The Ag Advantage

The Ag Advantage

The Ag Advantage

I am adamant in saying we have one of the most ag-experienced groups of people in the autonomy space. Over half of our engineers either grew up on a farm or spent 5+ years building precision ag products for other companies. We have employees spending their weekends restoring antique tractors, showing cattle, repairing autos, and yes, even farming. The real benefit? I have zero qualms about sending these employees out to a farm.

If you can imagine, having every position filled with somebody with an ag background is impossible. Let me fill you in on a little secret. For outsiders, farmers can be some of the most intimidating people you’ll ever meet. They are seething with industriousness, and their entire world is built on experience – the stuff you’ll never find in a textbook. They employ a concoction of methods to deal with adversity, one part humility with two parts humor. I tell my employees, “If they aren’t giving you %^#, there’s something wrong with you.” That seems to help a bit.

We have other ways of bringing our employees up to speed. It is a company rule that all our employees know how to drive a tractor. Moreover, our software engineers (a.k.a. the honorable Propellor Heads) have direct access to an actual autonomous tractor sitting on a farm just west of Chicago. They routinely collect boundaries, create path plans, and deploy missions. I get a kick seeing them post messages on our Product Feedback channel, knowing our Mission Control just got one step better. The real benefit, though? I have zero qualms about sending these employees out to a farm, either.


– Craig






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