Using Technology to Build Trust and Transparency - Taranis

Using Technology to Build Trust and Transparency

In the latest episode of the AcreForward Podcast, Madison (Maddie) Vaught, Taranis’ Field Customer Success Rep, sits down with Ethan Noll, Digital Ag Director for Ag Partners, to talk about Noll’s position, the evolution of digital agronomy and what it means for the future of farming. 

As the “go-to” gal for all things field health insights and Taranis, Maddie has become an integral part of the relationship between Ag Partners and Taranis, a relationship that is easy to pick up on as the conversation unfolds. Relationships are everything in agriculture, and business-to-business relationships like the one Taranis has formed with many retailers across the country are examples of how successful two companies working toward a common goal of helping farmers can be in achieving their goals. 

“We’re both K-State-ers,” Maddie jokes, as she kicks off the conversation. “Who could go wrong with that?” 

Technology’s Path Back to the Farm

As a prestigious winner of The Scoop’s 40 under 40 Award, Noll is quick to shift the success and recognition to his team at Ag Partners. 

“It was a nice surprise; it had a lot to do with Ag Partners’ focus on technology, and I happened to be the Director of Digital Ag, but really, it was about the team,” he shares, noting that the company has heavily focused on being on the leading edge and using technology to build transparency and trust.” 

Getting Back to the Farm

Noll says that growing up raising hogs was a strong precursor to his decision not to pursue a degree that would lead him back to the farm. He did know, however, that he liked to work outside and was naturally analytical. Soil Science at K-State seemed to be a good fit under the agronomy umbrella of coursework he took, and his efforts landed him a position with the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)… in Wyoming. 

“I went to work for NRCS in Wyoming after graduation and what I learned there was that I really loved soil science, but I also loved being around people,” Noll laughs. “There’s not many people in Wyoming.”

Moving back to northeast Kansas, Noll landed a job with Ag Partners as an agronomist and after five years of service found himself helping to build the operations side of what would become the company’s digital platform offering. The role was a perfect fit and allowed Noll to return to the family farm, after all. 

“Our farm isn’t big enough to sustain another family, we farm around 800 acres, whereas most of the farms around us are 3,000 to 5,000 acres,” Noll shares. “What working at Ag Partners and being on the leading edge of digital ag did was teach me how to be a better farmer. I really love the science and technology of farming.” 

What makes Ag Partners Special?

Noll says that putting the farmer first is what makes Ag Partners a special co-op, place to work and, ultimately service provider. The company’s dedication to being on the leading edge of digital ag is due, in large part, to the counties that Ag Partners “lives and works” in. 

“The counties that we live and work in in Kansas are very progressive. They are willing to let us try things,” says Noll. “If farmers believe that you have their best interest in mind, they will let you try some things, and that has really been a benefit of working at Ag Partners. Our producers are very progressive and Ag Partners is progressive because the producers are the owners and managers of our co-op. Our producers put us on the leading edge in digital ag.”  

Honesty, Integrity and Trust

“Transparency is a big part of trust and honesty,” Noll says. “And Taranis has given us the opportunity to be transparent. Yield doesn’t lie and Taranis gives us the story of what happened throughout the year that explains the yield. It allows us to build transparency with the producer and throughout the company.” 

Ag Partners combines talent and knowledge to make progress – a formula that presents information in a way that every stakeholder can understand and appreciate – that’s where Noll says the company makes it’s biggest movement in helping farmers. 

“It’s not just about Ag Partners making money by selling products. Customers can usually see through that after a certain amount of time. We’re using this technology to show them what’s going on in their field. We have evidence that backs up what we are selling; we can really explain what is happening,” he says. “Sometimes a product doesn’t perform well in a year, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad product, it just means that the conditions weren’t right. With the technology we are using at Ag Partners, we can lay everything out nicely and explain product performance, show where they are working and where they aren’t. That transparency builds honesty, integrity and trust with our customers.” 

To learn more about the technology Ag Partners is leveraging to help the farmer-owners they work for and with to gain an edge in their operations, listen to the full conversation between Maddie and Ethan at or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.

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