Farmers Business Network recently announced they will be basing their Canadian operations out of High River.

General Manager of Farmers Business Network Canada, Tom Staples, says the network is an anonymous website where farmers pay a flat membership fee to share and view agronomic data and pricing information.

"Their seeders, sprayers, and combines they all record what they're doing, they (farmers) share that information back, and from there we can look across the entire members at millions and millions of data points."

Staples says, the company started in 2014 in Cornville, Arizona with a handful of farmers who wanted more data and price transparency.

"It started with growers wanting to share information back and forth, because they knew that data had power, and that the more data that was available to them, the better it could be. But they wanted to share it a way that was anonymous."

He says, along with sharing and viewing data, farmers can also buy crop inputs online, such as seed and fertilizer.

"That side of the business is growing quickly. Growers are really excited about the convince of it. They can place an order at 10 o'clock at night on a Saturday night, and products end up in their yards consistently and reliably."

Staples says, the company started expanding into Canada last November, and there are 200 farms in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario registered in the network, totalling over 1.8 million acres.

In the U.S., the network has a crop marketing platform, which Staples says, will be available in Canada this fall.

The company has also aqquired Yorkton Distributors in Yorkton, Saskatchewan as a part of their Canadian expansion.

He says, High River is a great community for the company to set up shop.

"The core to our business is putting farmers first, and a segway to that is enriching rural community, so we wanted to be in a great agricultural community, while at the same time having some of the convinces of Calgary being close with an international airport."

Staples says, the fibre optics network project coming to High River this spring was another big selling point, since they are a digital company.

The company has 18 employees across Canada, and will staff about 4 or 5 people in the High River office to start.

High River's Manager of Economic Development, Jodi Dawson, says Farmer's Business Network is looking at a handful of properties downtown and will be in town by May.

To learn more, you can visit their website.

Send your news tips, story ideas and comments to [email protected]

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