Top-notch Precision Ag partner helps customers get the most out of Steward™
When you first meet Michael Brannon, you’ll most likely see him working on or under a tractor, and almost always with a big smile on his face. Michael is a Precision Agriculture Master Specialist at Ag Technologies, which is one of the trusted dealers that Sabanto partners with to sell and service our Steward™ autonomy systems.
Michael has been working with sod farmers and other ag-related customers since he started at Ag Technologies in 2008. He began his career there doing precision ag equipment installations, and not long after, managed four installation crews that worked across the Southeast. The forty to fifty thousand miles that he puts on his truck every year is a testament to the variety of customers that he serves.
Ag Technologies was started by Brian Kelley 20 years ago and has been a highly awarded Trimble dealer since 2004. They pride themselves in applying technology to provide solutions for their growers, and they develop products as well. In fact, Michael and his team developed a product for a sod harvester that Trimble now sells worldwide. As Micheal puts it, “We don’t sell equipment just because we want to put numbers on a board. We want to sell equipment to better our growers”. They joined up with Sabanto in the fall of 2022.
Ag Technologies and Michael have sold 25 Steward autonomy systems to sod growers in Florida, Georgia and Texas. Michael is the guy who not only demos Steward, but also installs the kit on a customer’s tractor, sets it up, teaches operators how to use it effectively and fields any questions they have during service calls. Michael often says, “The best way to learn to use Steward is standing on the edge of the field operating it with your phone in your hand, but I won’t leave their farm until my customer feels confident and safe using it.” Because of Steward’s cloud-based software, Michael can monitor each of his customers’ operations remotely, as if he were right next to them, and therefore, respond more quickly. In fact, he’s found that 90% of customer issues can be resolved this way.
When asked about how long it takes a customer to adopt autonomy, Michael said it reminded him back when he was teaching customers how to use auto-guidance for the first time. He noticed that they didn’t trust it initially and wanted to grab the wheel. “I told them to just sit on their hands!”, he exclaimed. Michael has seen that learning to use autonomy is a similar journey, and it begins with trusting the system to do the things that you want it to do. He explained further, “I think Sabanto has done a very good job with making their Mission Control software so user-friendly, but also making it to the point where if it sees that it’s not going to complete a task correctly, it’s not going to let you operate”. When a farmer sees that, they start to say, “this thing is actually doing what it’s supposed to do.” That’s where trust in autonomy begins.
Michael has proven to us time and again that he and Ag Technologies are not only great partners for Sabanto, but with their 20 years of experience in finding solutions for growers, they’re also excellent partners for our customers. He’ll be at TPI in February and asks that you stop by our field demo and say hello. He’ll be the one with the big grin, showing folks how easy it is to work with Steward.
If you’re curious about how autonomy can revolutionize your operations, we’d love to show you — Book A Demo today! 🤝