Saskatoon-based farm management app developer Farm At Hand is merging with Winnipeg’s FarmLink Marketing Solutions, a grain marketing service focused on consulting, analysis and direct selling opportunities to individual farmers, mostly in Western Canada.
The Farm At Hand brand and platform will be maintained, allowing it to function as an independent entity.
“Today farmers are using technology across their entire operations and engaging with outside experts,” said Farm At Hand co-founder Kim Keller. “With FarmLink we gain new relationships and expertise, allowing Farm At Hand to truly become the platform for agriculture, from seed to sale.”
Founded in 2012, Farm At Hand has always pursued a policy of not sharing or selling farmers’ data with third parties without farmers’ explicit consent, and that policy is set to continue.
Unusually for a technology company, Farm At Hand has always maintained that they do not own user data, but that information provided by individual users remains those user’s property.
FarmLink has also assured its users that their data will remain private and not shared with third parties, but will be merged with the Farm At Hand database.
“Farmers can rest assured that their information will remain private,” said FarmLink co-founder Brenda Tjaden Lepp. “We are merging with Farm At Hand because it’s revolutionary for farm record-keeping, maintaining integrity in the process. Having farmers in control of their data is critical to their farm’s success.”
Today, the Farm At Hand app is used by more than 20,000 farmers, while the company has seven employees.
“Farm At Hand will still be available to our farmers at no cost; you can expect the same level of service moving forward. We are not changing our branding or scaling down the product either,” wrote Keller in a blog post. “Our merger with FarmLink Marketing Solutions brings to you a wealth of knowledge in grain marketing, farm management and other areas – should you choose to use their services. FarmLink will not own your data, you will remain as the owner of your data.”
While the Farm At Hand app has been free to use until now, maintained by a $1.4 million investment, plans are afoot to develop a paid version aimed more at agribusiness than at individual farmers in early 2016.