From Father to Son
My name is 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 developed a strong connection with nature. I loved the freedom to run around the fields, and I could spend whole days with my dad in his tractor.
But growing up on a farm taught me hard lessons as well. I watched my family work hard days and long nights. My dad, my mentor – the person who taught me the most valuable things in life – used to disappear for days during harvest time. He worried about piles of paperwork and financial hardship. 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. I grew up surrounded by nature, which was the best possible classroom to nurture my curiosity and inspire me to learn.
Like many farmers, my father used spreadsheets to fill out government reports – in my eyes, those spreadsheets were stealing away the time I could have spent with him. Over many years, he had to enter the same information into ten different systems!
I had learned a bit of programming in school, so I decided to accept the challenge and create a system 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 after, the first version of our software was ready for my father to test.
One day, government inspectors came to my father’s farm and were genuinely surprised to see such a program. They recommended that I show it to other farmers as well.
This got me thinking that we might be on to something bigger here, so I called my friend Stenver – an experienced and ambitious programmer. Stenver was just as enthusiastic about the project’s potential, so we got to work.
I had found my way to express my love and passion for farming and farmers!
From Farmers to Farmers
eAgronom started with 3 people in August 2016. From the beginning, our priority has been constant conversation with farmers. We always strive to implement their ideas into new features – we have recieved feedback from over 200 farmers in the process!
By January 2017 – only 6 months after launch – we already had 200 000 ha of land managed in eAgronom. That means we had captured 70% of the Estonian market share! Our hopes were confirmed: we knew then that eAgronom was useful for farmers, and we were excited and motivated to continue.
Feedback isn’t all that farmers give us. We have raised investments from over 50 independent farmers. Today, we are active in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Germany, and Australia, and we have raised over 1M€.
Along the way, I never lost my original drive to increase not only my father’s leisure time, but his profits as well. In 2017, his profit was up 338% over 2 years, and he drove 20 000 fewer kilometers in his tractor!
Empowering Growers to Change the World
Farming plays 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 grain producers 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. Perhaps one day we could even automate the entire food production process.
My father has higher profits, more time for our family, and new opportunities to innovate and strategize. We aim to bring those benefits to every single grain grower in the world.
Robin Saluoks, Co-Founder of eAgronom