Farming has advanced substantially over the last 50 years, with faster and more efficient equipment, advances in fertilizer and pest management, GPS technology, and precision planting – to name only a few.
These production innovations have helped farmers operate more efficiently, increase yields, and ultimately be more profitable.
GrainBridge has added to this list of great innovations with the introduction of its SaaS solution for the ag industry. GrainBridge products are designed to help farmers plan, manage, communicate, and market their commodities. The company serves ag businesses such as Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland, commodity consultants, Farm Credit associations along with individual farmers.
So, what is GrainBridge and what are its benefits? GrainBridge is a farm management software designed to organize and integrate financial information. This includes production costs, financials, cash sales, brokerage trades, and crop insurance. Another benefit of GrainBridge is the ability to easily manage margins by comparing performance to cost-of-production to better understand profitability. The third benefit is the ability to provide farmers with customized reports which are necessary for lenders, marketing advisors, landlords or stakeholders.
Mark Frank, CEO of GrainBridge, and Pat Kroese, Director of Sales, co-founded the company in 2008. The inspiration for the company came to Mark a year prior to the company’s founding.
“At the time, the market was extremely volatile. I was using spreadsheets to help farmers manage their grain marketing at the time, and I thought ‘what if every farmer had access to this as a web-based software?’” said Mark.
He added that GrainBridge started with a focus on organizational tools for grain and livestock but has since expanded beyond corn and soybeans to include marketing solutions for other commodities such as wheat, cranberries, tobacco, peanuts, potatoes, and others.
GrainBridge offers a multitude of features for farmers and ag partners. Users create detailed crop and livestock profiles to set the foundation for a holistic understanding of the elements of their business and its production potential. The profile includes details such as herd and acreage information that can be broken down into crop and livestock types across the operation.
The next step is the creation of a comprehensive annual plan with more detailed inputs such as operational expenses, target profit goals, and projected yields at market prices. This benchmarking feature helps farmers track the operation and adjust as needed according to the multitude of fluctuations inherent to farming operations.
The GrainBridge platform helps farmers gauge risk and profit potential based on current market data. The platform provides a live futures feed so that farmers can manage cash contracts based on up-to-the-moment data.
The benefits of GrainBridge extend beyond the farmer to the resources integral to the operation. Clients can set access privileges for seamless collaboration with their selected Agribusiness professionals such as bankers, crop insurance providers, and marketing advisors. For example, GrainBridge can help users manage multiple insurance policies for farmers with varying protection levels across crop types and locations.
In addition to expanding its services, GrainBridge has steadily added new talent over the past year, and nine employees in the last three months alone, including software architects, engineers, and product experts in agribusiness, grain markets, and crop insurance. Mark anticipates hiring to continue for the foreseeable future with an emphasis in software development, business development, and marketing positions.
With this increase in employees, Mark noted that GrainBridge is adding a completely new platform which allows farmers the ability to view grain bids and sell grain to participating grain buyers. Farmer’s marketing information, such as grain contracts, scale tickets, and payments will be organized in the GrainBridge platform. By doing so, farmers will have access to unprecedented insight, simplicity, and convenience that hasn’t existed previously. The company is on pace to begin rolling out the new features over the next six months.
The founding team’s roots run deep in agriculture. Mark was raised on his family’s farm in Northeast Nebraska where he was immersed in grain, livestock, swine, and dairy production. He graduated from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln with a degree in agricultural education. He started Diversified Management Consulting, LLC with two partners, which helped farmers manage risk and market commodities.
Pat also grew up in Nebraska, having strong roots in the agriculture and livestock industry. He graduated from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in 1994 with a degree in agribusiness. Since then, he has spent extensive time in sales and marketing, working for firms such as Nebraska Cattlemen Association, Golden Harvest Seed and Cargill Grain Company.
GrainBridge has partnered with 600 high schools to offer an outreach program with free use of GrainBridge software and curriculum that teaches students ag skills such as risk management and how to create a budget. Several universities and ag colleges, including the University of Nebraska – Lincoln will provide use of GrainBridge in junior and senior marketing classes this spring.
For more information about this company, please visit their website: https://grainbridge.com/
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