IRVINE, CALIF. (December 1, 2021) – Disheartening tales of agtech companies who focus on tech at the expense of ag are legendary, and a new generation of entrepreneurs are emphasizing that they approach agriculture with a respect for growers' needs - and the economic data to back up their claims of efficacy.
In the most recent episodes of Voices of the Valley, the podcast hosted by Dennis Donohue, the Director of Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology, and Candace Wilson, CEO of GreenVenus, spoke with Rantizo CEO Michael Ott and Ag-Bee President Briana Layfied about innovations in drone use, and 3Bar Biologics Founder & CEO Bruce Caldwell on the improvements the biologics space can make in agriculture.
“I think the biggest thing that we’re trying to relate to growers is [that] we want to provide you with the data, we want to show you how much more effective this is,” Layfield said. “We understand that you need something to back this up. We’re trying to listen to our growers…we want to find that niche for you, and be most effective for you, specifically.”
“That’s one of our goals, to find people on the west coast that want to work with us and see that there are benefits to doing things in a smarter way,” Ott said. “What’s the value of not spraying extra pesticide where you don’t need it?...We want to be as precise as we need to be.”
Fresh off winning $250,000 in the AgSharks pitch competition sponsored by Western Growers and S2G Ventures at the Western Growers 2021 Annual Meeting, Caldwell said that technology companies need to view themselves as collaborators - not competitors - when entering the agriculture market.
"Our technology is an enabling technology that can lift the performance of the entire sector," he said. "It will improve productivity for the crop, but also improve economics - both on return on investment for the grower...and the manufacturer."
Voices of the Valley is produced by Western Growers and its Center for Innovation & Technology.
The embed code for the episode with Ott and Layfield is below:
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The embed code for the episode with Caldwell is below:
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