I get the opportunity to visit with a lot of different groups, and a point I always make is the exploding rate of investment in agriculture technology. Just last week, the total figures for 2015 investment were released, and would you believe over $4.6 billion was invested in the industry? Even more amazing: in 2014 the total was $2.4 billion. That’s a 94% increase!
But just as important to me is where this investment is happening. For example, from 2013 to 2014 Silicon Valley investment doubled. Last year, big corporations like Monsanto and Syngenta were a major part of the increase in investments.
I feel passionately that ag technology needs to serve farmers, with a focus on bringing value and profit to the farm. That passion includes farming communities, and carries through to where our company IntelliFarms chooses to make its investments year after year: in our “hometown” of Archie, MO.
Be the voice of our customers
One thing you see, read or hear every day in agriculture is how things have transformed from a system of local or regional operations to a global industry. It’s true – even individual farmers are now influenced daily by factors on a global scale.
And that’s why this is such an exciting time for ag technology investment. As more and more global factors come into play, more and more global investment is being made. But what does that do to the local farmer?
I’m convinced you can respond to global influences without leaving your local or regional operation, and we’re proving it by basing our entire IntelliFarms operation in Archie, MO. Archie is a small town about 45 minutes south of Kansas City, and a few years ago we consolidated our operations there from locations in a KC suburb and another Cass County Missouri town, Garden City.
In Archie, our neighbors are also our customers. We’ve become heavily involved and supportive of community programs, not just in our hometown, but across Cass County. It’s all part of our company culture – we believe in supporting agriculture not just with our products, but with our actions.
At home in the heartland
Don’t be confused – being located in a small town hasn’t in any way dampened IntelliFarms’ growth or investment. In just the past five years our staff has grown over 6 times larger. And we’ve brought new products to the market, including our newest the 3G Plus Cables. All of these products are developed, designed and manufactured right here in Archie.
In fact, over 50% of our employees are from the local community. We’ve found passionate, dedicated neighbors who are eager to put their skilled labor to work for a local company. At the same time, we’ve attracted the highly skilled design and development positions needed to continue innovating on behalf of our customers.
2016 promises to be another record year for agriculture investment. While much of that money will continue to be invested in predictable locations, I’m proud to say we’re invested in our local, rural, agricultural home community of Archie, MO. Our products may say “Made in Archie,” but you could just as easily say Archie has made IntelliFarms what it is today.