A farm consulting company that grew from one person in Red Deer, Alberta 17 years ago to a network of over 200 specialists today has been sold to one of the heavyweights in the precision agriculture and geospatial business, as Trimble announced Tuesday it is buying all the assets of Agri-Trend.
Agri-Trend’s network includes more than 110 independent “coaches” providing agronomic, marketing and management consulting services to farmers in Canada and the U.S.
“It will mean our Agri-Trend brand and Agri-Data brand will stay, our network will expand and it’s business as usual in terms of our ability to service our farm customers, but it definitely leverages up our strength and ability to provide precision agriculture services,” explains Rob Saik, founder and CEO of Agri-Trend (also host of Saik’s Agri-Treks on RealAg).
Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, Trimble ag division vice president Joe Denniston says the acquisition is “another step towards total farm management for the grower.”
“Together with Connected Farm, we will provide growers and their trusted advisors with a combined offering that is unique in the marketplace today,” said Denniston in a news release issued Tuesday. “Agri-Trend is a leader in providing expert advice and decision support for growing crops, marketing commodities and managing a farm’s finances. Trimble is a leader in precision agriculture technology that precisely applies those decisions whether it is seed, nutrients or water.” (continues below)
Saik notes Trimble’s independence was a factor in making the deal.
“They’re agnostic when it comes to equipment colours,” he explains. “For Agri-Trend it was very important that we do not affiliate ourselves with any one line of crop input or grain company. We wanted to maintain our ability to be independent when we’re giving our agronomic, grain marketing or business management advice.”
As a middle-sized company, he says the sale will allow Agri-Trend to expand globally, as well as gain access to new precision ag technology.
Agri-Trend clients shouldn’t notice any immediate change, as all the staff are part of the deal, says Saik. Trimble says it will be integrating the Agri-Data platform into its Connected Farm software.
Darren Howie, president of Agri-Trend, will become the general manager of Agri-Trend Group under Trimble, while Saik will shift to a role in global business development.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. It’s expected to close by the end of November.