Precision technology to support farmers
Ag Leader was founded in 1992 by current president Al Myers in Ames, Iowa, USA, and is still a privately owned and family operated company. Ag Leader is frontrunner in precision technology to plan, plant, apply and harvest more efficiently and accurately. Since 2012 Ag Leader established its first office outside the USA in Heumen in the eastern part of The Netherlands, near Nijmegen. Ag Leader Europe is currently managed by Alfred Rol, who already had years of experience in precision agriculture.
The Netherlands – gateway to Europe
Although Ag Leader was working with an agent in the UK, they have chosen for The Netherlands as location for their European office. The choice for The Netherlands was based on several reasons, Alfred explains: “the level of education, a multilingual population, easily accessible by road, train and air and very well connected to the rest of Europe. The Netherlands is furthermore frontrunner in agriculture, with Wageningen University and Research (within 20 minutes drive from Heumen) as its beating heart.”
Assistance of Oost NL
Oost NL has been involved in the establishment of Ag Leader in The Netherlands from the beginning. Next to finding the best location, they also connected Ag Leader with different service providers like recruitment agencies to find a Regional Business Manager in The Netherlands.
Europe is different from USA
The office in Heumen was the very first office abroad for Ag Leader and the first big leap to internationally expand sales and services outside the USA. This has led to adaptions, on interpersonal and cultural level, but also adaptions on the development of the products and services of Ag Leader. Precision agriculture in USA is based on very large fields, whereas in Europe (and especially in The Netherlands) precision is required at level of a m2, with small parcels.
There were also cultural differences between USA and The Netherlands. Directness of Dutch employees and our non-hierarchal approach was different from the culture within Ag Leader USA. Especially exchanges between colleagues from USA and Europe helped gradually mutual understanding to grow, which certainly has helped international business.
Alfred foresees further growth and enforcement of Ag Leader’s ROI and position in Europe and countries in the Middle East. If current growth continues the coming years Ag Leader might consider other activities next to sales and support from the office in Heumen.