Growing in the U.S. Heartland

By Katrina Stanislaw
4 Jun

Six weeks flew by, and we just wrapped our participation in the Cultivo Global Ag Innovation Program. Cultivo was designed to launch global ag companies in the great agricultural state of Iowa. AgriDigital was in the inaugural cohort, alongside ARCITEKBio Ltd, Bondi Labs, Escavox, FarmSee, Safe Ag Systems and SWAN Systems.

Jettisoning out of a tumultuous 2020, 2021 has been a whirlwind in U.S. ag with a new administration, market volatility, and unprecedented levels of interest in the future of ag and agtech innovation. Cultivo was right on time for our team with an extraordinary blend of industry insight, connections, and practical advice on how to grow in the U.S. Here are 3 of the top takeaways we're carrying forward.

  1. Changing landscape of ag. A theme from virtually all of our guest speakers was buckle up, things are shifting fast in Iowa, U.S. and global ag! The past 30 years ago in ag have succeeded in maximizing volume, the next breakthrough is improving crop value through function or nutrition while preserving volume- and being able to segment, trace and certify attributes across the supply chain. The industry has strong existing standards on NON-GMO and organic, with standards yet to be established around regenerative, low-carbon to meet industry and consumer demand. The confluence of opportunities and needs is why AgriDigital is powering connection  through our supply chain platforms - we're more energized than ever to be on the ground now in the U.S.

  2. Connections. In 6 weeks- virtually no less, and with our peers dialing in from literally across the globe - we managed to meet some of the most established and innovative players in Iowa. From leadership at Corteva, John Deere, Sukup, to start-ups like Rantizo, industry experts at Iowa State University and state producer associations. The list goes on - and we appreciate each and every speaker who took the time to share and brainstorm with us. At AgriDigital we are all about partnership - after all, it is the key to connected supply chains - and we've just scratched the surface of collaboration opportunities with this network!

  3. Corporate growth in the U.S. No doubt growth is about strategy, product market-fit, and a stellar team. The other critical piece? Navigating state and federal and international policies on everything from IP ownership, to employee policies, and taxes. It's a complicated web to navigate. The value of digging into these areas with deeply experienced third party advisors was more than a stepping stone - it was a bridge to scalable growth. This team made the complex simple, and introduced us to the partners we need along the journey. (And to those of you in this process, we're happy to share what we have learned along the way).

Before we started this program the Cultivo team promised this was a partnership for the long-term. The effort the team put into our sessions, in between the sessions, and now to supporting us makes it clear this was a real promise. Thank you for an extraordinary 6 weeks of learning!

Our journey in Iowa has only just begun and we look forward to meeting many of our partners this summer and going into harvest. And for those of you traveling around the U.S. this summer, come meet us in our Bozeman, MT headquarters!

Katrina Stanislaw
Head of Business Development & Partnerships

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