Listen as she talks about building her career without a college education, and struggling to overcome an assault.

Ag Tech So What Podcast logo

Agtech….so what podacast – Rachel Hay on the role of women in agtech adoption

Dr. Rachel Hay is a social scientist at James Cook University who has uncovered some insights into agtech adoption through her work in behaviour change. 

Rachel‘s PhD focused on agtech adoption, highlighting the importance of grazier women in the use and adoption of agtech. She found that women play a vital role in unlocking the potential of agtech adoption on-farm. 

Though the research is now a bit dated (it was published in 2014), Rachel’s insights still hold true and may be helpful for agtech companies looking to understand the industry and develop marketing strategies that can cut through the noise. 

Here are a few tips from Rachel’s research to help agtech vendors to reach their target audience and drive adoption:

  • Build trust and meaningful relationships with your producers. Though it may seem like this has to take time, Rachel highlights that content is king and relationships can be built digitally as well as in person. 
  • Be approachable and be seen. AgTech companies need to get out to producer events and engage with their customers, not just sell. 
  • Widen your marketing net, as decision makers are not always male! In fact, her research shows that it’s often the females who are doing the research and driving product adoption, both on-farm and for the back office. 
  • Don’t tell farmers what they need, listen to what they want. This should go without saying, and yet it’s something that tech vendors and extension agents alike get wrong. 


Do you have a story of women driving agtech adoption? Are there other tips that you’ve learned for building trust with producers? We’d love to hear them! 


You can find Rachel, a boutique pig farmer when she’s not writing or researching, on social media here: 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrRach4Research

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/drrachelhay/

Facebook page: The Engagement of Women & Technology in Agriculture

To delve more into Rachel’s research click here

Technology adoption by rural women in Queensland, Australia: women driving technology from the homestead for the paddock

What the Farm Podcast – Allison Woodward beet and great