IntelliFarms operates Harvey office
SD Precision ag company moves closer to ND customer base
HARVEY – A precision agriculture company with a popular product for managing grain bins has been building its North Dakota customer base since opening an office in Harvey last year.
IntelliFarms Northern Division president and CEO Jared Halland expanded his Britton, S.D., business into Harvey in May 2019 in response to the interest by farmers in the area.
“I believe every farmer deserves to have service after they have or buy a product. We have such a big following in that Harvey/Esmond area that we felt it was our obligation to give back to the farms and our obligation to give back to the community. So that’s why we opened the office in Harvey – for better sales, better service, and to let people know that we’re available to help whenever we possibly can,” Halland said. “Having an office there for a farmer to go to, to sit down and do training, is really beneficial for the farms and the customer service team.”
He credited Harvey’s economic development office and director Paul Gunderson for assistance in setting up in the community, where it located its offices in a former NAPA store building. Without the efforts of Gunderson and Hank Joubert, who now manages the Harvey IntelliFarms office, the move to Harvey would not have happened, Halland said.
The office has three full-time employees. Hank and Jaimie Joubert are in sales and Josh Vogel is a customer service representative.
For every 100 customers within a service area, IntelliFarms staffs a customer service representative. Since 2014, IntelliFarms Northern Division has gone from three to more than 19 employees and six full-time subcontractors, Halland said. The company is looking to open a second North Dakota office.
Halland said there are numerous types of precision agriculture equipment designed for different activities but not all make financial sense. His company focuses on those systems that are shown to generate a return on investment, he said.
IntelliFarms’ products include YieldTrack, which provides access to databases on corn and soybean seed performance; TankManager, which allows for inventory tracking; MarketManager, for up-to-date information on the demand for specialty crops; and FieldData Manager, for tracking growing conditions and optimal grain planting and harvesting.
The CashBidManager software can show prices at elevators across the country and calculate time and labor to help make better decisions on where to sell. Last year, a North Dakota organic wheat producer sold to Panera Bread in Kansas City to capture premium pricing, Halland said.
However, by far the most popular product is BinManager.
“The BinManager is our heavy hitter. It provides the farmer with precision in their bins to know exactly what’s going on – moisture, temperature, hotspot alerts, mold growth,” Halland said.
“The CSR (customer service representative) team will actually watch the bins for them to make sure that they’re not making the wrong decisions,” he added. “Even some of the older gentlemen that have never surfed the web have bought BinManager because of the team of support that comes with it. He can just call in and say, ‘What are my bins doing? Is everything okay?'”
The monitoring system requires no bin entry, which is a safety feature that can actually save lives, he said. It can detect toxic gases and with 3D imagery can see grain voids in the bin. Halland recalled numerous times in the past, before BinManager, when he and his grandfather would be in a bin with shovels when it was not safe to be there.
Ag Growth International acquired IntelliFarms in March 2019, although the Northern Division has retained the IntelliFarms name. IntelliFarms Northern Division can supply AGI SureTrack products to its customers in the Dakotas and Minnesota. Halland said coming under the new corporate umbrella also has expanded the resources for research and development of advanced technologies for farmers.
In addition, IntelliFarms has partnered with Farm Mobile, which tracks field data. Data can be uploaded to the SureTrack program.
“We talk about precision farming quite a bit, but we never talk about big data and who owns that data,” Halland said. “With Farm Mobile or SureTrack, that data is owned by the farms.”
IntelliFarms also wants to be a valuable member of its communities. Employees give back through volunteer work. They have donated time to Cooperstown Bible Camp and to food pantries in the tri-state area.
For every additional customer service representative brought on board, the company offers to erect a children’s playground for a church or religious organization. An opportunity still exists for a church group in the Harvey/Esmond area that would like a playground. So far, IntelliFarms, which has offices in Britton and Clark, S.D., has installed multiple playgrounds.