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This Entrepreneur's High-Flying App Solves an Age-Old Problem

A former salesperson discovered a business opportunity made up of one part tech, one part goodwill and just a touch of common sense.

Farming is an economic cornerstone of American society. The US Department of Agriculture projects the farming industry will be worth $93.5 billion in 2017. America wouldn't be the same today without amber waves of grain and those who maintain them, something too often overlooked.


But Jeff Wagenknecht is changing that with his new mobile app, AgriFly, which connects growers and aerial operators on one platform.

Wagenknecht's career began in agricultural sales, traveling countless hours down Midwest country roads. The job shed light on daily challenges farmers faced in a developing world. There was no hub or common place for these people to meet—a clear void in the market. Wagenknecht knew that if he could help make the lives of the farmers he personally knew a little easier, more would certainly come from this opportunity. He would spend days on end with farmers waiting for an operator from another state to crop dust their land, only to later find there was an operator right in their backyard.

It was a no-brainer: he had to do something about it.

And so, from the ground up, AgriFlyNetwork (AFN) was born. The AgriFly app connects growers and aerial operators quicker than ever by using the same pin-on-map technology as the nation's most popular ride-sharing apps. Growers and ag retailers simply submit an assignment detailing their acreage that's then dropped onto a map. Operators can browse through open positions and share their in-app profiles to those of their interest.

From there, growers can select their preferred operator for the job. Features like detailed profile and job history screens make it an all-encompassing database fit for serious agricultural professionals.

AgriFly presents boundless opportunities for growers and aerial operators alike. Growers have a larger network of easily accessible, credible operators at a lowered input cost. It breaks literal barriers to entry and opens the door to competition within a relatively territorial sector of the industry.

"Operators in the field tend to keep within their circle, and that can limit opportunities for work," Wagenknecht says. "It streamlines the process by allowing operators to grow their base by working outside of their usual radius, and by allowing growers to find reputable, qualified operators right in their backyard that they might not have found otherwise."

Wagenknecht is not stopping there. He is expanding the scope of prospective jobs even further with new AFN Premier set to launch July 1. AFN Premier is a service that will grant growers and operators certain advantages. AFN is offering an escrow payment system and premier growers are entitled to an Application Date Guarantee. In exchange for application fees and fulfilling more thorough background checks and prerequisites, preferred operators are automatically ranked for the full range of work in AFN, and their first-rate status is made public to growers.

Quality control is at the core of AFN Premier. Wagenknecht has ultimate authority over credible personnel and consequences for those who fail to uphold agreement terms. This ensures that both AFN and its users can provide consistent, high-level service.

Beyond innovation, Wagenknecht represents the very essence of entrepreneurship powered by goodwill and common sense. As farmers carefully tend to their crops, Jeff tends to farmers by offering an instrument for growth. He has provided for those whose job it is to provide. This is significant in and of itself since the app's inherent reward lies in its effectiveness to serve. And Wagenknecht wouldn't want it any other way.

To help growers and operators kick-start a new season, AgriFly has special promotions for its Basic Service charter year: growers and ag retailers can earn 15 cents per acre by using AgriFly. For a one-year subscription fee of $5,500, operators pay 40 cents per acre acquired through AgriFly, with guaranteed end-of-year reimbursement of the subscription fee if less than 3,000 acres are acquired. By signing up in the charter year, operators will save $3,000. Preferred Operators within the Premier Service do not pay a subscription fee and only pay a per acre fee. You can help support AgriFly and your local farmers by downloading the app today.


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