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Future of Agriculture

Welcome to the Future of Agriculture Podcast with Tim Hammerich. This show explores the people, companies, and ideas shaping the future of agribusiness. If you are curious about innovations in AgTech, rural entrepreneurship, agricultural sustainability, and food security, this is the show for you! For more details on the guests featured on this show, visit the blog at www.FutureOfAg.com. Or, to learn more about career opportunities in agriculture, visit www.AgGrad.com Make sure you’re subscribed so you can catch another fascinating ag innovator next week!
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Now displaying: May, 2021
May 26, 2021

PLEASE COMPLETE OUR LISTENER SURVEY: https://airtable.com/shrCB33GWIUCIxVRU

Today you’re going to get to hear the story of Dave Oien of Timeless Seeds and Timeless Food. He shares how he figured out how to convert to organic when very few thought it was possible, then how we built a seed business that ultimately became a food business. And make sure you stay to the end for some really interesting comments about resiliency. 

Dave returned to the farm in Montana and convinced his dad in the 1970s to let him convert the farm to organic. Then, over the next four decades he built a seed business and a food business selling organic lentils and chickpeas as well as ancient grains and some other farm products. 

His story is so remarkable, it was made into a book called “Lentil Underground.”

This episode was created and originally was published as a part of another podcast I host called Growing Pulse Crops. Audrey Kalil who produces that show has graciously allowed me to re-air the episode on my show because I think it’s so good. So if you’re at all interested in pulse crop production - that’s peas, chickpeas, and lentils, go check out that show: Growing Pulse Crops on any podcast platform. 

 

Join the FOA Community!

Be sure to join the new Future of Agriculture Membership for even more valuable information on the future of the ag industry. I’m sending out my email newsletter on a more regular basis, focusing on what I call the front lines of agtech: where product meets producer. You can sign up for that at www.FutureOfAg.com. There’s an email icon in the center of the page, just click on that and it will take you to a signup form.

Do you have suggestions for topics to be explored? Tweet them to me @timhammerich or email them to tim@aggrad.com

Find us online!

Future of Agriculture Website

AgGrad Website

May 19, 2021

Today’s episode is brought to you by FarmQA (www.FarmQA.com

Today’s guest is Shannon Winny with GroWest Ag Ventures in Central Saskatchewan. She is a Professional Agronomist and a Certified Crop Advisor. About 18 months ago she decided to start her own company to meet the need for independent agronomy services in Saskatchewan.

Farming is a team sport. Certainly nobody shares the same risk profile as a farmer, but every successful farmer that I can think of has strong relationships with people like consultants, agronomists, farm marketers, other farmers, extension agents, researchers, and more. These trusted advisors often serve as the extension of that farm business and play critical roles in the decision-making. 

These individuals are all too often overlooked by agtech companies and agribusinesses. So this summer I’m hosting a tech-enabled advisor series. One episode per month will be dedicated to featuring one of these trusted advisors to learn about their business, their tech stack, and how they view the future of agriculture as it pertains to the farmer customers in their area.

“I saw the fit that farms need a hundred percent unbiased, independent agronomy recommendations. It's really hard as the retail agronomist to maintain a hundred percent and be a hundred percent impartial when you know what's in the chem shed, how much margin you're making off specific products, stuff like that. So I decided to go the completely independent route.” - Shannon Winny

 

Shannon’s services are charged by the acre, sample or hour but because of her business model she is not beholden to quotas or specific products. This allows her to maintain an unbiased approach for producers that will provide them the best advice and benefits. She has circumvented the obstacle of producer adoption of different software by using the all inclusive, customizable, intuitive software from FarmQA. Farmers are able to see real time data and reports to monitor, save and analyze the data their operation provides.

 

“Agriculture is just changing so rapidly and we need to start really targeting specific zones and how to effectively manage those zones because land is expensive. We should manage the land that we have as efficiently and effectively as possible to be profitable.” - Shannon Winny

 

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

  • Meet Shannon Winny, an independent agronomy consultant with GroWest Ag Ventures in Central Saskatchewan
  • Discover the advantages and benefits of the FarmQA technology she uses as an independent consultant

 

Thanks to FarmQA for sponsoring this episode. Make sure you go learn more about them at www.FarmQA.com and tell them thank you on Twitter @farm_qa.

 

Join the FOA Community!

Be sure to join the new Future of Agriculture Membership for even more valuable information on the future of the ag industry. I’m sending out my email newsletter on a more regular basis, focusing on what I call the front lines of agtech: where product meets producer. You can sign up for that at www.FutureOfAg.com. There’s an email icon in the center of the page, just click on that and it will take you to a signup form.

Do you have suggestions for topics to be explored? Tweet them to me @timhammerich or email them to tim@aggrad.com

Find us online!

Future of Agriculture Website

AgGrad Website

May 12, 2021

Check out the SWAT Agronomy Podcast on any podcast platform!


 Please participate in our listener survey to help us focus the direction of the show:  https://airtable.com/shrCB33GWIUCIxVRU

If you’ve ever tried to grow any food crop - shoot, even a garden - you know that insect pests are unavoidable. Over the past 100 years, chemical pesticides have been developed as efficient and cost effective ways for farmers to manage these pests. But as I’m sure you know, they are not without their downsides: pests are building resistance, they are constantly under environmental scrutiny, and frankly, there hasn’t been much innovation in this space. 

Our guests today, Anna Rath and Ben Cicora of the company Vestaron say: we’ve seen this before. They’ll lay out a case for you that what’s happening right now in ag chem has already played out in human chemistry. The clear winner has been biotechnology: namely using peptides, which are essentially just proteins except smaller, instead of chemistry. In human pharmaceuticals, this gave rise to companies like Genentech and Amgen. In agriculture, Vestaron is pioneering their peptide-based products that have the same effectiveness as the chemical alternatives, but with a new mode of action, and without some of those negative externalities of chemicals. 

Now I want to be clear here, because it can get confusing: peptides are different from other biologicals that you hear about in agriculture, and may have even heard about on this show. Those are generally microbes, these are short chain amino acids. Again, they’re basically proteins, only smaller. So they’re not ag chemicals, but they’re also not biologicals in the classic agricultural definition of the term. Making this clear is actually part of their challenge in commercialization, which we get into in this episode. 

I know some of this gets a little technical, but I highly recommend you stick around and have a listen to this episode. If this is the first time you’re hearing about peptides, I guarantee you it won’t be the last. 

 

May 5, 2021

Please participate in our listener survey to help us focus the direction of the show:  https://airtable.com/shrCB33GWIUCIxVRU 

While we here in the U.S. have an agricultural system built upon exports, while our guest today lives in Abu Dhabi, part of the United Arab Emirates which currently imports 80% of their food. What we view here as needed viable technology to create a more sustainable agriculture is likely to be different there. 

We have on the show His Excellency Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi. Dr. Tariq is the Director General of the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO). He leads the organisation’s efforts to grow and diversify Abu Dhabi’s economy through private sector investment. He also oversees strategic initiatives that support the emirate’s economic growth and reputation on the world stage.

One of those initiatives was to entice leading agtech companies from around the world to establish new R&D and production facilities in the emirate. In 2020, ADIO announced partnerships with AeroFarms, Madar Farms, RNZ and Responsive Drip Irrigation to bring innovation to the area to turn sand into farmland, solve complex global agriculture challenges and expand the profile of local food producers. ADIO is investing $100 million in those four companies to build facilities in Abu Dhabi, each tasked with solving regional and global challenges.

They are also partnering with three AgTech companies, US-based Nanoracks, India’s FreshToHome and Pure Harvest to develop ‘land, sea & space’ AgTech projects in Abu Dhabi, offering $41.3m in incentives to the innovative companies to develop next generation agriculture solutions to support food production in arid and desert climates.

In this episode, we talk about these initiatives from a high level, and how Dr. Tariq is looking at bringing ag innovation into the region to create a more food secure environment. His Excellency holds a PhD in Economics from the Imperial College London, and graduate degrees from Columbia University and London Business School.  

Join the FOA Community!

Be sure to join the new Future of Agriculture Membership for even more valuable information on the future of the ag industry. I’m sending out my email newsletter on a more regular basis, focusing on what I call the front lines of agtech: where product meets producer. You can sign up for that at www.FutureOfAg.com. There’s an email icon in the center of the page, just click on that and it will take you to a signup form.

Do you have suggestions for topics to be explored? Tweet them to me @timhammerich or email them to tim@aggrad.com

Find us online!

Future of Agriculture Website

AgGrad Website

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