Our Big Hairy Audacious Goal/BHAG: A Machine Learning system on every farm.

Our systems know what a plant is doing every day of its life from planting to harvest.

In early corn belt field trials our AI systems :
recommend optimal seed choices from virtually the entire available market
to increase potential yields for farms by up to 15%.
In blind studies, whole farm predictions within 0.3% of actual realized.
Mid-summer field level forecasts within 2.4% of October harvest.
Our systems can simulate production practice efficiencies on-the-farm
and farm production against other farms

WHO ARE WE ?

We're a team that has been there - and knows the difference

FOUNDER, VISUAL FARMS

Margaret Maizel is the Founder and President of Visual Farms. An expert in geo-spatial systems, she champions farms, and conservation efforts that created or improved programs at local, state and federal levels. She is an inventor of the Visual Farms’ US Patent #799754.

She was President, ONEIMAGE, LLC consulting to agriculture manufacturers, and national conservation organizations for 15 years following a position as VP, Integrated Systems, VantagePoint Network, Deere & Co in Fort Collins, Colorado. Previously, she was a Co-founder, of a Congressionally-funded program through USDA to integrate federal geospatial systems to support rural decision makers.

She was an Owner/operator, of a registered Angus cow-calf operation in the Shenandoah Valley near Berryville, VA, for 15 years while Chairman and member, of the Clarke County, VA Planning Commission. For five years, she Chaired the Virginia Land Records, Surveying and Mapping Commission as the Governor’s appointee to assist local governments in modernizing their land records systems.

Previously, she authored, 21 peer-reviewed papers in molecular genetics as a Research Associate, Harvard Medical School in Boston, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

FOUNDER, VISUAL FARMS

Ron Olson is an Agronomist and pioneer in precision farming.  As an entrepreneur, he started and exited one of the earliest companies to assist farmers with GPS-based 2.5 acre grid soil sampling, VRT seeding and fertilizer applications, and yield mapping.

He later built a successful agri-business consulting firm. He is a facilitator of the Midwest Agricultural Innovation Network and consults with the leading US farmers in APPEX and Centrec peer networks.

  • ‍Senior Agronomist, R&D Manager, Cargill Crop Nutrition where he led development of the MicroEssentials suite of fertilizers.
  • ‍B.S. degree,Agronomy and Education, University of Illinois. M.S., Environmental Science, Governors State U. IL.

CTO - AI SYSTEMS

While at Deere & Co., Jim invented the first Yield Monitor, 1992 and the Gator.

  • Designed a wireless network for worldwide equipment on the move
  • Modeled $100M financial/retirement fund
  • ‍Designed intelligent combine articulating tine separator
  • Built proven target market segmentation tools
  • ‍His products currently generate  >$2B annually

CxO VISUAL FARMS

Rich Kopcho's core competencies are business development, product management, marketing and sales.  His lifelong work is building startups, having formed or joined over 15.

Rich offers over twenty years experience working with enterprise-class big data solutions including disaster recovery methods deployed during 9/11, Healthcare analytics, capturing the data from the human genome project, and ecommerce big data storage and analytics.

Over the past three years he worked on a startup focused on easily integrating data delivered by API’s for data scientists and data analysts.

His experience includes competitive intelligence, international marketing, product management and business development for Hewlett Packard and others. As well as 10 years as the managing partner of an international manufacturing consultancy to fortune 100 clients.

He actively mentors entrepreneurial students at the University of Colorado—Boulder and Colorado State University, Fort Collins. He is a community board member of CU’s Deming Center for Entrepreneurship.  He is interviewed in the book: 50 Interviews: Entrepreneurs.

CTO

Brian Fromme is a technology entrepreneur, with an extensive career in software development.  Brian has launched businesses, managed large-scale product development and consulting programs, and delivered sales and marketing objectives.

There are three key aspects that Brian utilizes as a CTO for Visual Farms:

  • Deep expertise in web-based software product engineering.
  • Rich experience in managing teams that release multi-million dollar software assets.
  • Entrepreneur with strong people skills and self-driven, tenacious approach.

In the past decade, Brian has focused on cloud technology products, as a Cloud Alliance Manager at Canonical, the makers of Ubuntu Linux.  Brian has a strong background in open-source business models, building community, and using Cloud technologies to improve product delivery.

ADVISORS

Charles M. (Kim) Drackett, Jr. is Chairman, President and General Manager of Fairholme Farms in Lewisville, Indiana.

As an entrepreneur and President and General Manager of Fairholme Farms, Mr. Drackett brings significant business and management level experience from inside the Agricultural Industry and from the financial services industry. In addition, through his business experience, Mr. Drackett has gained significant technological knowledge, adding additional value to the Board.

  • Graduate of Dartmouth College, the Indiana Institute of Food and Nutrition in Indianapolis and the Purdue University Short Course in Agriculture.
  • Served as a Trustee of the Indiana Pork Producers Association and as a Director of The Cincinnati Nature Center where he was Chairman of its Agricultural Operations Committee.
  • Director of Ameriana Bank since 1989 and Director of Ameriana Bancorp since its formation in 1990 until he retired recently.

ADVISORS

Keith DeVoe is the GM and CEO of Roggen Farmer’s Elevator Association, privately held by producer farmers.  He is responsible for $80MM/year in gross sales as a merchandiser of corn, wheat, barley, millet, canola, soybean meal, and DDG.  And as a supplier of refined fuels, propane, fertilizers and ag chemicals.

Keith’s experience with agricultural cooperatives is an invaluable asset to Visual Farms.

  • 7 years as a board director of Rocky Mountain Agribusiness Association.
  • First GM of Commerce City Grain for 10 years and is the current Board Chairman of one of the first successful 50/50 partnerships of a fortune 500 company, Ardent Mill’s and a local farmer cooperative, Roggen Farmers’ Elevator.
  • Involved in the commodity grain trade industry since leaving Ohio State in 1987 and received an EMBA in 2015 from Colorado State University.

ADVISORS

Gary Acromite is currently President, Iron Intel, LLC. – a Supply Chain and Technology company focused on delivering consumable replacement parts to heavy equipment wherever they are located in the world. Acromite also provides executive technology leadership on a selected contract basis, is a member of the First Technology Solutions Advisory Board, and does a variety of speaking engagements.

Previously, Acromite held senior executive positions with Gavilon Global Ad Holdings, LLC, a leading commodity trading and supply chain management firm; United Malt Holdings, LP, ASAlliances Biofuels, LLC; USC Consulting Group, LLC; ConAgra Beef Company; Wolverine World Wide, Inc.; and Honeywell, Inc.

For Visual Farms, Acromite brings a wealth of Ag Tech market knowledge, technology architecture and application development strategies, operational implementation and management practices, and strategic visioning to the team.

  • Mastery of specialized skills in; thought leadership in advanced technology solutions, technology organizational leadership; customer solution delivery; organizational transformation; complex project delivery leadership; strategic alignment to business objectives; development of cost-effective technology architectures and solutions; and competitive supply chain management practices.
  • Experience  working with private-equity owned companies and successfully managing the resulting integration, separation, organizational reengineering work, and due diligence associated with merger and acquisition actions.
  • Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with a dual major in finance and economics from the University of Minnesota.
  • Master of Software Design and Development certificate from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN.

FARMING SYSTEMS ARE OUR BUSINESS

...we build them!

OUR A.I. TOOLS

New Knowledge to Farmers is New Power

Accounting for  agronomic production requires a system of systems. Three interacting components  - Climate, Landscape and Farm Management - are critical to the outcomes of sustainable food-producing systems. Our systems quantify the interacting variables and conditions that affect these outcomes.

AGRICLIMATE

The AgriClimate System accounts for solar energy and other climate factors critical to plant growth. No other program offers even similar content, scope or level of reliability.
Approximately 100,000 monitoring stations across the country collect data continuously. It is corrected and synthesized by the Agri-climate System more precisely and accurately than any other program currently available - including that of the federal government.
The system drives two profitability tools, Seed Performer and Farm4cast and modifies the VFARMS landscapes during the growing season.

VFARMS

VFARMS (US Patent #799754) is the only system of its kind for comprehensive and rapid descriptions of every American farm - 2.3 million farmers, 2.2 million farms 38 million farm fields nationwide.
The program provides a rich background of information about each farm's production history - landscapes, size and production type, farm structure,  - its history of risks and successes and more.
When used with the AgriClimate System, the synthesis of a farm's history and current growing conditions provide a highly accurate basis for a farmer's decision-making strategies. VFARMS offers independent and unbiased information with a consistent, nationwide framework for benchmarks. It allows farmers to control sharing of any new information they provide.

GEOCONVERSATIONS

Geoconversations is a national geo-social network for farmers, agribusiness, food manufacturers and consumers. It's a national virtual coffee shop - a platform for communication for the entire food system community. Farmers can obtain advice from agronomists  and share experiences with one another in identical growing environments.
As demand for healthy foods increases, and domestic supplies are variable, restaurants can find ready sources of fresh produce, organic food sources and/or direct markets. Geoconversations offers the entire food system a geo-focused forum for the exchange of information, technology solutions and ideas.

FARM4CAST

Farm 4Cast is a second profitability tool driven by the Agriclimate System.  Integrating information from rainfall and solar radiation, and other climate factors, it provides farmers with the most precise estimate available of crop yield potential and harvest dates. The information is provided on a continual basis through the growing season.
Farmers are able to leverage this information for an advance planning window to develop market strategies – when to sell, when to store, and how much. When used in conjunction with Seed Performer, the tools have been estimated to increase profitability for a 1,000 acre corn field in Central Illinois by $70,000, or 25% over the average net farm income of $235,000.

SEED PERFORMER

Seed Performer is a profitability tool that utilizes the AgriClimate System. It matches tens of millions of corn and soybean hybrid seed performance traits to a farm's growing conditions.
Early results from Seed Performer-recommended hybrids used with Farm4cast to  estimate an increased average profitability of 25-30% over average net farm income for a corn operation have been verified by recent on-farm performance trials.
Farmers can select the most desirable traits from the top 20-50 performing seeds recommended for their soils and climate. The proven enhanced knowledge provided by Seed Performer makes better yields, lower costs and increased profits a certainty more than a dream.

CONTACT US

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