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When we launched our MyAgData leadership series in 2019, we did so to spotlight the people behind our brand. Why? Because consumers are more likely to trust a company when they know more about the team behind the brand.

Our series began with a look at women in agriculture as we introduced our CEO and co-founder Deb Casurella.

Then, we dug into life on the tech side as we spotlighted Ken Ullsperger, our CTO, and Jason Smith, our Product Manager.

On a frigid February day a few weeks ago, we sat down with our new Client Success Manager, Stephen Janes, and asked a few questions about his experience and passion for agriculture.

What made you want to work in the agriculture industry?

At first it wasn’t much of a choice, due to tough employment opportunities during the Great Recession of 2008-2009 and having just graduated college. I took a position with ProAg to simply start working. That opportunity led to multiple promotions and a positive work environment that included working with friends, family and a terrific boss.

Have you faced any challenges in the ag industry and if so, how did you overcome them?

While in an Operations role, it was sometimes challenging to persuade and convince others to adopt new approaches to streamlining processes with technology. Overcoming those challenges required persistence, factual data relating to financial gain and deductive reasoning.

What accomplishment are you most proud of on your resume?

Volunteer work with local high school football team, and fundraising amongst friends and family to provide pregame meals for the whole program.

Why do you believe it’s important to simplify the acreage reporting process for farmers, crop insurance agents and ag service providers?

Agriculture is a commodities business. What’s the most valued and precious commodity of all? TIME. Technology, sometimes difficult and challenging, enables us to simplify our lives. If I was a farmer or agent processor, and I was told that a process that I needed to participate in to be compliant (crop insurance and production/acreage reporting) had a way to save me time and make things simpler, why wouldn’t I utilize it?

What are your top three personal values?

Honesty, open-mindedness, curiosity.

Do you have a favorite quote or philosophy on life?

Treat others the way they want to be treated.

If you could change something in the ag industry, what would it be and why?

Lack of broadband, highspeed internet in rural areas. Farming is on the cusp of going digital on a wide scale. That requires data connections to upload/download information much faster than what’s currently available.

What advice would you give to a potential client who is seeking to streamline their acreage reporting needs?

Get yourself onboard and sign up with MyAgData! We’re here to help and transform your data to make smarter decisions regarding your farming operation.