Myriad Mobile’s team strives to be as inquisitive as possible. With our passion in the evolvment of agriculture, we seek out the best ways to truly understand the triumphs, problems, and overall lifestyles of the growers we help. Our team wanted to experience first hand what that lifestyle looked like. Closing our laptops and rolling up our flannel sleeves, the Bushel team took the day to walk in a farmer’s boots.
A windy and sunshiny day brought the Bushel team to the Braun family farm in Wheaton, MN. Developers, designers, and business partners stepped out on the dirt and gazed up at a variety of combines ahead. With soybean harvest wrapping up, Bushel’s team joined a genuine workday at the Braun farm. Dane Braun, product owner of Bushel, led the charge for the day in giving the grand tour of his parent’s farm. Beginning with an in-depth explanation of the diverse technology used in farmers’ machinery, and finishing with teammates riding along in combines, our team gaged a candid perspective on technology in agriculture. Here are some of those thoughts, said best by teammates.
Mia Ness, UI Web Designer, “Being new to the team here at Myriad, the farm visit was a great learning experience that helped me gain a deeper understanding of the Bushel product, and how farmers utilize this technology making their interactions with elevators more efficient.”
David Huebner, Dev Ops: “During the visit I identified a number of different areas where software and technology could be incorporated. Although technology can provide insight and solutions to many areas of agriculture, it’s only valuable when it can be used to improve yields or save time or money.”
Kristian Lien, iOS Developer: “Even though a lot of my family still farms and I’ve spent plenty of time on them, it was nice being able to see everything in action and getting to ask questions as we toured the equipment and buildings. I really enjoyed listening to Dane and his family explain the operation from planting to harvest, which you don’t always get to do on your own family’s farm.”
Rachel Brixius, Product Designer: “It would be really intimidating to become a farmer if you did not grow up farming or on a farm. There is so much to know about your field, the plants, the pests, the machinery and storage for grain and machinery. You need to know what to plant when, when to harvest, and when to sell and at what price. There is science, math, engineering, business and strong intuition required. There are so many layers of knowledge and process, as a team who is trying to solve problems and overcome challenges for farmers, having the opportunity to go to a farm and ask questions was amazing.”
Melissa Tomlinson, Project Manager: “It’s always a good day when you can get out of the office and go on a field trip. And, this was literally a field trip. The best part of the day, aside from the farm lunch of mashed potatoes and Swedish meatballs and Apple Crisp, was riding in the combine as a field of soybeans was harvested. It was mesmerizing to sit in a big piece of machinery as it moved through the field.”
Alex Potter, Business Partner: “Visiting the farm put into perspective how much goes into producing a crop. As a farmer you’re running a business with loads of moving parts and you’ve got a huge investment you’re looking to nurture year after year. In order to produce crops you need all sorts of inputs from seeds, fertilizer, fuel, etc. Then you need the equipment to plant those seeds and make them grow. Everything from planters, rollers, sprayers, tractors, combines, augers, trucks, trailers, carts, and then storage for all that equipment and grain. On top of that, farmers are in charge of maintaining it all and fixing things when they break down. After all the work the farmer has put in, they can only hope that nature cooperates with them so they’re able to produce what they’ve worked year after year to make possible.
Brandon Gaugler, Business Partner: “I actually went home that night and watched youtube videos on combines to learn more. Now I am better equipped in my sales conversation as I have now seen some of the things being referenced first hand.”
David Kanenwisher, Senior Software Architect: “It was fascinating to see some of the complexity of modern farm operations. Seeing all of the technology farmers need to know just for a combine drove home how important it is that our app be simple to use.”
Through and through, the trip to Braun farms proved to be a very successful and insightful experience for all of the Bushel team. While technology and agriculture seem eons away in similarities, a software company discovered after a day at the farm that there’s a giant spot for tech in the field. To wrap up Myriad’s field trip, Langston Johnson, QA Engineer says,
“Hard work and hospitality never looked so good. It was a privilege to see the inner workings of Braun farms. I had fun and I learned a ton. ”
*images by Mia Ness