Farmers Business Network to add 350 employees with new $300M investment

Your Money Matters

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A rapidly growing ag company just got a major new investment that will help it expand even more, bringing new jobs to its Sioux Falls office. A look at the Farm Business Network and the latest growth in the company in tonight’s Your Money Matters.

“We’re a data sharing network for farmers,” Farm Business Network Finance General Manager Daniel English said.

Farmers Business Network or FBN started as a tech company in California.

“We have a direct to farmer model, very similar to Amazon or the other tech companies out there. To help bring the best products at the lowest price available on the market,” English said.

It now offers an array of commercial and financial services with the help of roughly 800 employees across the U.S., Canada and Australia, but its 120-member office in Sioux Falls is the largest in the company.

“We’re a California based company, but we wanted to really be close to farms and Sioux Falls is really a great place to attract talent and be close to the farmer members,” Head of Sales Enablement Denton Schwiesow said.

And while it’s a direct-to-consumer model, nothing you order from FBN is going to arrive on a nicely packaged box like this, their deliveries are on a much larger scale.

“When it comes to purchasing inputs, seed, crop protection, financial products, these are significant investments,” Schwiesow said.  “Many of our transactions are $20,000, $30,000, $40,000 at a time.”

Historically these large transactions have been made face to face between a farmer and sales member.

“Now we’re giving farmers another option, to work with our sales team and purchase directly over the internet and have the type of convenience they experience in the rest of their lives,” English said.

The idea started in 2014 and continues to see rapid growth every year.

“The valuation of the company is just under $4 billion, that’s almost doubled in the last year,” Schwiesow said.  

The latest $300 million investment comes from a large group that includes Fidelity, one of the nation’s largest investors and ADM Ventures, the largest grain buyer in the world.

“We really see it as validation of what we’ve built and the model that we’ve built which is putting farmers first,” English said.

This new $300 million investment will allow FBN to add another 350 employees to the company, many of which will end up in Sioux Falls. From sales, agronomy, logistics and finance, the Sioux Falls office of FBN will be adding dozens of positions over the next few months.

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