Making A Difference

Teaching Farmers New Tricks of the Trade

Erik Malmstrom (MBA 2012)

Erik Malmstrom (MBA 2012) is general manager of crop marketing for the Farmers Business Network in California. In this video, he describes how the organization is helping transform the agriculture space using data analytics and sharing best-practices.

“Farmers Business Network is about three years old. It was founded to help farmers become more profitable. Right now, the American farmer struggles to find ways to access the broader market, and we think that we have an opportunity to help farmers make more money and to leverage their data in ways that can help level the playing field.

“Farmers have been going through major changes, both in the way that they actually farm their land, but then how they manage their businesses and run their businesses more like entrepreneurs, as opposed to the traditional ways that they've run their businesses. Farmers are very data and technology savvy and are constantly looking for ways to improve and become better, become more profitable and keep track with a very competitive marketplace.

“I talk to farmers all the time. Many farmers that I speak with feel very comfortable in running the agronomic, operational side of their farm, but they feel often overwhelmed by the market complexities of what's happening with different crop prices, what they should be selling, who they should be selling to, how and when they should sell. Those are all things that we can help with tremendously.

“I spent time between high school and college working on farms in New Zealand, and I really grew to love the industry, the profession, and the trade. It just seems very real to me. It also has a direct connection with people. Every day, they're eating or they're touched by agriculture somehow. FBN is one of the most exciting, disruptive companies in agriculture. And the industry is really ripe for some big changes.”

(Published February 2018)