Ag Leader at 25: From Garage to Goliath
For the past 25 years, growers and ag retailers looking to dabble in the world of precision agriculture have relied on various supplier-partners to accomplish this goal. One of the first to jump into this field, however, sprang from the mind of a single man with a vision for the future — Al Myers, founder of Ag Leader.
As the story goes, Myers was working at Danfoss Electronics in the mid-1980s when he began tinkering with the idea of creating a yield monitor. This way, he reasoned, growers would be able to track their crop yields as they harvested using their combines. By 1992, he had developed the company’s first prototype and Ag Leader was born. And the company is still going strong 25 years later, with offices around the globe in such regions as Australia, Europe, and South America.
In some ways, this scope still amazes Myers. “When I stood in my garage all those years ago, testing prototype after prototype of yield monitors, this day was only a faraway dream,” said Myers, speaking at the company’s 25th anniversary open house. “I never imagined where the yield monitor would take Ag Leader or the agricultural industry. In the past 25 years, precision agriculture has experienced widespread adoption, and today, many farmers probably can’t imagine farming without it.”
From its early yield monitor, Ag Leader has diversified its product line-up to include such offerings as automatic steering, in-cab displays, cloud-based data storage/transfer, GPS systems, and most recently, tile installation.
But even with all this market penetration already in place for Ag Leader and precision agriculture, Myers believes the industry still has plenty of room to grow. “However, I also know the market for precision agriculture is still young,” he concluded. “There are still at least a few farmers out there ready to try this technology on their farms. That’s who we’ll be looking to help over the next 25 years.”