GROWMARK and CHS create cooperative enterprises
It’s time for your report on the Farm of the Future. I am Tim Hammerich.
Two of the largest farmer cooperatives, CHS and GROWMARK, recently announced the formation of Cooperative Ventures, a new farm capital fund aimed at investing in tech startups. GROWMARK Chief Innovation Officer Brad Drake says they view their farm property as an asset in determining which investments will gain traction in the market.
Drake… “We have the unique ability, for the benefit of our own farmer owners, to create this feedback loop. To create this process by which we verify and validate that these technologies are beneficial, improve on-farm profitability and create sustainable practices. You know, we’ve been doing this for a while in a form we call AgValidity. And this is really just the next step in the evolution of our AgValidity process, that is, we now need a mechanism, not only to test the technology and the business prospects of that technology, but also to be able to take a stake in this technology and really help it from a financial point of view as well.
The AgValidity program has applied rigorous on-farm testing to agricultural technologies, and now these farmers can benefit from their success through their cooperative.
Drake… “We keep calling, you know, the 100,000 farmers that we collectively serve, the millions of acres that we serve as a test lab for these start-up technologies. “