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Deere adds 7 companies to its 2022 Startup Collaborator program

Deere & Company has added seven companies to its 2022 Startup Collaborator program. John Deere launched the program in 2019 to enhance and deepen its interaction with startup companies whose technology could add value for customers.

“The startup collaborator shows that part of our investment in technology is establishing a mechanism to help external ideas and knowledge collide with ours,” said Julian Sanchez, director, emerging technology for John Deere. “Agriculture is a domain ripe for technology pioneering, and the startup collaborator program is a way to travel that journey together with others.”

The seven companies John Deere added to the program include:

  • Burro — A company providing people-scale robotic platforms to help farm laborers work more productively today, while laying the base for comprehensive automation of the most labor-intensive on-farm tasks tomorrow.
  • — Crop.Zone is the electrifying solution available to every grower looking for a sustainable and reliable solution to control weeds and desiccate crops without residue.
  • Four Growers — A company providing robotic harvesting and analytics for high-value crops — starting with greenhouse tomatoes.
  • SeeDevice — A company working to provide enhanced CMOS SWIR image sensing capabilities and performance, using quantum-based photodetector technology for smart devices in automotive, biomedical, and machine vision applications.
  • Ucropit — A company bringing together farmers and companies to create, aggregate and share Crop Stories with verified sustainability traceability.
  • ViewAR — A company with more than 10 years of experience in creating Augmented Reality (AR) business solutions which address many customer pain points and use cases, like indoor navigation and AR for service, and allows them to easily create their own high-quality AR-Apps and start their augmented reality journey.
  • Yard Stick — A company developing low-cost, instant, in situ soil carbon measurement technologies to enable gigaton/year carbon removal via agriculture.

The Startup Collaborator is a year-long program providing flexibility for John Deere and startup companies to test innovative technologies with customers and dealers without a formal business relationship. Startups also gain affiliation with and mentoring from a world-class leader in technology for agricultural and construction equipment.

“The expansion of this year’s collaborator program provides an opportunity for John Deere to work with this globally diverse group across a broad area of technology spaces while continuing to unlock value for our customers across multiple production systems,” said Michele Kaiser, business development manager for John Deere.

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FFA officers explore agriculture in California

The National FFA Organization encourages its members to broaden their horizons and learn more about agriculture in different areas. Earlier this month, 46 current and former state FFA officers visited California and learned about the various types of agriculture the state offers.

Members flew into California and toured various agribusinesses — from the largest U.S. producer of caviar to a fourth-generation ranch practicing responsible carbon farming and more. They also talked with the California secretary of agriculture, the vice-chair of the California Water Board and the vice president of state government affairs at Western Growers.

During the second week of the tour, members visited berry farms, nurseries, a horse ranch, and a feedlot; experienced whale watching; and explored the Muir National Forest. They spoke with a variety of agriculture experts, learned about practices they could take home to their communities, and visited the Mark Richardson Career Technical Education Center & Agricultural Farm in Santa Maria.

FFA members who participated in the experience include: Alyssa Andrews and William Blankenship of Arkansas; Jillian Johnson, Carter Howell, Julia Heijkoop, Kelly Alexander, Barrett Young and Tyler Brannan of Florida; Madison Stevenson and Kesley Holdgrafer of Iowa; Cassandra Moody, Claire Shelton and Katherine Hebdon of Idaho; Julia Hamblen of Indiana; Ashley Chandler and Rachel Sebesta of Kansas; Kyle Schulze of Maryland; Olivia Coffey and Adele Battel of Michigan; Nicol Koziolek of Minnesota; Joceyln Dvorak of Missouri; Regan Hand of Mississippi; Bailey Robinson, Emma Kuss, Madison Stracke and Victoria Ference of Nebraska; Emily Sadlon, Abigail Goodenough, and Johnathan Finney of New Jersey; Aubrey Schwartz, Jacob Zajkowski, John Dippold, Katherine Price, Kylie Baldwin, Isabel D’Aquisto-Butler and Justin Sharp of Oregon; Hunter Eide of South Dakota; Ryder Mortenson of South Dakota and Samantha Olson of South Dakota; Charles Moser; Samuel Leach; Ellie Vance; Jackson Lohr, Lauren Rhodes and Emma Jackson of Virginia.

Agricultural College Guide
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Dairy farmers are constantly adapting to the world around them

There are less and less dairy farms across the country. However, the ones who are in still in the industry are working hard to adapt to their surroundings while also using their creativity to continue to do a job they love. In addition to creativity, dairy farmers are prioritizing their environmental impact to ensure dairy farming is around for future generations. 

According to National Milk Producer Federation, per-capita dairy consumption in the U.S. has been growing and is at the highest levels since 1960. Exports in 2021 are on pace for a record. Now, with last year’s retail sales data available, we can see that 2020’s gains in grocery-store purchases weren’t just a rechanneling of lost school and restaurant business toward at-home consumption. By comparing 2021 with 2019, we can see that dairy’s gains are built to last, according to data from industry researcher IRI.

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Ohio-based Kuhns Mfg. changes its name to Norden Mfg.

Kuhns Mfg., an Ohio-based manufacturer providing square-bale handling products for hay growers, is changing its company name to Norden Mfg. The same ownership and staff will remain in place, but the name change and rebranding effort is seen as a way for the company to best expand its product lines and create a unique identity in the industry.

The company out of North Bloomfield, Ohio, is currently known for its hay accumulators, tie-grabbers, and standard grabbers. It has 75 employees and does business on five continents.

Owner Kenny Kuhns said that the name “Norden” is German for north and represents the German ties in our Amish roots. The logo is a star with a compass theme. The official change, which includes a new logo, will go into effect Feb. 7.

The reason behind the change, he said, is that “as part of our focus on business development, our family believes that rebranding our company to a name that creates clarity of identity and reflects our values provides opportunity for us to offer a range of new products.”

According to a news release, Kuhns Mfg. has decided to change its name to Norden Mfg. for three specific reasons:

  • The company wants to create clarity and reduce confusion in the marketplace from another similarly named hay equipment manufacturer.
  • The change will also allow the opportunity to expand the company’s product offerings for its dealers.
  • By expanding its product lines, this will enhance long term stability of the company.
Image courtesy of Norden Manufacturing

“The logo is a star with a compass theme. The name and logo together remind us of the North Star,” Kuhns said in a post on the company website. “The North Star is true north for all people at all times in all places. We know that The Truth, like the North Star, exists on its own and transcends opinions and preferences. So while each one of us brings truth, we are not The Truth.”

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