Why did you pursue a career in agriculture?
It’s in my DNA. I grew up on a cattle feedlot and row crop farm in Worthington, Iowa and attended Iowa State University where I majored in Ag Business. I participated in ISU’ Ag Entrepreneurship Initiative and really enjoyed it because it pushed you to think strategically. I had the chance to do real world analysis and development of business plans for private industry and Iowa State University special projects.
How did you find your way to research and intelligence-gathering? What do you enjoy most about this type of work?
After working for a company to launch a new products division, I took a position with a market research company and discovered that I had a knack and a passion for research. I joined Aimpoint Research in 2019 to lead its Agri-Food WatchDesk because they are doing innovative things in the industry and I wanted to be part of that. I get to combine both my passions – agriculture and data. I have a strong natural curiosity and that helps me thrive in this environment. I am constantly learning and looking at things from multiple perspectives.
What is the Agri-Food WatchDesk and how does it serve Aimpoint Research clients?
The Agri-Food WatchDesk is modeled after U.S. Military Intelligence WatchDesks. We’re a team of analysts responsible for continuous monitoring of all trends, developments, new entrants and potential disruptions occurring in and around the agri-food industry. The sheer volume of data and information available at our fingertips today is a powerful resource for businesses and leaders. At the same time, because there is so much, it takes a lot of time to analyze it, figure out what’s most important, and in many cases, determine what’s true and what’s hype.
We make our clients’ lives easier by providing research and analysis in a way that highlights the most important trends and industry developments, so they know what’s really happening (ground truth). Then they can spend more time building strategy and activating on that intelligence to the benefit of their organizations.
What topics are you tracking right now that are the most exciting?
We’re watching so many exciting things right now since agriculture is in the midst of a major revolution that it’s hard to narrow them down. I would say the trends toward digitization and ramp up of e-commerce across the value chain are really interesting.
Agriculture is one of the most complex industries in the world which is why this revolution hasn’t occurred yet. These trends are unleashing the power of data in agri-food; just imagine the amount of data points that are available across the entire supply chain that the industry has not even begun to track yet. Personalized nutrition growth is also astounding and really fascinating to watch as it develops because it shows just how powerful data can be. And if you know me, you know I love connecting dots and living in the data.