Something Greater podcast episode four: Ag tech and e-business

This is how our omnichannel strategy supports business growth in partnership with our retail owners

Teddy Bekele

In the 1930s, nearly 30 percent of the U.S. population were farmers, according to USDA data. That meant that more than 35 million of the country's 123 million total population were farming. Fast forward nearly a century and those numbers look completely different.
Less than 2 percent of the U.S. population farms now -- yet there are more mouths to feed while having fewer acres to do it. That’s one serious gap to build a bridge over. So, how can we accomplish it? Technology and forward thinking.
Let’s put the problem in to perspective. By the year 2050, its estimated there will be more than 9-billion people on earth. That’s two billion more to feed in just 30 years. When you’re a farmer, harvest only happens once a year so in essence, that’s just 30 tries to feed a growing population -- and get it right.
Our tech platforms are out to solve those big issues and put the right tools in to the hands of farmers so they can succeed for the greater good. From in field crop modeling, data driven planting and insights derived from our Answer Plot program, we are a data-driven, insight-backed agriculture company.
On episode four of Something Greater we break down our AgTech platforms and dive in to how they’re helping the farmer make smarter decisions. Join host Kim Olson and Land O’Lakes, Inc. Chief Technology Officer and latest guest Teddy Bekele.

Here are some excerpts from the episode:

Bekele: “Technology is interesting and exciting for me. What takes it to the next level is the application of it. What makes it something greater for me is when we develop these tools and put them in to the hands of our members and they do something greater.”
Olson: “It’s interesting the parallels that some of our member-owners have with your story. Bringing their children in to the business and having mixed feelings about the potential for success in farming. Do you see those parallels?”
Bekele: “I don’t think, seeing the struggles my dad went through, that this was the industry I wanted to be in. Once I found out the various businesses of Land O’Lakes, the divisions they were in -- instead of developing a system to run a business, now we were creating a system to solve a real problem on a field for a real farmer. That was the piece that attracted me most to Land O’Lakes”
The podcast is available in the member Connections newsletter. You’ll also be able to subscribe through iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts or wherever podcasts are available -- subscribe and rate each episode.

In case you missed it, check out previous episodes of Something Greater.

Episode One: Legislative Advocacy
Episode Two: Member Engagement
Episode Three: All Together Better and marketing the cooperative