Farmer Perspective


Article Farmer Perspective

Why I Chose FBN: Mark Huffman, Driver

Nov 16, 2022

by Mark Wilson

Our ‘Why I Chose FBN®’ series features stories from employees across different roles, teams, and geographies on how they got to  FBN , what it’s like to work here, and how their teams help fulfill our mission of putting Farmers First®. When did you join FBN , what is your current role at FBN , where are you based, and what are your responsibilities?  I joined FBN in April 2022 as a Driver and I’m based out of Newton, IA. I drive a straight truck or semi-truck to deliver orders to the farmers. I really enjoy the one-on-one time I get with the farmers and I make an effort to visit with each of them; that’s just an extra special touch that you won't get from other companies. Plus, I get to try out their fresh milk or cheese from straight off the farm.    What was your previous work experience before joining FBN ?  I have over 45 years of truck driving experience. I actually started driving a straight truck at 7 years old for my grandfather on the farm. I would drive 1 mile to the elevator and then hop out of the truck and I was given cookies and a soda pop. Eventually, I joined the US Army and in my time drove and was a mechanic for the service. I started a truck driving company and then had various other driving and warehouse jobs. Through my time in those warehouse jobs, I learned about chemicals and about visiting with farmers which was great because that is more my nature. I love to greet people with a, “good morning, how are you?” and if anyone is ever having a bad day, I take the time to listen. As such, I have a great following of farmers from the relationships I’ve built over the years.  What did you first find compelling about FBN that led you to want to learn more?  Kevin Feeney’s persistence saying “I’ve heard about what you do and how you treat people.” I put him off for a few months and then appreciated the persistence. I had heard so many good things about FBN . I’d never heard of unlimited time off. I’ve been a manager myself in the past, and I really appreciated how persistent Kevin was in building the right team.    Why did you ultimately decide to join FBN ? What did this thought process look like for you?  Finally, after doing more research and talking to my wife, we both thought it was “too good to be true,” but I was ready for a change. I thought I was in my retirement job, working from 6 - 2, until finding FBN . Now of course I work longer hours, but I enjoy being at FBN . The benefits were so great and Kevin’s persistence really intrigued me. I also took the time to stop FBN drivers and other employees as I came across them to ask them about the company. They all spoke of the flexibility at FBN , and the willingness to accommodate you as a person, instead of you as just a number. Ultimately, that influenced my decision to join FBN .  Now that you’ve joined, how would you describe life at FBN ?  I have turned to recruiting. I have told farmers and at least 10 different drivers about FBN . I have no reason to make this up - it is just the truth! I truly enjoy the people and the atmosphere at FBN . What kind of impact are you and your team having on the company’s future?   We move the business forward because of the relationships between the drivers and the people we are delivering to.  How does FBN’s mission come to life in your day-to-day work? How does your work positively impact farmers?  Us being able to deliver within a few days of order. The farmers are shocked that they are getting products so quickly. We, as FBN , have our own trucks and equipment. We are standing up to what our word is by getting things to customers as quickly as possible.  We know you have a life outside of work - what kinds of things do you do for fun?  I’m an avid motorcyclist. I love camping. I love spending time with my family. I have 7 kids and 18 grand babies.  What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone considering FBN ? If you’re looking for a secure job and peace of mind at a family-oriented business, pick FBN hands down! I wish I would have found this job 20 years ago. I would tell people, “Make sure you are ready to work at your forever job.” It has just been a real pleasure.  What is one thing you are looking forward to in the future at FBN ?  I’m looking forward to actually utilizing the benefits and not being nervous about taking time off. It’s hard to go from having “x” amount of days to use, to having the flexibility to take the time that you need, when you need it. I’m glad that FBN encourages people to take advantage of the time off policy. FBN is really trying to make the best work environment for their people.  What made you want to join the "Veterans @ FBN " Employee Resource Group? I'm interested in this group to show support for my fellow Veterans who might, with the help of others with shared experiences, make it through one more day; and give hope to a person who feels there's no hope left. Why do you celebrate National Veterans and Military Families Month? To express my thanks and honor to those who served before me. Giving their life and limbs for everyone they fought for both foreign and domestic. My father and his father, his brother and my brothers, my mom and sisters. I am proud to call myself an American. Where freedom has never been free. We have fought and earned our place in history; however big or small our jobs were in the service. Thank you to all Veterans and the private workers. Thank you all for supporting them. Want to work for FBN? Outstanding companies are built by outstanding people. The FBN team goes to work everyday to ensure American farmers stay profitable while they feed the world. Learn more about the open roles available at FBN. Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, Farmers First flag logo, "Farmers Business Network," "FBN," and "Farmers First" are registered trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Terms and conditions apply.


Oct 24, 2022

by Mark Wilson

Our ‘Why I Chose  FBN ’ series features stories from employees across different roles, teams, and geographies on how they got to  FBN , what it’s like to work here, and how their teams help fulfill our mission of putting Farmers First®. When did you join FBN®, what is your current role at FBN , where are you based, and what are your responsibilities?  I joined back in December 2019. FBN Australia launched in August 2020. My role here is Territory Manager for the Central Wheatbelt. What was your previous work experience before joining FBN ?  I previously worked with Farmsave, we had a marketplace where farmers can source quotes via an online portal/app. What did you first find compelling about FBN that led you to want to learn more?  I love how transparent FBN is as a company. Pricing in agriculture has always been so cloak and dagger and everyone would get a different price, depending on their size. I love how we level the field for all growers. Now that you’ve joined, how would you describe life at FBN ?  Anyone who works for FBN knows how lucky we are to be part of such a great team. That's not just in Australia, that's globally. FBN's culture would be the strongest I've seen in the workplace. We work very hard, we play hard. What kind of impact are you and your team having on the company’s future?  I have been fortunate to have been here from the start, and it’s very rewarding to see the Australian business grow. With the support from our friends in the US and Canada, we have managed to build a strong and formidable footing here in AUS. Exciting times are ahead for us! We know you have a life outside of work - what kinds of things do you do for fun?  I am very blessed to live in such a great country, so I enjoy the sunshine, whether it is by the lake or the river, jet skiing, fishing or camping. All go together very well! I have two girls, Mila (9) & Penelope (3), so they keep me busy. What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone considering FBN ? It's a no brainer, really! You will understand when you put a shirt on.  Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, Farmers First flag logo, "Farmers Business Network," "FBN," and "Farmers First" are registered trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Terms and conditions apply.


Oct 17, 2022

by Maggie Monast

In January 2022, global farmer-to-farmer network and ag tech company Farmers Business Network®,  launched a new rebate program for farm operating loans . The Regenerative Agriculture Finance Operating Line program includes a 0.5% interest rate rebate for farmers who achieve climate and water quality benchmarks established by Environmental Defense Fund. Both farmers who already meet the benchmarks, as well as farmers who improve practices to do so, are eligible. The $25-million pilot fund filled up quickly, with  48 farmers enrolled and a growing waitlist  to participate in an expanded fund. With the initial pilot underway, FBN® plans to scale the fund to $500 million over the next three years and access public markets to securitize and sell these loans to investors seeking liquid, environmentally friendly investments. Over the first year of the program, we are sharing what we are learning with others in the agriculture sector. EDF had the chance to sit down with two participating farmers about their experiences — Joel Uthe, operator of Uthe Farm in Chariton, Iowa, and David Iverson, operator of Iverson Farm in Astoria, South Dakota. David Iverson is a corn farmer in South Dakota, photo credit by Cody Senn How did you hear about the Regenerative Agriculture Finance Operating Line program, and what made you want to participate? Joel:  I heard about the program through my lender and banker at FBN . They approached me because they knew how I handled my operation and felt that I should take advantage of this program. I really like to geek out on my numbers and cut costs per acre. Wherever a farmer can save money for doing good work on the land, you know that is a good deal. David:  I have a good working relationship with my lender through FBN , and they were able to identify the types of practices I was doing on my land and the opportunity to enroll in the program. It seemed like a positive program. Curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to pursue this opportunity. Which of your conservation farming practices make you eligible for the rebate? Joel:  I was already implementing minimum tillage on all my acres, and that qualified for the rebate. However, we took a big step this year and implemented a split-nitrogen program and cut the [application] rate a lot. David:  I have been farming alongside my father for over 40 years, and he is still operating the combine at 91 years old. Ridge till, as it was called back then, is like no till and it’s a conservation practice my father has been using since the 1980’s. They both have taught me the important of conservation. We have been using no-till on most of our 1,500 acres of corn and soybean for decades, but more recently I have been focusing on variable-rate applications of my fertilizer. When the corn is growing, I use side dressing to put on liquid nitrogen and focus on using it only when the crop needs it. What kinds of costs and savings do you associate with these conservation practices? Joel:  We do soil-holding capacity tests to make sure we are not over applying nitrogen. We do direct spray applications and follow the 4R Nutrient Stewardship — right source, right rate, right time and right place. We save money on costs, but the biggest factor here is the increase in our yields and not wasting more nutrients. David:  There is a time savings component when I plant using no-till on the field. Luckily, planting season has been pretty good the past two years for no-till, because if it gets too wet in the spring, it is hard to get out on the field. Because I only have to focus on planting and do not have to do any prior tillage work, I save fuel and the expense of time with running the operation. David Iverson uses no-till on his farm operation, photo credit by Cody Senn Do you consider the 0.5% interest rate significant from a financial perspective? Joel:  I believe that this rate reduction is a good start. The incentive was good for me, but I think that maybe there should be different percentage rates for different practices. Farming is always evolving and having a range of percentages for farmers who might be on the fence about enrolling might make it more attractive. David:  This was enough incentive to draw interest for myself, especially when I was already doing practices that met the requirements. My favorite thing about this program was that the application process was easy, and the reward benefit was a nice amount. Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experience so far? Joel:  I want to emphasize that regenerative agricultural practices have been great for our land. I look forward to exploring different practices like cover crops and improving nitrogen efficiency. There’s nothing wrong with saving money and helping our footprint for mother nature: She gives us so much and it feels good to give back to her. David:  For those who are just getting started with implementing new conservation practices my advice would be to start slow and talk to people who have been doing it. This spring, a neighbor called me letting me know that they were going to try no-till for the first time. I told them to go for it and to maybe just try it on one field. This (the Regenerative Agriculture Finance Operating Line) is a great program that I would like to see expanded and available to more people. Learn more To learn more about the  Regenerative Agriculture Finance Operating Line program and how to participate  contact FBN .


Sep 22, 2022

by Mark Wilson

Our ‘Why I Chose  FBN ’ series features stories from employees across different roles, teams, and geographies on how they got to  FBN , what it’s like to work here, and how their teams help fulfill our mission of putting Farmers First®. When did you join FBN , what is your current role at FBN , where are you based, and what are your responsibilities? I joined FBN back in May 2021 and I am about a 5 minute drive from the San Carlos, California headquarters. My current title is HR Coordinator and some of my responsibilities include onboarding new hires, assisting with relocations, background checks, and managing employee requests. What was your previous work experience before joining FBN ? My previous experience before FBN was in fitness and sales. What did you first find compelling about FBN that led you to want to learn more?  When I was job searching it was hard to find a company that’s mission stood out to me. Living in the Bay Area, you see and hear of all these big tech companies but it felt like very little of them had a mission that would make me feel a part of something significant. FBN gave me just that.  Why did you ultimately decide to join FBN ? What did this thought process look like for you? I wanted to gain HR experience and the HR Coordinator position felt like the perfect role to get me through the door. That, along with FBN’s mission- it all led to me prepare intensely for the interview process. Thankfully it was all worth it! Now that you’ve joined, how would you describe life at FBN ? Life at FBN is an adventure. I’ve had quite the journey here so far; full of growth, exposure and building confidence. I think FBN has pushed me to challenge myself and go above and beyond to learn and grow whatever I can. It can definitely be a bit chaotic at times but it’s allowed me to become the employee I am today. Not to mention the type of employees FBN has. I have never worked for a company that has employees as friendly as FBN does. What kind of impact are you and your team having on the company’s future? The Total Rewards, Systems and Operations team is making moves! We have a lot of new folks on the team but they came in running and ready to make progress where needed.  We are a strong, well rounded team now and it shows. Right now, we are preparing for open enrollment, strengthening our People Operations team and employee service center. All in the hopes of making our employee’s experiences better. Why do you celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month? Besides being latina and having a whole month that celebrates my people and culture, I celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month because it gives opportunity to non-latino folks to learn more about not only the beauty of our culture but also the challenges one faces growing up latino in the United States. I think often people don’t realize how different our experiences can be and I think it’s awesome to have an opportunity to highlight those differences as it will allow room for compassion and understanding.  What has your experience been like with FBN's Adelante! ERG? Adelante has been one of my greatest accomplishments at FBN . Looking at where we started back in October 2021 to where we are now, the amount of engagement and leadership opportunities that have come from being a co-lead is amazing. We have a phenomenal group of people that share similar backgrounds or know people with similar backgrounds and it’s been great to be able to hear everyone’s stories and have a place to talk about our culture.  We know you have a life outside of work - what kinds of things do you do for fun? Fun? What’s that? Haha! But in all seriousness-I love trying new foods, going to the gym, watching movies, learning how to make cocktails, and snuggling my dogs.  What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone considering FBN ? For someone considering FBN , I’ll let them know the pace at FBN is quick! Change is consistent here and one has to be able to adjust. Some people thrive in those environments and my advice would be to use it as a tool when joining to help create change where needed! What is one thing you are looking forward to in the future at FBN ? Personally, I’m excited to see how much our People Operations team evolves; however, as a whole, I’m excited to see how FBN will continue to grow and be recognized. Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, Farmers First flag logo, "Farmers Business Network," "FBN," and "Farmers First" are registered trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Terms and conditions apply.


Article Farmer Perspective

The Road to the 2022 Farm Progress Show

Aug 26, 2022

by Anne Ackroyd

FBN Public Relations Manager Anne Ackroyd has been on the road this past week, visiting farms and FBN facilities while en route to the 2022 Farm Progress Show . Stay tuned below or follow along on social media to hear her updates from the road, or tell us about your own journey to #FPS22 by tagging #Road2FarmProgress on your favorite social channels!  Friday, August 19, 2022 We had a wonderful first day on the Road to Farm Progress! We woke up in beautiful Couer d’Alene, Idaho. After a quick stroll with our furry copilots, Chip and Stella, we hit the road for our first farm visit. We soaked up the scenery in northern Idaho and Montana en route to St. Ignatius, Montana, where FBN farmer Bob Winger runs a hay and grain farm at the base of the gorgeous Mission Mountains. Bob gave us a tour of his operation and told us about his passion for farming, his biggest challenges, and his vision for the future. In addition to his impressive knowledge of agriculture, Bob has serious business savvy and shared several creative ideas about his plans to build the operation. We got to see how Bob packs and transports bales of hay and learned about how he irrigates his farm using snowmelt from the mountains, an intricate system of pipes, and gravity to bring water to his fields. Like many farmers this year, Bob’s operation has been impacted by drought and unpredictable weather. He appreciates the peace of mind he has as an FBN Crop Insurance customer. He’s looking into additional FBN products and services to support his growing operation. We also got to meet Bob’s sweet family, including his wife and their four young kids, as well as the lovable farm cat, Margaret, who is earning her keep at the rate of two mice a day! Thank you, Bob and family, for taking time out of your busy summer schedule to show us around and tell us about the important work you do! Farmers like you are the reason FBN is Farmers First! Sunday, August 21, 2022 Today we visited FBN's Logistics Center in Great Falls, Montana. The facility serves customers within a 250-mile radius of the location, providing them with efficient deliveries of FBN chemical products. Logistics Center Manager Tom Weaver took time on his day off to give us a tour of the facility and teach us about the vital work his team does to make sure FBN farmers receive the products they need. Tom had great insight into the needs of the community and is clearly passionate about supporting both customers and his team. (You might recognize Tom... He's the star of FBN 's safety training videos !) It's great to see the Farmers First mission in action and meet the wonderful people who are carrying it out every day! We're in Bozeman, Montana today, getting ready for a behind-the-scenes look at how Kevin McNew and the FBN Research team collect data and share insights that empower FBN farmers to make informed decisions for their operations. We're told we might even get to meet the office dog! Monday, August 22, 2022 It's not every day you get to meet the Kevin McNew, FBN Chief Economist! Kevin and Director of Internal Producer Advisory & Brokerage Cody Bills showed us around their new office in Bozeman, Montana today. I've seen Kevin on the news so often that it was basically like meeting a celebrity.   Thanks, Kevin and Cody, for giving us a behind-the-scenes look at your work collecting data and sharing insights that empower FBN farmers to make informed decisions for their operations. Thursday, August 25, 2022 We were excited to join local farmers, ranchers, FBN team members, and their families to celebrate the opening of the new fulfillment center in Larchwood, Iowa today! FBN  co-founders Charles Baron and Amol Deshpande joined the group for an open house event to celebrate the new facility. Led by  FBN  Larchwood Logistics Center employees, we also had the chance to tour the center to see the cutting-edge space.   Sunday, August 28, 2022 The Road to Farm Progress took us through Gillette, Wyoming, where we met FBN customers Mike and Erin Galloway of Our Wyoming Life ! Mike and Erin gave us a tour of the ranch, where they care for their many animals, including cows, goats, chickens, ducks, horses, and even a pair of emus. Mike and Erin stay busy as ranchers, social media influencers, passionate advocates for ag life, and dedicated community members. Enjoy this sneak peek behind the scenes at the Our Wyoming Life Ranch! _ Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN”, "Farmers First", “FBN Direct” are trademarks, registered trademarks or service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc.


Jul 28, 2022

by Mark Wilson

Our ‘Why I Chose  FBN ’ series features stories from employees across different roles, teams, and geographies on how they got to  FBN , what it’s like to work here, and how their teams help fulfill our mission of putting Farmers First®. When did you join FBN®, what is your current role at FBN , where are you based, and what are your responsibilities?   I joined FBN in November 2020, I am a senior loan advisor in the finance department. I provide financing on ag real estate, operating and equipment, also cross selling in insurance and livestock for farmers and people getting into farming, and also cross selling other FBN products. The majority of the people I do business with are already in the ag industry, but some are people who are thinking about getting into farming.    What was your previous work experience before joining FBN ?   I was an Ag Lender for about 15 years in the community banking system, I was vice president at a couple of banks, president at one bank. Most of them were hometown community banks. What did you first find compelling about FBN that led you to want to learn more?   My former boss is on the finance team. He approached me while I was baling corn stalks one day, “I just started with this company FBN , it’s pretty cool, and we’re looking for Loan Advisors, would you be interested?”  I was pretty happy where I was, and he said it was a start up. That got me a little nervous, because I had never worked with a startup company before. Everything I had worked at was well established, but I said “well, I’m not opposed to hearing them out.” I went to the interview process and just kinda fell in love with it throughout the interview process, the idea, and the direction that FBN was going. I thought it was a really neat opportunity where I could get in on the ground floor. I thought it was pretty cool after I talked to TJ Wilson and Dan English. Why did you ultimately decide to join FBN ? What did this thought process look like for you?   On the personal side, I met with TJ first and I thought “This is a guy I could work for.” He was great in the interview, and I felt I had a real great connection with him and Dan. The way that FBN is set up in the finance department, the model that they presented to me, just really caught my attention and made me think “Man, they’re serious, and this thing could really be something pretty spectacular if it comes to fruition.” In my two years here it has done nothing but meet expectations, if not exceed expectations, and they were right: it is what they said it was, plus more, so I haven’t regretted it a day. It’s a great place to work, the best job I’ve ever had, and the people here are awesome.  The finance department, our model, is based on teams, and they put together great teams, and tools for us to use.t’s been a breath of fresh air. We’re meeting the budget or exceeding it by quite a margin. We’ve been very successful in the model that they’ve put before us.   Now that you’ve joined, how would you describe FBN’s culture and what it’s like to work here?   When I think about my previous experiences, it seemed like ag lending was not as respected, not as high priority on bank boards’ lists. They were kinda stuck in a rut, not wanting to change things. The days got kind of mundane. Doing the same thing over and over and over again, and it seemed like when you presented a credit, it was scrutinized to the hilt. It was getting tougher to get guys money. It just didn’t seem like agriculture was their top priority, whereas here, from the management to the very lowest of the totem pole, if we bring up an issue, or an idea, you really feel like they’re going to take it into account, and do something about it. Taking ideas, running with them, trying new things. We’re still in our infancy stages, and you can tell that they really want to make things work, make things really good, and no idea goes unresearched. On the team, we have numerous years of experience, and you can always turn to somebody who has some experience in that area. As an Ag Lender, corn, soybeans, hogs and cattle are what I’m used to, and now I’m doing loans for coffee and different varieties of produce. Stuff that I had no idea of until I got into it and learned from other people in the finance department. Everybody is knowledgeable. You can certainly find someone who has an idea of what’s going on, and in my old system I didn’t have those avenues to go to. It’s fun to be here.  I don’t mean to run down my old institutions or anything. A lot of these places didn’t have a whole lot of experience in agriculture, so they were scared of it. They didn’t know. My bosses were mostly commercial lenders. They didn’t understand agriculture, whereas here everybody’s done ag. Everybody understands it, and it’s refreshing. I’s nice.  We know you have a life outside of work - what kinds of things do you do for fun?   I am actually a farmer myself. This is my farm office that I’m in right now. We raise cattle, corn, soybeans, and that’s kinda what I do for my hobby. When I’m not working at FBN I’m working in the field, or with cattle. My dad runs the corn/soybean operation. I run the cattle operation. On a day to day basis, it’s just me and my dad and my wife. My dad has farmed since the 70s, and I started farming when I graduated from college, but I’ve been involved in farming pretty much all of my life.  What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone considering FBN ? If you decide to come on, you’ve made the right choice. It’s a total package when it comes to ag finance. If you decide to join up, don’t be afraid to ask questions, or ask for help because there’s always someone out here who will help you. FBN as a whole is a great, great company, and headed in the right direction. Don’t be scared to join, because it’s the place to be. From top down, it’s been nothing but great. Genuinely, FBN is a great place, a great culture, the people are great, and we’re headed in the right direction. I couldn’t ask for anything else.  Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, Farmers First flag logo, "Farmers Business Network," "FBN," and "Farmers First" are registered trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Terms and conditions apply.


Article Farmer Perspective

Meet our Australian Team

Jul 22, 2022

by FBN Network

FBN® is well and truly in to our second year providing access to price transparency and online ordering with free direct to farm delivery on your crop protection and crop nutrition needs. Our Account Executives and Community Builders across Australia are embedded in your local regions and are here to support you make better on farm decisions. To meet our growing membership, our team is growing, too! Meet some of our newest Account Executives Jess Sampson Jess has 11 years of practical on farm agronomic consultancy experience as well as a university level academic agronomic education.  Her specialisations in pasture agronomy, seed and trial management means she is well versed in new seed varieties right through to on farm practical solutions to address crop pressures.  Whilst Jess is not on farm or at work, she is hanging out with her teenage sons, fishing, preserving foods or baking! Greg Mills Greg is a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (University of Queensland) having majored in crop and pasture  science. An agricultural professional with diverse skills and experience in managing production and applied R,D&E with a focus on commercial adoption, crop consultancy and sales of farm inputs including seed, fertiliser and crop protection products. When Greg is not working, he enjoys fishing, photography and poultry breeding. David Evans David lives and breathes agriculture and agribusiness.  With just shy of 30 years experience in the industry he has a thorough understanding of farm management as a grazier himself. His experience in grain marketing, broadacre practices, livestock and farm business management coupled with his advocacy in the South Australian grain industry holds him in great stead as a trusted Account Executive in South Australia. In his spare time you might catch David at some Test Cricket games, brewing his own craft beer or passionately supporting the Sturt Football Club! Anthony Stibbard Anthony has over 7 years experience in the Australian agriculture sector in broadacre cropping and livestock.  His academic Agronomic background together, his passion for AgTech and his working farm experience brings a theoretical and practical mix to his role as an Account Executive for New South Wales, Australia. When Anthony is not working he loves sports, travel (COVID permitting of course), skiing and the great outdoors. Aaron Bailey Aaron has an in depth knowledge of ag chem, grain and livestock markets with over 14 years experience across feed manufacturing through to reselling. He was brought up on a family dairy farm in New Zealand and has been in Australia for 11 years. This background in NZ farming brings a practical application to the Victorian and Tasmanian role as Account Executive at FBN . If you don't find him on the cricket pitch, he'll be with family and friends in his down time. Learn more Want to find your local Community Builder or Account Executive? Call 1800 749 140 or email info@farmersbusinessnetwork.com Copyright © 2022 Farmers Business Network Australia Pty Ltd. All rights reserved. "FBN" and "FBN Direct" are registered trademarks or trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. Products and services are offered by Farmers Business Network Australia Pty Ltd. and are available only where licensed.


Jun 14, 2022

by Melissa Niedrich

Our ‘Why I Chose  FBN ’ series features stories from employees across different roles, teams, and geographies on how they got to  FBN , what it’s like to work here, and how their teams help fulfill our mission of putting Farmers First®. In celebration of Pride Month, we are honored to share the stories of our employees who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community and highlight how they've experienced Pride at FBN. When did you join FBN , what is your current role at FBN , where are you based, and what are your responsibilities?  I commenced at FBN in August 2021, with my first day being the Dowerin Field day in Western Australia. My role is the Australian Business Development manager for the Community Builder Program. My base is Western Australia, but I travel to all states. My key responsibilities are building and introducing FBN's Community Builder program to prospects in Australia and assisting in building FBN's brand in the regions through my Australian Network.  What was your previous work experience before joining FBN ?  My career has given me the ability to work in various industries - retail, construction, banking/finance and now agriculture - the best industry by far! My tenure in the agriculture sector has been 12 years, and I’ve had the opportunity to work in grain marketing/trading, product development (financial), IT management and commercial manager (pork industry). What did you first find compelling about FBN that led you to want to learn more?  FBN’s purpose - putting farmers first, this is what makes you go above and beyond every day!  Why did you ultimately decide to join FBN ? What did this thought process look like for you?  The entrepreneurial mindset, continual improvement and innovation that is being applied through every facet of FBN . The big one - the PEOPLE! The thought process was understanding the purpose, strategy, the products and services offered that are so innovative and meet the challenges farmers face, and talking with people who work at FBN . Now that you’ve joined, how would you describe FBN’s culture and what it’s like to work here?  Open and transparent - make a mistake, make it fast and move on. Everyone has a voice, so you can share thoughts and ideas. Extremely collaborative. What kind of impact are you and your team having on the company’s future?  We in Australia are building FBN's brand and market share that is seen as a disruptor. It is a disruptor for the benefit of farmers, as they now have the ability to understand the pricing of different products/inputs in the market and make better informed decisions, they have the opportunity to enhance efficiency through accessing the data analytics platform, and the community hub to learn from other farms and access informative articles. How does FBN’s mission come to life in your day-to-day work? How does your work positively impact farmers?  FBN's mission is key to every conversation and decision we make as a team. This can be seen in the product offerings, transparency in pricing and our marketing intel to support our Community Builders and farmers. Ensuring we have a presence in the regions via our Community Builders is critical so that we can continue to give back and promote the sustainability of not only farmers but the communities they operate in.  Why do you celebrate pride? Celebrating Pride is so important to me, as it is a reminder to all that we need to accept people for who they are and a time during which we can celebrate people's differences in a positive way. It is especially important to me as my own daughter is part of the Pride community, and it has been a journey for me to become more educated and to overcome some of my unconscious biases. My life is fuller from having diverse people around me. How have you experienced FBN supporting the LGBTQIA+ community? Amazing! The journey for FBN has only just begun, and the momentum is growing - it's an exciting time. Agriculture in general has been slow to embrace Pride, but FBN is a prime example for other companies to follow in our industry. We know you have a life outside of work - what kinds of things do you do for fun?  Reading, continual learning, and I love keeping fit (running) - I live a very healthy life whereby mental and physical health are a priority in my life. What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone considering FBN ?  Join up to a team that is innovative and collaborative, that is pushing the boundaries in the agriculture sector to remain sustainable for future generations. Copyright © 2021 - 2022 Farmers Business Network Australia Pty Ltd. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, "FBN", "Farmers Business Network", and "FBN Direct" are registered trademarks or trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc.


Jun 09, 2022

by Melissa Niedrich

Our ‘Why I Chose  FBN ’ series features stories from employees across different roles, teams, and geographies on how they got to  FBN , what it’s like to work here, and how their teams help fulfill our mission of putting Farmers First®. When did you join FBN , what is your current role at FBN , where are you based, and what are your responsibilities?  I joined FBN in February 2021 as Global Regulatory Manager. I work remotely out of Salt Lake City, Utah.  I lead the Global regulatory team for FBN Direct® and my six teammates are located across Australia, Canada and the USA. We are in charge of product registrations and other regulatory requirements for FBN’s proprietary products portfolio of Crop Protection, Adjuvants and Crop Nutrition products. Although we are part of the product development team, our activities are spread over the entire product life cycle. This includes new product development, dossier preparations, registrations with relevant regulatory authorities, maintenance of registration, review of marketing material, etc.  What was your previous work experience before joining FBN ?  My background is quite varied, both geographically and in terms of experience. I studied and worked in 9 countries, and experienced large corporate companies like Syngenta and Sanofi, as well as small family owned-business and non-profit organizations.  I have a strong technical background with a master in chemical engineering from CPE Lyon (France) and a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Oxford. At that time, even though I came from a farming background (with a dad who is a farmer turned winemaker and both sets of grandparents also farmers), I had never linked chemistry with Ag. Like most of my classmates, I was planning for a pharmaceutical career.  Serendipity had me interview at Syngenta as I was graduating from my PhD, and I first joined Syngenta as a postdoctoral fellow in their research facilities in Switzerland. I really enjoyed the industrial setting, but I was looking for a role that would allow me to experience the whole lifecycle of a product. I joined Syngenta’s Global Regulatory team knowing almost nothing about regulatory and fell in love with the field. It was an amazing learning environment, as I was surrounded by experts in the fields of regulatory, toxicology, environmental fate, environmental toxicity, product chemistry, etc. and started to understand how it all comes together to assess the risk profile of a product and its safe use in the market.  Six years ago, my husband was offered a professorship at the University of Utah and we moved to Salt Lake City. Although wonderful for its scenery, Utah is not a major Ag state and I was really surprised to find a small family-owned business that made proprietary fertilizers, biostimulants, feed additives and aquaculture products. It was a pretty drastic change as it combined going from a large global team to a 1-person department and learning about a new set of regulations, since these Ag inputs (fertilizers, biostimulants, etc.) are regulated very differently than pesticides.  All of these experiences armed me with a set of tools that became very handy as I joined FBN .    What did you first find compelling about FBN that led you to want to learn more?  I heard about FBN through one of my friends and former colleagues, who sent me the job description for my current role. At the time, I was a program manager of medical devices, and I was really missing the regulatory work in the Ag industry. I had heard a lot about Silicon Valley start-ups and was eager to get a feel for it, but never really thought it would be an option in my field dominated by large companies like Bayer, Syngenta, BASF, etc.. So when I started looking up FBN online, I was very excited to see that it was a start-up, but what caught my attention was the company’s unique set of offerings guided by its unique Farmers First vision. FBN seemed to be one-of-a-kind and I was curious to learn more!  Why did you ultimately decide to join FBN ? What did this thought process look like for you?  I was first impressed with the fact that every person I interviewed with was talking about the company’s mission. In my previous experiences, the company mission was that corporate statement must-have that no one ever remembered. And it did not stop at the interview. Since I joined, I have realized that FBN’s mission is embedded in everything we do and how we think as a team.  In addition, I interviewed with Eric Carnell, our Chief Legal Officer, and it was clear that if FBN is Farmers First , it does not mean compliance is second! That was a key factor for me, as in our industry compliance is not a “nice to have.” Finally, FBN was not just unique as a company, but also in the opportunities it would bring. As the first internal hire in the regulatory department I would have the opportunity to build a team and create the department's processes from the ground up! That is not the kind of opportunity that presents itself very often and would have never happened at an already established company.  Now that you’ve joined, how would you describe FBN’s culture and what it’s like to work here?  I am loving it! I have never worked in such an energetic and energizing environment. What is even more incredible is that the majority of the employees have joined during the pandemic, and therefore remotely, and that has not prevented me from feeling that I “belonged” right away. All video calls are done with the camera on, and everyone is engaged.  Everyone at FBN is very excited about the Farmers First mission, and this creates a unique drive to get things done as a team even though we are spread around the world and across different functions. I have yet to find someone who was not willing to help me even if my requests were outside of their usual scope. It is a high-speed environment with very challenging objectives, but because of the shared Farmer’s First drive, we always tackle challenges as a team and we are pulling in the same direction.  After experiencing both large companies and old family businesses, it is exhilarating to be part of a vibrant company that is not constrained by inherited processes and policies. Yes we have our share of challenges, but we are all part of the solution and building FBN .  Last but not least, I love the diversity of the challenges I am facing and the fact that sometimes people come to me, not with a regulatory question, but a chemistry one! We are still small and people’s skills are not limited to their job description! We all pitch in for the better good, and this is truly inspiring. What kind of impact are you and your team having on the company’s future?  The regulatory team, along with the product development team, are key to FBN Direct’s future, as we are responsible for the development and registration of FBN’s own proprietary products.  This allows FBN to control products’ destiny, from the manufacturing all the way to distribution to our farmers. This is one of the main reasons that FBN was able to supply crop protection products to our members in a very strained supply chain situation.  How does FBN’s mission come to life in your day-to-day work? How does your work positively impact farmers?  FBN’s mission is profoundly embedded in our day-to-day work as well as longer-term strategy. Hearing the following sentence “I hear what everyone is saying, but ultimately what is the best decision for the farmers?” is business as usual at FBN ! From the choice of the products we decide to develop, our product labels, packaging, etc. we always think: “what would best serve our farmers?” A very concrete example is how we developed the labels for the Farmers First Crop Nutrient products this year. We really focused on ensuring the label would contain all of the practical information a farmer would need to make the best use of the product. So in addition to the mandatory regulatory guarantees and information, we added general descriptions of the product, tank mixing compatibilities, mixing order, time of application, etc.  We know you have a life outside of work - what kinds of things do you do for fun?  I am a big outdoorsy person - so activities vary with the seasons as Utah is an amazing playground. Any chance I get I spend hiking, mountain biking, skiing with my husband and our 3-year-old strapped to one of us, or tagging along! Coming from Europe, I fell in love with the open spaces of the western states and the diversity the national Parks have to offer. We have hiked most of them, with the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim being the biggest challenge so far!  What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone considering FBN ?  Ask questions, and see if you can relate to the culture and our Farmers First mission. If the answer is yes, you are in for the ride of a lifetime no matter what position you will hold.  Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, Farmers First flag logo, "Farmers Business Network," "FBN," and "Farmers First" are registered trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Terms and conditions apply.


May 19, 2022

by Melissa Niedrich

Our ‘Why I Chose  FBN ’ series features stories from employees across different roles, teams, and geographies on how they got to  FBN , what it’s like to work here, and how their teams help fulfill our mission of putting Farmers First®. When did you join FBN , what is your current role at FBN , where are you based, and what are your responsibilities?  I joined FBN in June 2020, and I am currently Regional Director - Australia. I am based in Perth, Western Australia, and my role here is to ensure success within the FBN Direct® sales team in Australia.  What was your previous work experience before joining FBN ?  Previously I have been involved in grain market advisory, grain trading and risk management, and fertilizer sales. What did you first find compelling about FBN that led you to want to learn more?  The concept of a grower network approach to better the industry and on-farm profitability. Why did you ultimately decide to join FBN ? What did this thought process look like for you?  I wanted to be a part of something that was unique in the industry and was clearly geared towards achieving a more sustainable environment for farmers. Stability is one of the biggest concerns when starting with a new company, especially in the Ag Industry. But after meeting a couple of times with the country manager at FBN , I got an understanding of the growth and results that the North American business had been able to achieve since 2014, and this gave me the confidence I needed to jump in! Now that you’ve joined, how would you describe FBN ’s culture and what it’s like to work here?  FBN has an incredibly fast-moving culture, and everyone emanates a positive energy that really helps us achieve the goals we set out. What kind of impact are you and your team having on the company’s future?  We have been pioneering FBN ’s on-the-ground presence in Australia, and I couldn't be prouder of the team we have here and what they have accomplished in the past 18 months. How does FBN ’s mission come to life in your day-to-day work? How does your work positively impact farmers?  Farmers First is behind every decision we make. For us, that is around where we can have the most impact on farms from a sales perspective and help those growers as best we can. We are giving farmers more tools to increase profitability, and I'm glad to say the Account Executive team is a key enabler of FBN ’s ability to do that. We know you have a life outside of work - what kinds of things do you do for fun?  Making the most of the Australian lifestyle, relaxing on the beach and exploring with my two kids (Charlie (7) & Luca (3)). What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone considering FBN ?  Be ready for an incredible challenge. It's fast and sometimes daunting, but an A-grade team makes it all achievable. Learn more about joining  FBN Interested in learning more about  FBN  and opportunities to join our team? Check out our  Careers page  for more information on open roles and how we’re transforming the future of farming! Copyright © 2014 - 2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, Farmers First flag logo, "Farmers Business Network," "FBN," and "Farmers First" are registered trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Terms and conditions apply.