Since 1988, AgriSource Inc. has been providing risk management services for growers across the Midwest. There were only three consultants in those early years before the Internet and cell phones. There are now more than 50 AgriSource consultants, brokers and agents offering services to more than 1,000 growers in 12 states.
Kurt Koester, president of AgriSource, works alongside a strong team of agricultural consultants utilizing the latest in information technology and instant communication. While many businesses offer risk management services to American growers, few offer as many services from one company as AgriSource.
AgriSource also stands apart from other consulting businesses primarily in the way the team works with clients. “We earn our clients’ trust and work with them as a valued partner to help them become more profitable,” Koester explains. “Our consultants have diverse experiences in various areas of agriculture; several have formerly worked as grain merchandisers and know a lot about how the grain trade operates from the delivery point at the local elevator to an export destination like China. We approach our work as a team offering our expansive depth of experience and market awareness to each and every client.”
The AgriSource difference
Growers need consultants who can relate and modify advice to each particular farming situation, not a one-size-fits all program. One of the company’s strengths is taking general advice and tailoring it to the grower’s local grain markets, storage availability, cash flow needs and risk tolerance.
Linda Meyer, vice president of AgriSource, understands the importance of having the right kind of partnership. Linda and her husband operate a farm and know first-hand the challenges of farming.
“When you farm, it is easy for emotions to drive marketing decisions,” Meyer explains. “It is really helpful to have a third party to evaluate marketing decisions based on fundamentals and technical information, versus the market price you want or need.”
Meyer goes on to note that AgriSource offers a good mix of services. “We go beyond just giving out marketing advice,” she details. “Our team offers assistance with government program decisions, whether to take advantage of quick ship or drying programs, specialty crops, crop insurance and more. We also recognize that having an open dialogue with our customers is valuable. They are our eyes and ears in the Corn Belt and give us a good handle on crop conditions. The relationships we have with both our customers and other professionals in the ag world sets us apart from the suits in Chicago.”
Service is the key to the operation’s success. Meyer and Koester take great pride in the AgriSource team’s ability to help producers with both behind the scenes analysis and one-on-one conversations. Whether the help comes in the form of a spreadsheet that illustrates the answer, a survey that unveils a trend or a daily commentary that highlights price action – all communication is essential to keeping the producer in tune to the market.
“Producers are very capable of marketing, but are limited by time restraints,” Meyer adds. “We like to think that AgriSource marketing services helps take the burden off their shoulders. We help growers connect the dots with related decisions on the farm.”
AgriSource excels in the role of a reliable resource for clients. One way the team does that very effectively is by staying on top of changing technology.
That path of innovation has recently led the company to begin offering clients a new farm business management service: AgWizard.com. The digital platform enables farmers to manage finances with greater predictability and accuracy; by incorporating all the variables that affect a farm’s profitability – from input costs and capital expenses, to grain marketing strategies and crop insurance plans.
Today, with a tremendous amount of market volatility and grain prices trading significantly lower, AgriSource is leading the industry by delivering cutting-edge business analysis tools to help navigate these uncertain times. Now, customers using AgWizard.com can quickly determine the break-even market price and perform an unlimited number of what-if scenarios – allowing producers to make more-informed business decisions.
“We really think AgWizard.com is primed to catch on,” Koester notes. “The service literally sells itself. Everyone who tries it has to have it. They can’t wait to show their spouse and lender how their numbers look.”
Backed by more than 25 years of experience, AgriSource continues to grow with new associates and customers. Furthermore, the company’s client retention is high, which speaks volumes about the team’s attention to customers’ needs. AgriSource Inc. rises above the ordinary in the increasingly complex agricultural marketplace.