From Father to Son
I am Robin Saluoks.
Farming is my family’s heritage and a part of my DNA. My father is a farmer and so is his father.
Like father, like son?
No, I am not a farmer, though I was born and raised on a farm. I had a wonderful childhood and a strong connection with nature. I loved my freedom, and I loved running around my dad’s fields. I could spend days with him in his tractor.
But growing up on a farm also taught me some hard lessons. I’ve seen my family work very hard for long hours, often well into the evening. My dad, my mentor – the person who taught me the most valuable things in my life – was disappearing for days during harvesting seasons. He worried about the piles of paperwork and the financial struggle. I didn’t think it was fair.
From Son to Father
As I got older, I started looking for clever ways to help my dad. The nature I grew up in provided the best possible classroom to nurture my curiosity and learning.
Like many other farmers, my father used Excel spreadsheets to fill out government reports. As far as I was concerned, those spreadsheets were stealing his time away from me and my family. Year after year, he was entering the same information into ten different systems!
I had learned a bit of programming in school, so I took the challenge. I wanted to create a software that would contain all the information my father needed to run his farm. It wasn’t easy, but I was optimistic and persistent enough to achieve my goal. Soon afterwards, we were ready to test the first version of our software on my father’s farm.
One day during a visit, government inspectors were surprised to see such a program and suggested I show it to other farmers as well.
I realized we might be on to something, so I called my friend Stenver – an experienced and ambitious programmer. Stenver was just as enthusiastic about the project’s potential as I was, so we got to work.
I had found my way to express my love and passion for farming and farmers!
From Farmer to Farmer
eAgronom officially started with 3 people on board in August 2016. From the beginning, we have prioritized a constant conversation with farmers in order to implement their responses into new features – we have recieved feedback from over 200 farmers in the process!
By January 2017 – only six months after launch – our farmers were using eAgronom to manage a combined 200 000 ha of grain fields. That meant we had captured 70% of the Estonian market share! From then on, we knew that what we were doing was useful for farmers, and we were ready to grow.
Feedback isn’t all that farmers give us. We have also raised investments from over 50 independent farmers. Today, we are active in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Germany and have raised over 1M €.
Along the way, I never lost my original drive to raise my father’s profits while giving him more time to spend with us. In 2017, his profit was up 338% from to 2 years earlier, and better planning had saved him 20 000 km worth of driving around his fields – all thanks to eAgronom!
Empowering Farmers to Change the World
We believe that farmers play a crucial role in society. Food production is the biggest industry in the world. Currently, eAgronom users provide food for over 3 million people!
Thousands of farmers trust our solutions and technological advice. We are honored that they have chosen us as their gateway to technology. We want to use our position to empower farmers with the technologies of the digital age. Eventually, it might be possible to even automate food production as a whole.
My father has higher profits, more opportunities to innovate, and more time for our family. We want to bring those benefits to every grain farmer in the world.
Robin Saluoks, Co-Founder of eAgronom