On this week’s EnTRUEpreneurship podcast, we welcome Wade Barnes, CEO and co-founder of Farmers Edge, a leading precision agronomy firm that offers integrated data solutions to farmers to increase their yields. From a humble family farm in rural Manitoba, Canada, Barnes and co-founder, Curtis MacKinnon have grown Farmers Edge to become one of the world’s leading ag-tech firms, with an estimated revenue of $75MM in 2018. Farmers Edge’s processes are used on nearly 25 million acres of crops – more land mass than the entire country of South Korea.
Wade shares how Farmers Edge uses a data-driven approach to help farmers make better decisions and how he’s managed to scale his company to operate in 5 countries and compete directly with corporations like Monsanto and Dupont.
The EnTRUEpreneurship Takeaway:
“You don’t have to be a giant to win. The big don’t necessarily eat the small; it’s the swift that eat the slow.”
Key Topics Discussed:
2:37: Wade takes listeners back to his family farm in rural Manitoba and why he decided to stick with farming at a time when all his friends were leaving agriculture behind.
5:15: Wade talks about the early days of Farmers Edge and how early failures led him to shift the company’s focus and grow to become one of the leading ag-tech firms in North America.
15:05: Wade discusses how Farmers Edge uses data to benefit farmers as well as his unique ability to relate to his client base and express the benefits of technology to farmers.
18:35: Wade shares why he decided to scale his company as well as the moment he came to believe that he could take on huge agriculture conglomerates like Monsanto and Dupont – and win.
26:05: Wade discusses the challenges faced by working in 5 different countries, what makes a good client, and why he faces more difficulties in the boardroom than out in the field.
30:26: Wade reveals the top traits that have made him a successful entrepreneur and offers advice on how to select the right financial partners and VC’s to fund expansion.
39:05: Wade discloses the one piece of advice he would have given himself when he started his company in 2005.
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