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Future of Agriculture

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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 subsc… Continue Reading >>
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! << Show Less
Featured Audio
FoA 322: Commodity Crops to Value Added CPG with Claire Smith and Jennifer Barney Visit our quarterly presenting sponsor: www.calgaryagbusiness.com Teffola: https://www.eatteffola.com/The Business of Food Newsletter: https://jenniferbarney.substack.com/FoA 221: Bringing Commercial Quinoa Production to Colorado: https://player.captivate.fm/episode/fd94a32f-7554-46b4-9ba5-bfc50a371680Claire Smith is the founder of the ancient grain granola brand Teffola. She comes from a 7th generation farming family in Michigan where Tenera Farms has been farming wheat, corn, and soy since 1837. In 2015 Tenera Farms started planting teff, a tiny grain rich in protein and fiber and a key ingredient in the Ethiopian bread injera. Why the farm began growing this obscure grain, how they became processors, and how that lead Claire to start making and marketing granola is the subject of this interview.Today’s episode is all about ancient grains and building a consumer packaged goods or CPG business on top of an established farm. These are two things I know very little about, so lucky for you and for me, we have a guest co-host joining us on the show today, Jennifer Barney. Several months ago, someone shared a post on LinkedIn called “Ag Companies Launching Food Brands”. Long time listeners of this show will know that is something I’m really fascinated by, so I immediately subscribed to the newsletter that produced the post. It turns out that newsletter called “The Business of Food” was created by Jennifer Barney. After reading several of her newsletters I reached out about collaborating, and here she is co-hosting her first episode.Jennifer is a consumer-packaged goods (CPG) expert. She lives in the Central Valley of California and got her start in the food industry 16 years ago when she founded the almond butter brand Barney Butter. Jennifer successfully grew the brand to nationwide retail distribution and then sold the company. After exiting Barney Butter, Jennifer has since become an advisor and consultant to startups and ag leaders who want to get closer to the consumer with their own brands and innovations. She writes an email newsletter called The Business of Food where she shares food industry knowledge including business modeling, growth tips, and what to focus on at the early stages of business.
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FoA 322: Commodity Crops to Value Added CPG with Claire Smith and Jennifer Barney Visit our quarterly presenting sponsor: www.calgaryagbusiness.com Teffola: https://www.eatteffola.com/The Business of Food Newsletter: https://jenniferbarney.substack.com/FoA 221: Bringing Commercial Quinoa Production to Colorado: https://player.captivate.fm/episode/fd94a32f-7554-46b4-9ba5-bfc50a371680Claire Smith is the founder of the ancient grain granola brand Teffola. She comes from a 7th generation farming family in Michigan where Tenera Farms has been farming wheat, corn, and soy since 1837. In 2015 Tenera Farms started planting teff, a tiny grain rich in protein and fiber and a key ingredient in the Ethiopian bread injera. Why the farm began growing this obscure grain, how they became processors, and how that lead Claire to start making and marketing granola is the subject of this interview.Today’s episode is all about ancient grains and building a consumer packaged goods or CPG business on top of an established farm. These are two things I know very little about, so lucky for you and for me, we have a guest co-host joining us on the show today, Jennifer Barney. Several months ago, someone shared a post on LinkedIn called “Ag Companies Launching Food Brands”. Long time listeners of this show will know that is something I’m really fascinated by, so I immediately subscribed to the newsletter that produced the post. It turns out that newsletter called “The Business of Food” was created by Jennifer Barney. After reading several of her newsletters I reached out about collaborating, and here she is co-hosting her first episode.Jennifer is a consumer-packaged goods (CPG) expert. She lives in the Central Valley of California and got her start in the food industry 16 years ago when she founded the almond butter brand Barney Butter. Jennifer successfully grew the brand to nationwide retail distribution and then sold the company. After exiting Barney Butter, Jennifer has since become an advisor and consultant to startups and ag leaders who want to get closer to the consumer with their own brands and innovations. She writes an email newsletter called The Business of Food where she shares food industry knowledge including business modeling, growth tips, and what to focus on at the early stages of business.
FoA 321: Vertical Farming in a Skyscraper with Dan Houston of AgriPlay Thank you to our quarterly presenting sponsor: www.CalgaryAgBusiness.comAgriPlay: https://www.agriplay.com/A4 Systems: https://a4.systems/Joining us for today's episode is Dan Houston, president of AgriPlay. Dan has over 17 years of experience in commercial real estate. He is a partner in a company called A4 Systems, which looks for industry issues that can use their expertise in data and technology. They have started two companies in agriculture: the first being HerdWhistle, a feedlot management system. And the second being AgriPlay which is building vertical farms in commercial real estate space. AgriPlay’s first big project, after their distressed environment lab where they have been testing all of this, is the Calgary Tower. Phase one is 65,000 square feed of vertical farms starting operations this coming September. But as you’re about to hear, their vision stretches far beyond this starting point. Dan claims they already have agreements with wholesale buyers of the produce and plans to expand production over the next year. Most of you have already heard the case for indoor farming. If not you can check out previous episodes like 71, 146, 185, 193, and 307.
FoA 320: Farmland Investment and Management with Skye Root of Root Agricultural Advisory Thank you to our quarterly presenting sponsor: www.CalgaryAgBusiness.comRoot Agricultural Advisory: RootAgAdvisory.com Skye Root on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/skye-root-cfa-5064463/ Skye Root is the founder of Root Agricultural Advisory where he manages and grows farmland portfolios throughout the Western USA. Prior to starting his company he worked as a senior vice president for Westchester Group Investment Management, a global farmland asset manager. And before that he was a water rights consultant for WestWater Research, a leading advisory firm in the water rights industry. In today’s episode we talk farmland and water, and the perception of more outside institutional money being deployed in rural areas. And when we say institutional money, we are talking about large organizations such as banks, pension funds, or insurance companies who are usually investing on behalf of their stakeholders. Skye is unique in that he grew up in a very rural part of eastern Oregon on a farm and ranch so he really understands the perspectives of both the producers and the investors looking to get into this industry.
FoA 319: Cell-Based Milk with Fengru Lin of TurtleTree Thank you to our quarterly presenting sponsor: www.CalgaryAgBusiness.comTurtleTree: https://turtletree.com/"From Farms to Incubators" https://bookshop.org/books/from-farms-to-incubators-women-innovators-revolutionizing-how-our-food-is-grown/9781610355759 Joining us on today’s episode is Fengru Lin, co-founder of TurtleTree, which is based in both Singapore and California. The company describes itself as “a biotech company dedicated to producing a new generation of nutrition—one that’s better for the planet, better for the animals, and better for people everywhere. Utilizing its proprietary, cell-based technology, the company is creating better-for-you milk ingredients sustainably and affordably, with benefits that extend beyond the dining table and into the heart of humanity.”When I first heard this description I was highly skeptical about their ability to compete with what I know is a very efficient dairy industry. But what I learned from Fengru shed a lot of light on where companies like TurtleTree still have a place in the future of agriculture. In my opinion, that includes cultivating high value proteins for things like ingredients and supplements and pharmaceuticals. Another aspect I find very valuable about what TurtleTree is doing is trying to close the gap between infant formula and real human breast milk. We’ve seen issues with formula supply chains recently, and TurtleTree’s approach can apply to all forms of milk, including human milk. This is the fifth and final episode in the series I’ve been doing over the past year with Amy Wu who is the author of the book “From Farms to Incubators: Women Innovators Revolutionizing How Our Food is Grown”. Amy is passionate about featuring women leaders in agtech and I have been glad to share that passion with her and all of you by featuring Joanne Zhang in episode 263, Ponsi Trivisvavet in episode 273, Shely Aronov in episode 290, Ros Harvey in episode 304, and of course Fengru today. I highly encourage you to purchase a copy of Amy’s book, as it not only includes these guests but also several other former guests of this podcast: like Pam Marrone, Fatma Kaplan, Sarah Nolet, Mariana Vasconcelos, Christine Su, and others. Alright, let’s get to our featured conversation with Fengru Lin, co-founder and CEO of TurtleTree - and yes, we are going to ask her where the company name came from. Since founding the company in 2019, TurtleTree has become a top player in the alternative protein industry with $40 million in startup funding. Fengru is an alumna of Singapore Management University where she studied Information Systems Management and Marketing. Before starting TurtleTree, she held positions with Google and Salesforce.
FoA 318: The Budding American (Hard) Cider Industry with Greg Peck, Ph.D. Thank you to our quarterly presenting sponsor: Calgary, Alberta! www.CalgaryAgBusiness.com Greg Peck research: https://hardcider.cals.cornell.edu/Cider Chat Podcast: https://ciderchat.com/ Today is an episode I’ve been very excited about for a long time because it combines three of my biggest passions: cider, farming, and this podcast. It’s part history of apples and cider, part analysis of the growing cider industry, and part personal indulgence of asking an expert if I’m crazy to dream of one-day owning an orchard-based cider company. Dr. Greg Peck is a pomologist, cider expert, and an associate professor in the School of Integrative Plant Sciences at Cornell University. His research addresses the challenges of sustainably and profitably producing tree fruits, and has conducted research in fruit-crop production systems in California, Washington, New York, and Virginia. He really has become a leader and expert in cider in the U.S., and received the American Cider Association’s 2018 Grower Advocate of the Year Award. As you can already tell, this episode was selfish for me in a lot of ways as a hobbyist cidermaker myself who has planted a dozen or so apple trees. But there’s some really great stuff in here that touches on history of agriculture, local agritourism, wine, climate change, and farm economics. Enjoy this episode with Dr. Greg Peck.
FoA 317: Modern Dairy Management with Greg Bethard of High Plains Ponderosa Dairy Thank you to our quarterly presenting sponsor, Merck Animal Health Ventures: https://www.merck-animal-health.com/animal-health-ventures/ Prime Future Weekly Newsletter: https://primefuture.substack.com/  Video of High Plains Ponderosa Dairy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s91pH9wNKOw  Today’s episode covers some really progressive concepts in modern agriculture, and specifically modern dairy. Greg Bethard is the CEO of High Plains Ponderosa Dairy in Kansas. You’re going to hear from the lens of a producer how they are finding ways to lower their carbon footprint, produce both dairy and beef using the same resources, drive costs lower, and partner with companies like Shell to take their operation to the next level.
FoA 316: Poultry Tech with Alan Beynon of Poultry Sense and Arjun Ganesan of Ancera Thank you to our quarterly presenting sponsor, Merck Animal Health Verntures: https://www.merck-animal-health.com/animal-health-ventures/ Poultry Sense: https://www.poultrysenseltd.com/  Ancera: https://www.ancera.com/  For the first half of today's episode you’ll hear an interview with Alan Beynon, founder of Poultry Sense. Then in the second half you’ll hear from Ancera founder & CEO Arjun Ganesan, who I’ll formally introduce a bit late in the episode.  Alan Beynon is a veterinarian in the UK who started Prognostix, which used to be called Poultry Sense, in 2016. As Alan will describe, he saw a lot of opportunity in the use of sensors and data to improve animal welfare and efficiency. Merck Animal Health Ventures invested in the company in 2019 and then ended up acquiring them in 2021. We talk a little bit about that part of Alan’s story as well. Connecticut-based Ancera is a pioneer in microbial-based risk assessment and monitoring solutions. So what does that mean? They have a proprietary technology that enables near real-time, rapid detection and quantification of microbial threats across all points in the food production process, from farm-to-consumer. If that’s still sounding vague, the way I sort of understood it in my mind was that biological interactions are more complex than chemical interactions. So for any type of biological intervention it’s important to know more than just did it work or did it not work. We need more data about the dynamics at play, and that’s what Ancera does for their customers. Founder and CEO Arjun Ganesan shares details as well as some specific use cases.
FoA 315: Building Local and Regional Food Systems with Philip Giampietro of Walden Local Meat Co Philip Giampietro is the CEO and president of Walden Local Meat Company. Founded in 2014, Walden is New England and New York's leading brand of locally raised, sustainable meat. They are part of the first cohort of companies to legally reincorporate as a public benefit corporation or B-Corp. Philip says their purpose is to “make local work," with a more specific mandate to: 1) Connect adjacent rural and urban communities, 2) Produce the healthiest products possible with leading standards of animal welfare and environmental sustainability, and 3) Create incentives for farmers to move to more regenerative practices — those that are not simply "do less harm" but those that provide a net positive benefit to the environment and surrounding communities. Before Walden, Philip was a Director at Bain Capital and held various positions in private equity and consulting.    Thank you to our quarterly presenting sponsor, Merck Animal Health Ventures: https://www.merck-animal-health.com/animal-health-ventures/ Walden Local Meat Co: https://waldenlocalmeat.com/ *SUBSCRIBE TO JANETTE BARNARD'S PRIME FUTURE NEWSLETTER: https://primefuture.substack.com/  Join the FoA Community: www.Patreon.com/agriculture  We have a great show for you today about what it takes to build a regional food system that can scale in today’s market that has very high expectations when it comes to taste, flavor, convenience, health, social and environmental impact, and beyond. Walden Local Meat has been building their company serving the Northeast U.S. since 2014. They have a great story about what it takes to make this approach work, and where they see the future of local and regional food systems headed. Some of you may know that I grew up in a direct-to-consumer specialty livestock business, so this concept is definitely of interest to me and near and dear to my heart.
FoA 314: The Value of Farm Data with Jason Tatge of AGI Digital (Farmobile) Thank you to our quarterly presenting sponsor, Merck Animal Health Ventures: https://www.merck-animal-health.com/animal-health-ventures/ AGI: https://www.aggrowth.com/ Farmobile: https://www.farmobile.com/  Today’s episode is a fascinating look at the value of farm data. Jason Tatge has been thinking about farm data for decades now, and you’re going to hear about the early days of trading data over the phone, to how that concept is basically what we know today as carbon credits and NFTs. He’ll also talk about how Ag Growth International or AGI is using Farmobile’s platform to connect data from all sorts of equipment including things like grain bins and dryers to reach unprecedented levels of interoperable farm data. Some really interesting topics to cover on today’s show, make sure you stay to the end to hear his vision for where all this stuff is going. Jason is currently serving as a Senior Vice President for AGI Digital.  AGI Digital is the collection of technology assets that have been acquired by AGI. These include the companies of Intellifarms, Farmobile and CMC Hazard Monitoring. AGI, for those that don’t know, provides global equipment solutions for seed, fertilizer, grain, feed and food processing systems.They are a global equipment leader with several brands across five main areas: Grain, Fertilizer, Food, Feed and Seed. Jason came to AGI by way of acquisition of his company Farmobile last year. He started his career though, in the same way I did: as a commodities trader. After seven years of that work, he was a co-founding employee of Farms.com, and then started his own company called Farms Technology, which was an electronic marketplace with automated hedging capabilities. He sold that company to DuPont Pioneer in 2012.  JOIN THE FOA COMMUNITY: www.Patreon.com/agriculture
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