Updated: 5 days ago
About the company
Ag Management Partners (AMP) is focused on sustainable practices with respect to farmland investments, management and consulting services on projects in the United States and abroad.
The company is involved in production of a diverse mix of organic and non-organic annual crops and with the provision of consulting services for permanent crops. These practices are based on the use of technology, along with deep experience gained in forty years of hands on experience in many kinds of agricultural projects.
About Ben Palen
Ben Palen, the Director of Ag Management Partners, is a fifth generation member of a family that has been engaged in farming since 1855. He has a lifetime of experience with agricultural investments, operations, and management.
That includes evaluation of financial and operating elements of hundreds of farm properties, development of tens of thousands of acres of new land for crop production in the US and Africa, management of a large irrigated farm in Saudi Arabia, construction of large grain storage facilities and related infrastructure, negotiation of land purchases, creation of financial models for ag investors, and structuring of farming arrangements for a variety of crops and farming regions.
The 5 Questions
Mark: In layman's terms, what exactly does your business do/offer?
Ben: The value created from over 40 years of hands on and high level experiences in a broad array of agricultural settings. This covers the gamut from being one of the first to introduce no till farming techniques on a large scale in the Great Plains, to irrigation efficiency measures on a huge Saudi Arabian farm. We were doing "sustainable" practices long before the terms entered the ag lexicon in recent years.
Mark: AgTech comes in many flavors. Why was it important you created this business?
Ben: To fulfill a passion for helping farmers to build a legacy of sound agricultural practices that would be carried on by future generations.
Mark: Can you describe what the VERIS Zone Mapping system does and why it's important?
Ben: The foundation of any farm is the soil. And to understand that foundation means to map the soils by zones for organic matter, soil texture, and pH. From those references points, a field is then divided into management zones, from which soil samples are analyzed, and variable rate seeding and fertility recommendations are devised.
Mark: You are the fifth generation of farming in your family and agriculture has been a part of your whole life. What is it about agriculture that keeps you involved with it, both in the US and abroad, that you love so much?
Ben: It is hard to put into words. It is the satisfaction that comes from making a difference by helping to use our natural resources in a responsible way, and in helping to feed a hungry world. Although my career led in some different directions in the early years, I knew that my heart would always be on the farm.
Mark: Who do you consider to be your biggest influence in agriculture and the new technology that is such a large part of it?
Ben: There is no one person. It would be several, ranging from the early adopters of no till farming practices, to those who have led the introduction of variable rate techniques, along with precision management of irrigation water.