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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: Page 1
Apr 14, 2021

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

Today we get a unique global view into agtech and agribusiness. We are joined by Greg Meyers, who is the Chief Information Officer and Chief Digital Officer of Syngenta based at their world headquarters in Switzerland. Most of you are familiar with Syngenta but you may or may not know they are the largest crop protection company in the world and the third largest seed company in the world. They also provide digital ag platforms to 125 million acres of global crop production. 

Greg offers his perspective as someone with a front row seat to the global digitization of agriculture. We talk about the agtech customer in various countries, Syngenta’s acquisition strategy, their role in both digital ag and soil health, and some interesting ideas worth pondering about the future of agriculture. 

“The reality of it is that a lot of the growers really have a very specific set of things they're trying to accomplish. And obviously the nature of the work is there's a really compressed window in which those activities have to happen. So if you're trying to create these solutions and they don't fit within that window of work, they really have a hard time finding a fit.” - Greg Meyers

Greg comments that he sees a lot of agtech startups with a really innovative piece of technology that doesn’t answer a direct problem the farmer needs solved. “It’s almost like a solution looking for a problem...So what we’re trying to do is to take our innovation experience in chemistry and biology and marry it to agronomy and computer science,” explains Greg. Finding market fit without incorporating these many different aspects of farming within a specific problem and pain point can lead to a lack of interest by the producer. For example, predictive models in Brazil help solve scouting issues for Asian Soybean Rust while in the “mega farms” of Eastern Europe maximizing fuel efficiency and coordinating the use of different farm equipment is a significant advantage. Syngenta has strategically chosen partners and acquisitions to support specific pain points identified by producers in their specific region. 

“We focused on companies that have already had traction. They had a great market fit. They already had customers and we acquired them not because of the revenue they were getting, but because they really understood the local market well and they had good customer relationships. They were adding value to the grower. They're adding value to the growers advisor….and so we've really built our software platform around trying to be able to help the whole ecosystem that helps farmers.” - Greg Meyers

This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast:

  • Meet Greg Meyers, who is the Chief Information Officer and Chief Digital Officer of Syngenta
  • Explore the agtech industry from a high level perspective and why Greg thinks some technologies are more successful than others in getting adopted
  • Discover the goals of Syngenta’s acquisitions and how they choose partners going forward
  • Learn about the future of Syngenta and where their focus is for the future

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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