Technology is at the heart of farm innovation today, so we sat down with one of the newest LDI team members, Lindsey Sterkel to learn about her new role at LDI and technology on the farm.
You joined the LDI team this spring as a technology specialist—how does your role help support our farmers?
My role at LDI is to help develop a technology program. I help keep the sales team up to date and trained on the latest AGCO technology innovations and if they have questions about that technology, then I can help them build quotes and displays. We have a lot of mixed fleet customers at LDI, for example, someone might run Fendt tractors and John Deere planters or vice versa, and my job is to help find the right technology solutions to keep their data and fleet working seamlessly.
How did you get started working in agricultural technology?
Initially, I went to school for dental hygiene, but when I was waiting to get a job after graduation, I joined a custom harvesting crew and ended up loving it and loving agriculture. I did everything on that crew for 3 years from driving combines and grain carts—you name it! Then I had the opportunity to join John Deere, starting as a secretary. When there was an opening in their AMS technology department, I moved up and I started selling precision agriculture equipment which I did for the next 5 years. When I saw the opportunity join the LDI team and help build an integrated technology program, I knew it was the perfect fit.
What has been the best part about your new role at LDI? I like the challenge of it. In my job before
there was only one technology option for growers. At LDI, we have a lot of mixed fleet customers and it’s like a puzzle trying to piece together the different displays, receivers and technology to find the best fit for each farmer. It’s exciting to work alongside a farmer and to make their vision for agriculture technology a reality and to make sure everything is working cohesively on people's farms.
If you could tell all LDI growers and partners one thing, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid of technology. Embrace it. There are a lot of guys out there that worry they don’t want to get too fancy, and they are happy with a one-track thing. A lot of that technology like documentation and section control can really better your farm in the future. You can see your harvest yields, look at your inputs, and use that data to make decisions for next year. Your section control can help save costs on seed or chemicals. People worry it’s complicated, but really, it’s not. It’s there to help you and not make things more complicated.
As we prepare for fall planting, harvest and winter, what’s one thing you think farmers should keep top of mind regarding technology?
The biggest thing about technology is if you are putting it away for an extended time and then pulling it back out seasonally, then you need to check for updates. That way, you can have a seamless planting or harvest season. You don’t want to go into planting with hiccups and the first thing to check is if you are
due for a software update.
Are there any technology innovations at AGCO and LDI that you’re really excited about coming up?
The Fuse program is really cool. Fuse® is the top global innovator of open smart farming solutions and serves as AGCO’s innovation hub for its brands. Fuse allows farmers and technology partners to use technology across mixed equipment fleets empowering farmers to have big data and technology at their fingertips regardless of the blend of equipment they use. Fuse can even help you merge older displays and technology seamlessly with newer equipment and it’s all in a user-friendly package. AgriLink is another technology that is exciting to me. It’s helpful for all our customers, stores, and service departments because we can see the trouble codes on a piece of equipment and precisely see where the tractor is. Soon with this technology, we should be able to remote into a farmer’s screens and see what they are seeing in real-time so we can save service calls, time, travel, and cost.
Interested in learning more about integration technology on your farming operation? Contact your local LDI salesperson and connect with Lindsey Sterkel. She can help you develop a custom technology solution for your farming operation that can help conserve inputs and maximize production.