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New app allows farmers to buy and sell livestock in real time

There’s a new app on the market that allows farmers to upload photos of livestock and buy, sell and manage the status of listings in real-time.

Launched just over a month ago, The Stock Barn is a membership-only club that is hoping to change the landscape for livestock buyers and sellers in the U.S. The app is an easily-operated virtual marketplace where members can upload photos of livestock and manage, buy and sell livestock listings. Through membership with The Stock Barn, farmers gain access to a trusted network within the app.

Dan Nieland, founder of The Stock Barn, says there has always been a strong need for farmers to have the ability to more easily exchange livestock.

“Had this been in place a year ago, I would have used it myself,” said Nieland.

Pitched as a connection app and a “membership-based farming resource” to help producers buy and sell livestock in a more effective way, The Stock Barn is now free to download on Google Play and the App Store. The app is currently available for free until the end of the year, allowing users to try it out. After that, members will need to pay a subscription fee $24.99 a month to benefit from its main uses.

The app also has a built in trusted network feature, which allows users to create a system of buyers and sellers they feel are dependable and can exclusively communicate transactions. Eventually, Nieland says he plans to allow users to rate buyers and sellers on the app.

Currently, The Stock Barn only allows the exchange of cattle, but Nieland says the app will eventually include pigs, goats and sheep as well.

“We started with just one livestock, cattle, so we could get it right. If we’re going to make mistakes, let’s do it a small scale opposed to a large one,” said Neiland. “Beyond that, I’d like to see it grow to more livestock transactions.”

New app allows farmers to buy and sell livestock in real time | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at
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