DRIVING A QUANTUM LEAP IN FARM PERFORMANCE
Our scrappy, entrepreneurial team developed the Leaf prototype on the farm, not in a corporate office. The experience forced us to figure out how to deal with the day to day whirlwind of life on the farm. It also showed us why so many AgTech products fail to deliver value to growers.
Just some of the examples that caused us to lose crucial information - a combine catching fire, equipment going missing, and weather devastating freshly planted fields.
Overcoming these challenges required that our patent-pending system place unparalleled focus on automating in-field records.
The end result is a unique platform that combines low-cost IoT sensors & mobile devices with advanced classification algorithms to generate an operational history of the farm without manual input. To cap it off our state-of-the-art engineering stack including Docker, Golang, AWS, Swift and React result in stable, performant software that we can continue to evolve for years to come.
The Leaf platform is a fundamental stepping stone towards our vision. Accurate, reliable records underlie the ability for data-driven decision making. Nevertheless getting there was incredibly hard...
There was no “Aha!” moment with Leaf. Instead there has been a winding journey of learning and evolution. Well before we built a product and a company, there were a number of events that together would kick off Leaf.
One crucial effort originated with a key partner today, Stotz Equipment. Stotz Equipment was working to build a precision ag team in early 2012. Precision technology had the potential to radically transform the industry. Providing solutions to customers instead of just equipment, parts and service seemed the right way to go.
But what solutions? The Stotz leadership team set out to visit their top customers to find out. The consensus among top producers was that they would be successful in the long term if they had water, could control their costs, and could figure out how to benefit from the new technologies.
There was so much promising technology being developed in the industry, but there was a crippling problem: day-to-day information about what happened on the farm was missing. That hindered the ability to use data and technology to drive value.
Aerial imagery projects went flat when questions like “when did we plant that field” couldn’t be answered or were pencil whipped. Machine optimization projects ran up against walls such as “which disk was it pulling?” or “who was operating the sprayer?”. Accounting projects couldn’t result in management decisions because costs weren’t being allocated in meaningful ways.
At the same time, a related business - Stotz Dairy - entered the farming business to control feed quality & cost in a tough dairy market. The dairy itself had an impressive set of key performance metrics spanning productivity, health, and well-being on the dairy. Processes and performance were measured. Results were compared to history and industry benchmarks. Gaps were identified, closed and results improved. However, when it came to farming the team faced a surprising roadblock. The same tools and information that drove the dairy proved impossible to come by.
These experiences steered leadership at Stotz to develop agribusiness expertise through the precision ag team. Yet despite enthusiasm and interest from their market, they couldn’t find the tools or context that could make information valuable, nor could they find industry benchmarks for performance.
Stotz combined their precision ag team with a team of software engineers to develop solutions that could make farming data valuable. With thought, time, and trial and error, ideas coalesced into a product. An early prototype showed promise well beyond just Stotz’s customers, but to capitalize on that promise with a commerical product would take a unique effort.
In August of 2015 this effort materialized as a software startup called Agrarian Labs. Agrarian Labs launched their product, Leaf, commercially in 2017. Today our team combines expertise from the agriculture, consulting, and software industries with the ultimate vision of driving a quantum leap in farm performance.
Combining agribusiness, consulting, and software engineering to bring you Leaf.
Cofounder & CEO
Tom guides strategy & vision at Leaf in addition to his leadership roles at Stotz Equipment and Stotz Dairy/Farms. His multi-decade leadership in family business plus his entrepreneurial spirit (BS Stanford '88) are at the core of Agrarian Labs.
Head of Customer Success
Ryan drives the sales, consulting, and customer success efforts of Agrarian Labs. He joined the team in late 2015 after stints at Epic Systems and Boston Consulting Group. Also a Cardinal alumn, Ryan's efforts have resulted in Leaf's intense focus on ROI to the grower and building long term partnerships in the industry.
Cofounder & Head of Engineering
Rex brings decades of software experience to the Leaf team and guides the engineering process. Before contributing to Leaf's early prototypes or leading the development of our proprietary algorithms, Rex implemented highly scalable systems for both large firms and startups.
Cofounder & COO
Joey leads overall product & engineering efforts at Agrarian Labs. Following his graduation from Stanford in 2012, Joey joined and then managed the precision ag team at Stotz. Finding a true passion in developing solutions through software, Joey balances his time between leadership & development.
Rebecca owns all things product at Agrarian Labs. Her problem solving, creativity, and supply chain background from ASU created the basis for our product development, communication, and sprint processes. Rebecca's jack-of-all-trades capabilities have additionally lead to sales and support in the field.
Zac powers customer success at Agrarian Labs. His work with distributors, trusted advisors, and growers ensures customer satisfaction and value. Prior to joining the team, Zac attained a BS in Finance from DU before becoming a Project Manager for one of the best healthcare-software companies in the world, Epic Systems.
Max is responsible for the industry-leading infrastructure that powers the Leaf platform. His ability to think about problems comprehensively -from user behavior to performance optimization - has helped build Leaf to what it is today. Boasting an MSCS from EPITECH, Max joined Leaf after leading software development for a startup in the Bay Area.
Clarke joined the customer success team at Leaf after serving as Director of Growth Strategy for a digital marketing firm in LA. In addition to managing Leaf's major grower accounts, Clarke leverages his background in strategic marketing to help communicate the hardworking sustainability and strategic initiatives of Leaf customers.
As the teams first Data Engineer, Maxime helps drive data systems from classification to feature engineering. His passion for entrepreneurship allows Maxime to take industry leading solutions from strategy to implementation. Prior to joining Leaf Maxime held roles including managing Natural Search at eBay and launching two of his own ventures.
Junior Software Engineer
Natalie takes the Junior Engineering role to a high-leverage place at Leaf. She contributes directly as a forward-deployed engineer while rounding out her full-stack skills. Natalie received a degree in Fine Arts at U of A, before formalizing her development education at Galvanize and working as an engineer for an education company.