FoA 420: Farmer-Driven Innovation With AgLaunch And Ag Ventures Alliance

Headstorm: https://headstorm.com/

AGPILOT: https://headstorm.com/agpilot/

Ag Ventures Alliance: https://agventuresalliance.com/

AgLaunch: https://aglaunch.com/

FoA 068: Farmers Investing in AgTech with Spencer Stensrude of Ag Ventures Alliance and Matthew Rooda of SwineTech

FoA 117: Bridging the Gap Between AgTech Entrepreneurs and Farmers with Pete Nelson of AgLaunch

Today's episode features Pete Nelson and Margaret Oldham from Aglaunch and Spencer Stensrude at Ag Ventures Alliance. If you’ve been a long time listener to this show - i mean a REALLY long time listener - you heard Spencer back on episode 68 in 2017 and Pete on episode 117 in 2018. I’ll link to both of those classics in the show notes. Since that time the two organizations have partnered together based on a shared mission of investing in farmer-led innovations. They each have unique aspects to their models, which i’ll let Pete, Margaret and Spencer describe to you. But they also are joining forces in a way to put the farmer at the center of investing in and incubating early stage agtech companies. 

There are some really interesting points brought up in this conversation that I’ve been thinking about a lot since we recorded it a couple of months ago. Things like, should billion dollar unicorn exits be the measure of success for venture capital? Or number of viable lasting companies? Or maybe jobs and economic impact on communities? Is the fact that venture capital gets poured into so many businesses that fail a feature or a bug when it comes to advancing agriculture? And does the fact that we are in a commodity driven business mean that by definition, all of the value created by companies will eventually get squeezed out and extracted by low cost leaders? Some thought provoking questions that I think you’ll enjoy pondering as you listen to Spencer, Margaret, and Pete. 

Spencer Stensrude invests at the intersection of transformational technology and agriculture. He is the CEO of Ag Ventures Alliance, which is a farmer-owned cooperative with a mission to increase farm profitability. They make venture capital investments in startups with a direct impact on farmers. Before joining AgVA, he started and operated some small businesses, invested in income-producing real estate, and worked in the commercial lending industry.

Pete Nelson has been experimental farming, venture investing, and creating innovation hubs in agriculture with farmers across the US and Canada since 1997. He is currently co-founder and President of AgLaunch, a nationally recognized farmer-led innovation platform for advancing the next generation of agricultural technologies.

Margaret Oldham is the Vice President of Innovation at AgLaunch. She is an experienced marketer and coach with a reputation for working with clients to implement successful marketing and training strategies in animal health, crop protection and specialty crop segments. 

About the Podcast

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Future of Agriculture
Future of Agriculture Podcast

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About your host

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Tim Hammerich

I share stories about agriculture, agtech, and agribusiness on podcasts and radio.