Ag Startup Engine (ASE) has made an initial $25,000 investment in DeWitt, Iowa based startup FarmHand App, a mobile web application that connects farmers with quality farmhands.
Farmers and ranchers can use this app to post jobs when needing help around the farm, and review multiple applicants, including a five-star rating and review system, before selecting the best fit for the task at hand.
“We are very excited to be receiving this funding to continue our customer research and app development, providing the best quality of farmhands possible,” said Michael Schaeffer, FarmHand App CEO. “Over the next six months we hope to introduce another 5,000 active users to the platform with aggressive marketing, and network connections from ASE. Farmhand App is very thankful for all our partners and participants and is excited to join the Ag Startup Engine.”
The company also received Proof of Commercial Relevance (POCR) funding from the Iowa Economic Development Authority to accelerate growth and continue to help out farmers during this agriculture labor crisis.
“While the large size and automation of today’s farm equipment has reduced the need for full-time farm hands, it has created a need for more seasonal workers, such as grain truck drivers to keep up with grain combines that can fill a 1000 bushel semi-truck every 15 minutes,” said Al Myers, founder of Ag Leader Technologies and ASE investor member. “Due to the limited number of full- time workers on most farms, there is also a need for irregular intermittent help, such as installing field drainage tile, where the optimum crew is four workers. The FarmHand App will allow farmers to expand their potential pool of seasonal and intermittent workers, as well as provide better matching of part-time worker skills to the specific type of farm work to be done.”
“Michael is a tenacious entrepreneur,” said Joel Harris, ASE co-director. “Farm labor shortages are a continuing issue in agriculture. While FarmHand App is in the early days, we’ve been impressed with Michael’s traction and willingness to learn and grow as a founder.”
Over the next year, Ag Startup Engine plans to add up to three more agriculture technology startups to its portfolio ranging from animal health to precision agriculture. This is the fourteenth company Ag Startup Engine has invested in since it launched in 2016.
Four startups receive funding from IEDA -May 26, 2020
Ag Startup Engine invests $25,000 in Skroot Laboratory -Feb. 10, 2020