All Summaries for Future of Agriculture

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This show explores the people, companies, and ideas shaping the future of the agriculture industry. Every week, Tim Hammerich talks to the farmers, founders, innovators and investors to share stories of agtech, sustainability, resiliency and the future of food. We believe innovation is an important part of the future of agriculture, and real change comes from collaboration between scientists, entrepreneurs and farmers. Lead with optimism, but also bring data! For more details on the guests featured on this show, visit the blog at

FoA 377: Leveraging Data to Advance in Cattle Genetics With Lee Leachman
Soy Checkoff: Future Newsletter: Cattle of Colorado: agriculture, we have exponentially more examples of people collecting data than we do of people using data to unlock real value supported by real dollars. Cattle genetics company Leachman Cattle is one of those few who demonstrated the ability to do just that. "You know, we kinda had set our own course to analyze our own data, to gather our own data to store it. And that's just been part of our model. It certainly wouldn't have been the cheapest route to go. But if you go the cheapest route, which is you put your data in a breed association, then we wouldn't have had any proprietary data or indexes. And I think it is that information and the way we use that information that. That led to the opportunity that we had to do business with URUS."That’s Lee Leachman, and Uris, who he mentioned there at the end, just agreed to acquire a majority stake in Leachman Cattle to take these proven proprietary genetics and build programs around them that optimize the entire value chain. "We want to build systems that capture value for dairy farmers and beef cattle ranchers that bring more money back to the farm. And to do that, we've gotta optimize these animals from conception to consumption, and we've gotta have enough structure to pass the value back."Lee Leachman chats with Janette Barnard on today’s Future of Agriculture podcast. Lee’s going to share more about his background and his company during the conversation, but I actually wasn’t a part of this one. This interview was conducted by my good friend and occasional co-host on this show, Janette Barnard. Long time listeners know Janette from previous episodes that she has co-hosted with me, and I hope you all are subscribers to her email newsletter, which is called Prime Future, which you can signup for at
Wed, August 30, 2023
FoA 376: Agroforestry on Commercial Midwest Farms with Kevin Wolz of Canopy FM
Soy Checkoff: Farm Management: Institute: Wolz and I talk about the fundamentals of agroforestry, their potential in the midwest, what these systems look like, and the barriers and opportunities to agroforestry becoming a bigger part of the future of agriculture, especially in the midwest where Kevin is focused. In 2013, Kevin co-founded the Savanna Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing and promoting perennial and tree-based regenerative agriculture systems. Under Kevin’s leadership, the Institute quickly gained recognition for its transformative research, education, outreach, and breeding efforts.Kevin is also the CEO of Canopy Farm Management. He is leading that company to drive innovation in tree establishment and management via a mobile fleet of state-of-the-art farm equipment, appropriate automation, and holistic strategies for tree-crop integration. Make sure you stay tuned to the end of today’s episode for a spotlight segment featuring Michigan farmer Laurie Isley. She shares some of the cool conservation practices they are adopting and some of the initiatives she’s a part of as a director for the United Soybean Board. Thanks so much to the soy checkoff for supporting the Future of Agriculture podcast.
Wed, August 23, 2023
FoA 375: Soil Carbon Sequestration and Grazing Management with Paige Stanley, Ph.D.
Soy Checkoff: Paige Stanley's website: 222: Digging Deeper Into Regenerative Agriculture with Paige Stanley:, Management, and Monitoring (3M) Project: Paige Stanely is an interdisciplinary scientist working to understand how grazing management can sequester carbon in soils to help mitigate climate change and build more resilient rangeland ecosystems. She draws on a wide range of disciplines including soil biogeochemistry, grazing and rangeland ecology, agroecology, rancher sociology, and political ecology to approach research questions holistically. Paige is particularly interested in the use of “regenerative grazing” (or adaptive multi-paddock grazing) by ranchers on rangelands -- a form of high-intensity, short duration grazing with potential for increasing soil C sequestration.We really have a great and wide ranging conversation here about regenerative agriculture, from the challenges of carbon measurement to grazing management to carbon nitrogen ratio dynamics to producer economics to rancher sociology and beyond. Really a lot of fun to talk to Paige again. Speaking of which I should mention that this is her second appearance on the show. Her first episode, which also happens to rank up there as one of my favorite episodes, was number 222, back almost three years ago in September of 2020. In fact that’s a great one to go back and listen to after you finish this one, it’s titled “Digging Deeper into Regenerative Agriculture”. We’ll kick off today’s episode with Paige recapping what led her into the long process of understanding what it takes to properly sample, analyze, and measure soil carbon sequestration. I think this is really relevant to the current discussion which seems to take for granted, how difficult it is to get this right with a high level of accuracy.
Wed, August 16, 2023
FoA 374: The Potential for Perennial Grains with Peter Miller and Brandon Schlautman of Sustain-A-Grain
Soy Checkoff: Land Institute:’s episode features Peter Miller and Brandon Schlautman, Ph.D. of Sustain-A-Grain. Sustain-A-Grain has a two-part mission: to introduce consumers to Kernza® perennial grain and to support family farms in growing Kernza®. The team has been growing Kernza® themselves for nearly 5 years in close collaboration with The Land Institute—where Kernza® was first developed. They are certified seed dealers, handlers, and growers, and they work with dozens of farmers across the Great Plains to grow and market their grain. They also work with food companies, restaurants, breweries, and distilleries to source high-quality Kernza®. This is an interesting episode about the potential for perennial grains, and what it takes to commercialize a brand new crop. The problems are different that what you would expect. For example, Kernza® has received a ton of press and excitement from some pretty big end users, which sounds like a great thing, and ultimately it is. But Peter and Brandon have to find ways to build the supply chain in a way that buyers remain happy, farmers remain profitable, and supply and demand can grow together at a sustainable pace. No easy task. We’ll talk about the research and breeding efforts that continue to go into the crop and what this means for farmers, food companies, and the future of agriculture. Peter Miller, CEO & Co-founder, has global agribusiness experience and previously worked in three early-stage startups, including helping to launch FarmLead’s online grain marketplace. Peter has over 10 years of operations and private equity experience in the ag industry. He holds an MBA from University of Illinois.Dr. Brandon Schlautman, Chief Science Officer & Co-founder, is a crop scientist who previously led cranberry breeding and domestication efforts at University of Wisconsin and perennialization of edible legumes at The Land Institute. Brandon serves as the Research Director for a $10M National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant for perennial cover crops and holds a Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin.We begin the conversation with Brandon talking about where this all started, the place where Kernza® has been developed over the past 20 years: at The Land Institute. 
Wed, August 9, 2023
FoA 372: [Startup Spotlight] Managing Farm Labor with Joshua Farray of FieldClock
Soy Checkoff: in agtech we get a little too focused on solutions that are still years away from reaching widespread adoption, and overlook providing practical solutions for today’s problems on the farm. Joshua Farray is the CEO of FieldClock which helps track and manage farm labor. They’re a great example that ag technology doesn’t have to mean big venture capital bets on a world that’s drastically different than it is today. Through their customer-focused approach, FieldClock has remained laser-focused on helping farmers and farmworkers with very practical tasks like clocking in and out, getting paid properly for piecework, and keeping compliant with labor regulations. Joshua has a family history in the produce trade, and that’s also where he started his career. But int 2011 he decided to get into tech, and helped a lot of people in his network modernize their business through technology. His network was mostly made up of farmers and people in agriculture, and he eventually started building the product that would become FieldClock along with his co-founders which included farmers in Washington State. Joshua started off as CTO of the company and took over as CEO about a year ago. I appreciate FieldClock’s customer-centric approach and relentless focus on challenges related to managing labor. I hope you’ll find the product and the conversation as interesting as I did.
Wed, July 26, 2023
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