When we launched our MyAgData Leader series last year, we did so with the intention of spotlighting the people behind our brand. Why? Because consumers are more likely to trust a company when they know who’s 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 farm as we spotlighted Jeremy Wilson, Rex Garthaus, Jason Smith and Ken Ullsperger.
To kick off the series for 2019, we spoke with our new Chief Revenue Officer, Steve Peralta. Steve is responsible for building and leading our sales and customer-focused organization and its many channel partners. A key member of the senior leadership team, Steve is responsible for driving exponential growth in a rapidly-evolving industry.
What made you want to work in the agriculture industry?
Historically, agriculture in the United States has consistently been the one sector in which we’re regarded as a world leader. Our farmers today produce more quality food than anyone else, and our country is home to some absolutely beautiful farmland.
More specifically, what is happening in the ag industry today is really a perfect marriage. We are witnessing the emergence of innovative solutions developed to disrupt an already high performing market. To say that technology in the ag industry is exciting right now would be a gross understatement.
On a personal note, for the past 25 years I’ve been blessed to be a member of a farm family in the Midwest. My wife’s family owns grain and livestock farms in addition to operating a handful of other farm-related businesses.
Farmers have a tremendous work ethic, embrace high family values, and maintain a strong sense of patriotism for our country, all which are attributes I admire.
Have you faced any challenges in the ag industry and if so, how did you overcome them?
There are lots of acronyms to learn and players to evaluate within the ag industry. But the challenge for the ag industry is no different than many other sectors. Due to market pressures, we must wake up every day with a passion to do more with less. How can we best develop and leverage technology to drive efficiency and increase end-user satisfaction?
Also, we are noticing a generational change occur on the farm and in the industry as a whole. Younger farmers are stepping in to help dad and grandpa, and they want solutions to help them remain successful. The companies that win in this space will be the companies that are first to market, with proven solutions that are supported and easy to adopt.
What accomplishment are you most proud of on your resume?
I’ve represented several early stage companies or companies with little to no brand-recognition in various sectors. I’ve helped all of these companies grow in high pressure situations, while always maintaining my personal integrity and developing long-lasting personal relationships. Leaders can choose either to run people over, or bring people with them. I prefer the second approach!
Why do you believe it’s important to simplify the acreage reporting process for farmers, crop insurance agents and ag service providers?
Technology drives almost everything we do anymore. Our health records are now maintained electronically, and our financial data is managed electronically. Very quickly we need to adopt solutions simplify acreage reporting. The costs of inputs in this sector continue to place financial pressure especially on the family farmer. In order to be sustainable, growers, crop insurance agents, and service providers need to increase efficiency and push out unwanted expenses. Electronic acreage reporting, in my opinion, will be table stakes when it comes to operating a successful farm in the near future.
What do you think sets MyAgData apart from other ag technology companies?
What sets MyAgData apart from many other ag technology companies is that we really are first to market with a solution that is proven in the acreage reporting space. Our leadership recognized the need for electronic acreage reporting data years ago. Secondly, everything we do is built around our “customer first” approach. We surround our clients with a dedicated client account management team that is focused and inspired. Our client engagement team will do whatever is needed to ensure that we exceed our client’s expectations each and every time we are engaged!
What are your top three personal values?
Integrity, Ownership, Leadership. In my experience all three values are connected. Good leaders maintain the utmost integrity and always take ownership in their professional and personal lives.
Do you have a favorite quote or philosophy on life?
I really don’t subscribe to any one quote or philosophy. In my experience it is always best to be genuine and authentic to who you are both at work and personally. If you work hard every day, take your work seriously and take yourself lightly you will be successful.
If you could change something in the ag industry, what would it be and why?
Outside of costs, growers today are saddled with time constraints to remain both profitable and compliant with government regulations, which is why I am thrilled to be part of MyAgData. Our platform not only increases profitability on the farm, but it frees up time for farmers, so that they can be with their families.
What advice would you give to a potential client who is seeking to streamline their acreage reporting needs?
Ha! I would recommend that said potential client immediately call MyAgData to schedule a customized product demonstration. We promise, they will not be disappointed!