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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: March, 2022
Mar 30, 2022

Today's episode is brought to you by Sound Agriculture: https://www.sound.ag/

The Yield: https://www.theyield.com/

"From Farms to Incubators" book: https://bookshop.org/books/from-farms-to-incubators-women-innovators-revolutionizing-how-our-food-is-grown/9781610355759 

Joining us on today’s show is Ros Harvey, founder and CEO of The Yield, which is an Australian agtech company that focuses on leveraging data science to provide large specialty crop producers with digital playbooks to improve farming operations and supply chains. The Yield is planning an expansion into the U.S. market this year after establishing themselves in Australia over the past seven years. We have an interesting conversation about their approach to farm data, why their playbook is a different approach from other digital ag companies, her thoughts on data ownership, and the need for more holistic approaches to agtech. 

Mar 23, 2022

Kristjan Hebert Twitter: https://twitter.com/KristjanHebert

Kristjan Hebert website: https://kristjanhebert.com/

Hebert Grain Ventures: https://hebertgrainventures.com/

"Traction" by Gino Wickman

"Get a Grip" by Gino Wickman

"Rocket Fuel" by Gino Wickman

Joining me again on today’s show is Kristjan Hebert. Kristjan is the managing partner of Hebert Grain Ventures (HGV), a 30,000 acre grain and oilseed operation in southeast Saskatchewan. If you listened to the last episode, you already know that this is part two of the interview, and I highly encourage you to go back and listen to part one if you haven’t done so yet. Kristjan talked in that episode about his transition from working in accounting to coming back to his family’s farm, the business principles and processes he has put in place to grow his operation, and a lot of just great business advice relevant to not just farmers, but anyone who is trying to run their business better. 

 

We continue that theme today as we dive into the operating system that Kristjan uses to run his company. When I say operating system, some of you might think I mean software, and that’s not what I mean at all. This is adapted from a program called the Entrepreneurial Operating System or EOS. We talk about the principles involved which include vision, people, data, issues, process, and traction. 

 

Kristjan describes his scorecard of 15 key metrics that he tracks to make sure his business is performing well and headed in the right direction. In the last episode he talked about some of the financial metrics that are included in the 15, but today he’ll go into some of the other important metrics he tracks.

Mar 16, 2022

Today's episode is brought to you by Sound Agriculture: https://www.sound.ag/

Kirstjan Hebert: http://www.kristjanhebert.com/

HGV: https://hebertgrainventures.com/

Maverick Ag: https://maverickag.com/

Kristjan Twitter: https://twitter.com/KristjanHebert

Joining me on today’s show is Kristjan Hebert. Kristjan is the managing partner of Hebert Grain Ventures (HGV), a 30,000 acre grain and oilseed operation in southeast Saskatchewan. After a brief stint at accounting firm Meyers Norris Penny, he came back to farming with a focus on profitability. He is a graduate of Texas A&M’s The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers (TEPAP), which you will hear reference a couple of times today.  Danny Klinefelter of TEPAP, whose name will also come up in the interview, refers to Kristjan as “one of the most progressive young farmers he knows”. On top of all of that, Kristjan is also the co-founder of online farm labor platform WorkHorse Hub as well as Maverick Ag - providing custom designed lending, accounting, and insurance solutions to producers.

 

For this interview, I’m doing something I almost never do: I’m splitting it into two episodes because I thought there was so much here worth your time. In part one today, we talk about the financial lessons he learned from being a CPA that he now applies to his farm, the importance of building a team, dealing with landlords, how is thinking about policy and sustainability, and more. Next week we will go over the operating system he uses to do all of this as well as some of his views on agtech - so that’s just a teaser to listen in again next week. 

Know some other strategic, forward-thinking, unconventional producers that should be featured on this show? Email me: tim@aggrad.com

Mar 9, 2022
Today’s episode is brought to you by Sound Agriculture: https://www.sound.ag/

Suma Reddy LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/suma-reddy-0285386/

Future Acres: https://www.futureacres.co/

Wavemaker Labs: https://www.wavemakerlabs.com/ 

JOIN THE FOA COMMUNITY: www.patreon.com/agriculture

Joining me on today’s show is Suma Reddy, the co-founder and CEO of Future Acres. Suma’s company builds advanced mobility and AI solutions for farms, starting with a robot called Carry, an autonomous harvest companion that increases production efficiency, improves farmworker safety, and provides real time data and analytics. So think like a fully autonomous cart or wheelbarrow that transports table grapes from where they are picked to where they are loaded out of the vineyard. 

We definitely talk more about Future Acres in this episode and Suma’s vision for the intersection of people and technology in agriculture. We also talk about the labor problems that technologies like this help solve. But mostly, we talk about ideas for funding companies like this. Especially, the venture studio that Future Acres was born out of, what they’ve learned from equity crowdfunding, and a tiny little bit on leveraging communities of people to form special purpose vehicles or SPVs which are ad hock groups of investors that participate alongside VCs or angel investors. So much fascinating stuff covered in this episode. 

Suma’s career got started as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali working with smallholder farmers. From there, she joined a high growth microfinance startup in India which IPO’d and eventually sold for a couple billion dollars. Then she returned home to the U.S., and after business school jumped into climate and agriculture with renewable energy projects followed by cofounding an indoor ag startup called FarmShelf. But she felt pulled back to outdoor agriculture and she found this opportunity to start Future Acres at a venture studio, and that is where we dive into today’s episode with Future Acres CEO Suma Reddy. 

Mar 2, 2022

Previous guests featured: 

Richard Waite

Dan Kittredge

Jason Persall

Paul Winters

Xin Yi Lim

Mark Remmert

Sarah Mock

Join the FoA Community: www.Patreon.com/agriculture

For most of the history of industrial agriculture, consumers demanded of the food system four foundational criteria: price, safety, taste and convenience. This has not changed, nor do I have reason to believe it will in the future. What has changed is that we have realized that if we make those our only criteria, we fall victim to a host of other problems: health problems, climate change, environmental degradation, inequities, and unfortunately the list goes on. 

 

New values have emerged from consumers that want more out of our food system beyond just the price, safety, taste and convenience which of course remain vital. 

After spending some time reflecting on the past 300 episodes of this show, I’ve compiled a list of seven consumer values that I think will continue to shape the future of the ag industry, and I’ve drawn from former guests to share them with you today. 

Now I realize fads come and go. But I don’t think we’re talking about fads here. I think we are talking about underlying values that will continue to inform the way consumers eat, buy, and vote in the future. And we as an ag industry ought to be aware of them and factor them into our strategies for the future of agriculture.

  1. Climate Impact
  2. Nutrition/Health
  3. Connection to an Authentic Source
  4. Fun & Social Experiences
  5. Hunger and Poverty Alleviation
  6. Waste Reduction
  7. Social Impact
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