James DeGraff

James DeGraff

James DeGraff is an Associate Editor for Precision Farming Dealer. A journalism graduate of UW-Madison, he was an intern for Farm Equipment prior to joining Lessiter Media full time in July 2017. Contact: jdegraff@lessitermedia.com

ARTICLES

[Technology Corner] Leadership for SeedMaster Mfg. and Dot Technology Corp. Reflect Commitment to Autonomous Expansion

Over the past few months, Seedmaster Mfg. and sister company Dot Technology Corp. finalized the hiring process for new corporate leadership. Leah Olsen, who also serves as president of the Agricultural Manufacturers of Canada, will serve as CEO, while Jeffery Bourasa will bring 15 years of Saskatchewan-based finance and leadership experience into the CFO role.
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Precision Farming Dealer Editors Compile Key Takeaways from InfoAg 2018

Data Management, agronomy and ROI considerations reflected as significant trends through product and service announcements at the St. Louis event.
Here are the top precision products and trends discovered by Precision Farming Dealer editors at InfoAg 2018, hosted at the Union Station Hotel in St. Louis, Mo., this week.
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[Technology Corner] Service Tech Recruitment an Ongoing Precision Predicament

Last month, I stopped by Nebraska Equipment, a Case IH dealer based in Seward, Neb., to discuss hiring in the precision industry with sales manager Kenny Pekarek. The timing of the visit was fitting, as the dealership was just one week into hiring its first precision intern, not coincidentally during the heart of planting season.
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Compatibility Conversation: Setting Aside Competitive Differences to Achieve Plug-&-Play Outcomes

Tech engineering veterans trade cautionary tales and share optimism that the transition to high-speed ISOBUS connectivity can improve applied prescriptions, data logging and cost-effective controls on farm machinery.
Taking a break from the rigors of round-robin compatibility testing at the Agricultural Electronics Foundation (AEF) Plugfest in Lincoln, Neb., this spring (also referred to fondly as “speed dating for ag nerds” by one attendee), AGCO software engineer Mike Schmidt and Dave Smart, staff systems engineer for John Deere and team leader for AEF’s high-speed ISOBUS Project, discussed the progression of compatibility over the years through AEF conformance testing, the simplification of equipment connectivity for farmers of all brands and expectations for ag functionality with high-speed ISOBUS network capabilities on the horizon.
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[Technology Corner] High Speed ISOBUS to Expedite ‘Plug & Play’ Compatibility

Last month, I traveled to Lincoln, Neb., to cover the Agricultural Electronics Foundation Plugfest event. For hours on end, developers from around the world tested their platforms for compatibility in a round-robin format, hoping to fix any underlying issues en route to eventually achieving ISOBUS certification.
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PFD Summit: Clearly Defined Culture Breeds a Commitment to Precision Performance

3 diverse dealers dissect the dynamics of a productive employee-manager relationship, along with the detriments of poor communication.
The shifting nature of precision farming demands a foundation for employee commitment, yet the unique structure of any given dealership eliminates the possibility for any universal blueprint. Rarely does the perfect formula come from direct replication or an unhinged maverick move, but the best plans often fall somewhere in between.
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[Technology Corner] EDA Compensation Report Reflects Expansion of Precision-Focused Positions

Every two years, the Equipment Dealers Assn. (or EDA) releases their Compensation & Benefits Report, a comparison of salaries, benefits and unique components of compensation plans from 1,500 dealership responses throughout North America. Included in the most recent report, released and compiled in 2016, is a widened scope on precision farming-related positions, both at the corporate and dealership level.
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