In the 2020 Ag Growth Summit hosted by the KS Department of Agriculture (KDA), it was noted that Ag Equipment Manufacturers do not have the type of organized support that other agricultural sub-sectors have in Kansas. In an effort to address this issue, the Great Plains TMC, K-State TDI, Kansas Manufacturing Solutions (KMS) sought partnership with KDA to create networking opportunities for ag equipment manufacturers in this sector.
Based on this issue, the team has had and is planning virtual and in-person events for ag equipment manufacturers. Please view the information below for more details about our engagement with the ag equipment manufacturing sector.
Review the top details from the Ag Equipment Mfg session at the Ag Growth Summit.
Watch the recap of our October 27th event over collaborative partnerships with the "Trifecta".
Catch up on the great discussions from our presenters in our Virtual Sector session on July 27th.
View the 2021 Agricultural Equipment Manufacturing sector document provided by the Kansas Dept of Agriculture.
Sign up for our upcoming events related to ag equipment manufacturer.
The GPTMC, K-State Technology Development Institute, and Kansas Manufacturing Solutions partnered with the Kansas Department of Ag, to co-host the Ag Equipment Manufacturing Sector breakout session at the annual Ag Growth Summit in Manhattan, Kansas on August 18th. 85+ attendees were eager and excited to finally meet in-person to discuss issues and opportunities for ag equipment manufacturers. The session featured a guest speaker and a panel of industry leaders.
Pete Nelson, President of AgLaunch from Tennessee, was the guest speaker of the session. For 25+ years, Pete has been involved with farming and working with companies who develop new ideas to benefit farmers and supply chains. He shared an overview of AgLaunch and how they have successfully built an agricultural community focused around innovative technologies to help farmers solve challenges.
AgLaunch groups together agricultural innovators within a network of farmers. The network helps innovators with new technologies, software, or robotics that can fundamentally change agriculture, and scales them with farmers who take stock in the new innovation. However, with every new technology, the innovators need manufacturers and technical companies to manufacture and produce the technologies. This is where ag equipment manufacturers can work together with entities like AgLaunch to grow innovation throughout the industry!
In an effort to continue growing this community, Pete is interested in connecting with Kansas farmers, innovators, and manufacturers with new ideas to create economic opportunities throughout the state. To learn more about AgLaunch and view their portfolio, please visit www.aglaunch.com. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"...it's not about making Tennessee the Ag Tech Capital to compete. It's about moving forward and getting farmers what they really need. It requires all of us working together."
"Pete is so important to this group. They figured out what those needs and challenges are, and discovered a collaboration to bring those ideas to life."
Following the presentation, a panel of industry leaders shared their insights on the ag equipment manufacturing sector and how we can collaboratively move the sector forward. Panelists include (from left to right in picture):
How can small agricultural manufacturers innovate without the fear of losing the idea to large OEMs?
What should companies be aware of if they are interested in collaborating together?
What skills education is really needed for manufacturing?
Many companies do their own training in-house...are other manufacturers doing this? Or is there an opportunity for more collaboration to build the needed skill-sets?
The second event took place October 27th via zoom for ag equipment manufacturers. This event had approximately 30+ attendees signed up. The virtual session was led by Russell Plashcka, KDA Ag Business Development and Workforce Program Manager Presenters of the event included:
If you missed the video, or would like to go back and watch it, click the play button on the video to the right. More details of the event contents will be uploaded soon!
Russell Plaschka - KDA
Russell, KDA Business Development and Workforce Program Manager, was the moderator for the event.
Jeff Tucker - K-State TDI/GPTMC
Jeff Tucker gave an overview of the capabilities of K-State TDI and the programs available through the Great Plains TMC.
Tiffany Stovall - Kansas Mfg Solutions
Tiffany Stovall shared information about KMS and their new supply chain tool called Connex Kansas.
Mike Bergmeier - ShieldAg
ShieldAg designs, manufactures and distributes innovative agricultural products.
Daniel Rauchholz - Farmada
Farmada develops a fertilizer toolbar that can apply anhydrous ammonia and other components into the ground.
Nicholas Bowles - SureFire Ag
SureFire Ag specializes in providing solutions for the control and application of liquid and dry fertilizer, seed and chemicals.
Daniel Rauchholz, founder of Farmada, previously worked with Great Plains Manufacturing for 18+ years in the International Sales Dept. He helped the company achieve many awards including the KS Governors Exporter of the Year in 2006 and developed a machine model to achieve the 2015 Guinness World Record of the highest yield in barley - 205+ bushels.
Daniel left Great Plains in 2016 and started Farmada. He quickly realized that he did not have the same team, support, machines and tooling like he did at Great Plains. He had to figure out how to overcome these issues and connect with great partners to make his company a success. At a farm show in Ukraine in 2017, Daniel met with Mike Bergmeier, which he knew from working at Great Plains, and discovered they had synergies and a great opportunity together. By working with ShieldAg's expertise and technology, Daniel realized he could move forward and cut back time on developing the Farmada toolbars himself. At the same time, he also had a strong connection with Nicholas Bowles with SureFire Ag. With the knowledge and cooperation of all three companies, they created a successful "Trifecta" to develop a product that has a part and specialty from each company.
As seen in the picture above, the toolbar products have components from Farmada, SureFire Ag and ShieldAg. The orange toolbar itself is from Farmada. The anhydrous cooler, injection and electronic parts on the toolbar are supplied by SureFire Ag. ShieldAg builds and supplies the black colored row unit parts on the bottom of the toolbar. Each company shares designs and drawing files to ensure that all of the parts fit perfectly to minimize fitting problems.
This toolbar package from Kansas manufacturers is a great agricultural product for farmers in Kansas and the world. The "Trifecta" is an awesome example of how collaborative partnerships can create successful products and reach international markets.
"As long as you can continue to do the basics and take it over seas, it's a great thing! You don't have to reinvent the wheel!" - Mike Bergmeier, ShieldAg
For more information about the companies, please visit their websites at:
How can this type of collaboration help companies that may not be ready to go overseas to international markets?
What were some of the growing pains/hurdles that the Trifecta had to overcome?
How did the Trifecta discover each other? How do you start those conversations?
The first networking event took place July 27th via zoom for ag equipment manufacturers. There were 60+ attendees composed of ag manufacturers, state agencies, support organizations and more. The virtual session was led by Russell Plashcka, KDA Ag Business Development and Workforce Program Manager Presenters of the event included:
If you missed the video, or would like to go back and watch it, click the play button on the video to the right.
Chris Kuehl shared information to the attendees regarding the general supply chain issues that are happening with all industries. The biggest issues causing supply chain challenges is that producers were not prepared for the overwhelming high demands for parts and materials. An obvious reason for this is not only the pandemic with the restrictions and protocols, but also labor and transportation shortages, clogged ports, and the growth of online retailers. Producers cannot catch up with the demand, which has caused major delays in products to the US. These issues caused many trickle-down affects that greatly impacted US manufacturers.
Chris recommends that companies look to solve their supply chain challenges through short- and long-term solutions. Short Term: It is important for companies to network!! There are companies in Kansas or surrounding states that can do the same processes as companies overseas. Long term: Companies should work on building their labor supply and pipeline by becoming connected with regional tech schools to solve the labor shortages and fill the skills gap.
Clint Johns provided details about why steel prices have gone up, what will happen next, and what manufacturers can do to overcome the steel supply challenges. Similar to the general supply chain, there were drastic supply and inventory cuts due to COVID-19 as well as labor and logistic barriers, causing suppliers to be delayed in restoring their capacity. The demand for steel did not drop nearly as much as it was anticipated, which created a supply and demand imbalance.
With the many impacts mentioned above, steel has become extremely volatile. From January 2020 to June 2021, Hot Rolled Coil (HRC - milling process of rolling steel at high temperatures) went from $580/ton -$1730/ton, which is about $600 more than the World Export Market of HRC. The Ferrous Complex, which consists of HRC, Iron Ore, Busheling Scrap and Turkish Scrap futures, are considered hot commodities and have experienced the largest percentage increase. In fact, HRC has rise as much as Bitcoin! It is important to remember that some of these issues mentioned aboce were not predicted to happen. The high prices will slowly begin to fade, as it is predicted that steel prices will reverse between Quarter 4 2021 - Quarter 2 2022.
Russell Plaschka - KDA was the host of the event and started the event with sector details:
Mike Bergmeier - ShieldAg is a industry leader in the sector. He mentions that:
Company Engagement - Heidi Makings of J&J Precision spoke out during the event that they are a small machine shop in NW Kansas and are ready to help ag equipment companies in the area and make connections!
Stay tuned for the next event!