Meet Agri-Trak, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform designed to help farms digitize, track and analyze their labor and production. The Pultneyville, New York-based startup presented today at TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield to detail how its labor tracking and H2-A compliance software is helping farms replace pen and paper with easy-to-use digital tools.
The platform features a trio of applications, including a web dashboard for farm analytics and reporting, a tablet app to track and mobilize worker crews and a mobile web-based app for workers to clock in and out. Agri-Trak’s software also helps farms manage their H2-A federally sponsored migrant workers and stay compliant with the program’s regulations.
Agri-Trak was founded in 2020 by Cornell grad and fifth-generation apple grower Jamie Sonneville, who came up with the idea for the platform based on her husband’s experience with their farm.
Sonneville’s husband, also a fifth-generation apple grower, was having difficulty operating their farm while tracking their labor and yield inputs with pen and paper. He had asked Jamie to leave her IT career to help manage the farm, specifically the labor and H2-A aspects of it. Sonneville declined, but offered to build a software that could digitize the farm’s processes and keep track of the key data needed to manage their labor force.
After Sonneville built the software and her husband began using it, other local farms got word of it and were interested. Sonneville then decided to commercialize the product and offer it to farms. To help grow Agri-Trak, Sonneville brought on Jason Hill as the company’s co-founder and CRO to leverage his sales expertise. Hill previously worked as VP of sales at another agtech SaaS company called Hectre. Sonneville got word that Hill left the position, and reached out to him to see if he would be interested in joining Agri-Trak. Together, the pair then worked to scale the business.
“We are really positioned to appeal to the family farm, which is more of a small to medium-sized farm,” Hill told TechCrunch in an interview. “Every farm is going to have to adopt technology like this in order to be able to survive because the regulations around not just labor but farming in and of itself are getting more and more stringent. If farms don’t have a way of making sure that they are capturing the proper data around those regulations, they won’t make it. On top of that, there is the time savings aspect of it. Imagine running your whole business with pen and paper versus a phone. It just makes a huge difference in what farms can accomplish.”
The startup replaces the need to manually track workers’ hours and tasks, in addition to the production side of farms, with digital tools. The company’s software is currently being used by 20 farms.
Agri-Trak’s web dashboard gives a farm owner or manager the ability to see what’s happening on the farm day-to-day, as it features quick-glance reports and data input around labor and yield inputs. The tablet app allows field supervisors to move workers from place to place and get them clocked in and out of different tasks. The tablet app utilizes NFC technology, nicknamed Agri-Tap, for workers to clock in and out.
Agri-Trak offers three annual subscriptions, with the lowest starting at $2,000, and the highest starting at $3,000. The first “Core” tier includes the software’s basic timekeeping and payroll features, along with some data reports. The “Plus” tier includes everything in the Core tier along with business reports and the NFC capabilities. The “Pro” tier adds the H2-A compliance features, along with NFC-enabled fobs and a Samsung tablet for clocking in and out.
Although Agri-Trak is currently only available on the Google Play Store, the startup plans to make the software accessible on iPad as well.
Hill believes that Agri-Trak differs from other agricultural SaaS solutions because it was built by a farmer who is aware of the challenges that farmers face and how difficult it is for them to turn profits without accurate data to make informed decisions. Hill says another benefit that sets Agri-Trak apart from other agricultural Saas solutions is that it offers H2-A reporting and compliance tools. The software helps farms manage their H2-A contracts, prevailing wages, piece-rate calculations and overtime requirements for their domestic and foreign workers.
“Another thing that sets us apart is that we don’t require cell service or Wi-Fi in order to use our app in the field, which is really important because a lot of farms are very rural and lack cell service and cell coverage,” Hill said. “So we can still operate from the software without a connection. And then another I would say is we really have focused on H2-A compliance. That’s really important because without that agricultural workers program, a lot of farms wouldn’t survive.”
In terms of funding, the startup closed a $200,000 seed round led by Mucker Capital in June. Agri-Trak put the funding toward marketing and expanding its team. The company plans to raise a Series A round next year.
As for the future, Agri-Trak is working with an agricultural equipment manufacturer to integrate its software into their machinery. The company also plans to start leveraging AI and machine learning.
“The long-term roadmap is to be able to use AI and machine learning to be able to have predictive analytics and then use that for prescriptive solutions,” Hill said. “So we’re taking all the aggregate data on a farm and putting it all together and using machine learning and AI to figure out how to get the best results.”