Thursday, November 15th  |  1:00pm – 5:00pm
The Stage at Island Park

Save the date for Cultivate! On November 15th, we’ll be hosting the 2nd Cultivate Conference will take place at the Stage at Island Park. It will be a half-day event featuring short TED-style talks and a farmers’ panel focusing on emerging technologies in agriculture.

Throughout the event, speakers will share their experience, developments, and challenges. The topics will cover a wide array of the AgTech industry including software applications, precision agriculture, drones, alternative farming methods and more.

What is Cultivate?

An emerging technology in agriculture conference that convenes leaders to explore tech innovations they’ve created, are currently building, or are searching for in their industry.

What can I expect?

Throughout the afternoon, we’ll hear from all corners of the agriculture ecosystem and learn about tech innovations happening in the industry. The event has been designed to have equal parts of mainstage content and networking so you have space to learn from the experts and time to connect with future customers and industry leaders.

What’s included with my ticket?

Your ticket grants you access to mainstage content, panels, industry booths, and complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages.

Who will be at this event?

This event will attract attendees from all areas of the agriculture and technology industries. From software developers and farmers to startups and venture capitalists, our goal is to bring together over 300 people.


Please check back for the latest updates on who will be speaking at Cultivate 2018!




Becky Newell is President of Levridge, a technology firm dedicated to building cloud-based, user-friendly business solutions for the agricultural industry. As a co-founder of the fast-growing Microsoft Gold Partner Stoneridge Software, she saw first-hand how creating efficient processes and collaboration opportunities through technology can save businesses time and money. Through Levridge, Becky is realizing her passion to create a modern software that enhances the back office of ag businesses, as well as integrates with the many exciting new software applications available in the industry.

Prior to becoming president of Levridge, Becky was vice president of technical delivery at Stoneridge Software, where she served as principal developer and led the technical and development teams. Previous experience includes 14.5 years at Microsoft.

Kevin Kimle of the Bruce Rastetter Agricultural Entrepreneurship Suite in Curtiss Hall.   (Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University)


Iowa State University

Kevin Kimle currently serves as the Rastetter Chair of Agricultural Entrepreneurship at Iowa State University, Director of the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative, and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics. Kimle’s work includes development and delivery of entrepreneurship curriculum and programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, outreach programs to aspiring entrepreneurs and agribusiness executives, and research on entrepreneurship and innovation.

Business expertise that Kimle has gained in starting and running companies as well as incubating them includes equity capital formation, business model design, business plan development and financial model development and design. He a frequent speaker to audiences across the U.S. about building and using an entrepreneurial mindset, megatrends in agriculture and the food industry and building innovation cultures.

Leela Watson


InitWeather, LLC

Leela Watson is the Co-Founder and CEO of InitWeather, a company that uses machine learning to develop weather products for the agricultural and energy industries to help them make better, smarter, and faster weather-based decisions. Leela received her Ph.D. in Meteorology from Florida State University, after which she began employment as a member of NASA’s Applied Meteorology Unit (AMU) where she was the resident numerical weather prediction (NWP) expert. She collaborated with meteorological agencies and universities to research, develop, and implement modeling systems providing technical expertise in NWP and data assimilation as needed. She is motivated by leveraging her expertise in NWP to make big weather data become actionable data by supplying weather forecasts powered by artificial intelligence.

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Harvest Profit

Nick Horob is the founder of Harvest Profit. He was raised in Williston, ND where both sides of his family farmed. He graduated from the University of Minnesota and spent three years working for a successful private equity firm, ShoreView Industries. While at ShoreView, he learned best practices from successful business in many industries including being the youngest employee in firm history to sit on the Board of Managers of a portfolio company (Kibbi, LLC, the maker of Renegade toy haulers).

After witnessing the commodity rally and steep decline from 2007-2009, he left ShoreView to become a farm finance consultant for Market Wise Ag Services. Viewing the lack of farm business software tools during his time at Market Wise led him to build the tools that became Harvest Profit’s core offering.



Michael Prorock is Chief Technology Officer and Founder at Inc. Mr. Prorock served as Director of Development at Compellon Inc,building and refining their platform for SaaS predictive analytics as the lead of the product development team. Prior to Compellon, he served as Director of Platform Development for Altus365 for 5 years, where he led the team that built the Company’s award-winning vSearchCloud SaaS-based platform. He has served as an independent consultant for 7 years in the fields of security, cryptography, and linux systems design and development. Michael is a passionate outdoorsman, and has a small sustainable farm that he lives on and works with his wife in rural NC.



Farm And Trade, Inc.

Mr. Jeremy Zwinger is the CEO / President of The Rice Trader, Farm And Trade Inc., and International Commodity Institute. He was raised on his family’s farming operations in North Dakota, USA, and is a graduate of North Dakota State University, where he also attended graduate school for agriculture economics. His interests are broad, ranging from commodities markets to the digitalization of global business to the rapidly changing international cultural / geopolitical environment. On a personal note, Mr. Zwinger is blessed with five children and an amazing wife (Susan), whose support has allowed him to be here today.




Ryan Raguse is the Co-Founder and Chairman of Myriad Mobile, the parent company to Bushel. Myriad Mobile has been named to the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies list three years in a row. Additionally, the company recently made the 2018 Inc.’s Best Workplaces list.

Ryan is a speaker, author, and entrepreneur. A self-proclaimed day-dreamer and life-long farm kid, he is always ready to discuss the exciting future of Ag Tech. From the launch of Bushel, an industry first software platform providing real-time scale tickets, contracts, cash bids, eSign and more, Ryan and his teammates have been providing the necessary tools elevators and their growers need to do better business together since 2017. With an international reach amongst 12,000+ growers, Ryan looks forward to expanding Bushel’s immense presence.



Genesis Feed Technologies

Peter was 6 years old when he used his first computer — a 1984 IBM PCjr. He grew up on a fourth generation family farm in Kulm, ND, where his love for technology grew hand in hand with his love for agriculture. He went on to build and sell computers, then spent 10+ years in the animal feed industry (seven with Cargill) all while running a seed dealership on the family farm.

Little did Peter know that a Skype call to Malaysia ending with “…that’s a good idea, we should do that!” would lead to a business venture that combined these two interests. From that phone call the Genesis Platform was born; a mobile platform that is transforming how the industry purchases feed ingredients. The Genesis Platform’s global presence now includes customers in North America, Brazil, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

When he’s not globetrotting or dreaming up the next big idea, Peter enjoys spending time with his wife Julia and their three girls at their home in Fargo, ND. He now uses a Mac (and, under protest, an old Red Dell laptop.)




Corbett Kull is the CEO of Tillable, and is a Chicago based entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience. Prior to starting Tillable, Corbett was the head of Chicago operations for the Climate Corporation and Sr. Director of Engineering. He was responsible for engineering teams in Chicago, Morton, IL, Seattle, and Sao Paulo, Brazil. His team created the FieldView Drive which is one of the most rapidly adopted technological innovations in agriculture. Currently, the Drive is used on over 10,000 farms spanning over 30 Million acres in the United States, Canada, and Brazil. He was the co-founder of 640 Labs which was acquired by Climate in 2014. Before entering the agriculture market, Corbett was Sr. Vice President of Sales and Marketing at PacketVideo Corporation of San Diego, CA. Corbett started his career at Motorola working on the Iridium satellite program. He has an MBA in Marketing from Illinois Institute of technology and a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Corbett holds two US patents, and has several pending patent applications. He was the 2016 winner of the Forbes Ag Impact award for innovation in agriculture. Corbett grew up in Lawrenceville, IL.



Feed Manager

Carl Lippert is a dairy farmer from Wisconsin, a software developer and a traveler. Carl runs a 500 cow 1600 acre farm with my family. He has degrees in Dairy Science and Computer Information Systems and has been bootstrapping Feed Manager on his home farm.

dustin pic


Performance Livestock Analytics

Dustin is a PLA co-founder and has most recently been a Business Development Specialist at Iteris where he manages communications and marketing strategies for the ClearAg product line. Prior to Iteris, Dustin worked The Climate Corporation as a sales manager where he was awarded a DNA award in Innovation. Prior to Dustin’s career in ag technology, he taught Social Studies at the high school level and successfully implement a paperless classroom, which the rest of the school adopted shortly after. Dustin has received a B.A. from Luther College, at Decorah, Iowa. Dustin was raised on a cow/calf and beef feedlot operation near Osage, Iowa.



All The Farms

Jim Cupples is a technologist and entrepreneur who works on data projects that help everyday people in their everyday lives. He cofounded the site in 2015, which has grown into the largest public database of elected officeholders in the United States. Jim is the Cofounder/CEO of Terrapin Data, Inc. a technology firm focused on making meaningful data accessible and understandable.
Since 2016 Jim has been working on, a platform that allows people to find and support their local farms, and where farmers and ranchers can update information related to their establishments.




Jon is the founder and CEO of AgCinect and Plains Mobile Inc. Jon’s previous work experience includes Great Plains Software and Microsoft as a Senior Technical Engineer. Jon invented the ezCinect OBI Platform as a Service which powers AgCinect and other business solutions in the United States.



Digital Dipstick Company

Allan enjoys helping farmers face tough challenges. He has a diesel mechanics background and is has been in the field ever since he can remember. Allan enjoys overcoming tough challenges through innovative thinking and a strong team to lean on.

Andy Picture IMG_7457


Gates Manufacturing


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C&S Farms, Inc.

Chris Johnson is the owner and operator of C&S Farms, Inc. A Corn, Soybean, Sunflower and Wheat operation near Great Bend, ND. They also have partnerships in sugar beet growing operations. Chris has an Associate degree in Agri-Business from North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton along with a Bachelors of Science degree in Ag Economics from North Dakota State University. In 2018 will be Chris’ 44th cropping season. The farm uses technology in the form of auto-steer, yield mapping, on-farm weather station, and raises GMO crops.



Lovas Farms

Sarah grew up on a potato/sugarbeet farm in northeast North Dakota. She attended NDSU as earned a degree in Agricultural Systems Management and a minor in Plant Sciences. Later, she returned to NDSU and completed a Master’s Degree in Soil Science. Currently, Sarah has her own private crop consulting company which provides her clients with crop scouting, soil sampling, and precision agriculture services. She also farms with her husband and father-in-law and handles the agronomic decisions and data management for the farm.



MN Millennial Farmer

Born and raised on a Minnnesota farm, Zach Johnson is a 5th generation family farmer from West-Central Minnesota. He is currently building connections between farmers and consumers by facilitating collaborative conversations between the two. Zach actively promotes agriculture by sharing his day-to-day experiences on the farm through his social media channels, most notably, his YouTube channel, which has now grown to over 150,000 subscribers. The channel is popular among both farmers and non-farmers alike, which gives him a unique opportunity to speak with both sides on an open platform. Because of this, his social media platforms now also serve as an educational tool farming operations. Zach is also currently working on taking over a private Farm Business Management business, where he works intimately with other farming operations to develop integral financial information including cash flows and financial analysis.


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Dakota Carrier Network

Arndorfer’s telecommunications career spans more than two decades, during which time he’s gained experience in nearly every aspect of the business process, including business development, marketing, sales, and management. His journey began in 1997 at Consolidated Telcom in Dickinson, ND, followed by his move to DCN in 2002.

Arndorfer was named DCN’s CEO in August 2013. DCN and its 15 owner companies offer gigabit fiber optic connectivity to more than 280 North Dakota communities in the past five years. DCN also operates two state-of-the-art tier III data centers in Fargo and Bismarck, ND which are used to provide co-location and hybrid cloud computing services.

Arndorfer currently serves on the Indatel Services Board of Directors, NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association’s Futures Task Force, and as a 911 association member.

Arndorfer has an MBA from the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Scott Smidt



Scott Smidt joined Midco in 1980 and has tackled many roles since then. In 2018, he was named VP of Innovation and Strategic Development where he facilitates the ongoing development and evolution of Midco’s commercial and residential business interests by leveraging innovation. In a prior role with Midco, Smidt led the business engineering team through the design, development, and implementation of an Ethernet MPLS business network. He has an associate’s degree in broadcast communications electronics from Western Iowa Technical Community College.


Bridgette Readel 2015


Corteva Agriscience

A North Dakota native, who is a passionate agriculturalist, North Dakota State University graduate, wife and mother, Bridgette Readel is a well recognized crop protection industry representative. A stellar sales career has led to her current role as a teacher/trainer for internal staff at Corteva Agriscience.  She also works with Corteva’s customers in the areas of technology, agronomy, selling skills and customer relationships.  With nearly 25 years in the agriculture industry, Bridgette is a tireless advocate for bringing agriculture to elementary students and supporting FFA chapters. She is a leader in the Professional Women in Agribusiness group. Bridgette and her husband live in Hunter, ND.



Emerging Prairie

The Director of The Center of Excellence at Emerging Prairie, Brian is results-driven leader with extensive experience and success in driving strategic and operational excellence. Brian spent 8 years as the Site leader and Director of Advanced Engineering and Launch (AEL) at HERE Technologies and loves helping people plan, optimize, and launch new initiatives. He spent much of his career building high performing teams in the location content industry, gaining experience in building operations in India, Mexico and Europe. While operations and project management are his primary job functions by day, Brian also enjoys spending time with his family and traveling to interesting places.


12:00pm-1:00pm  |  Registration

1:00pm-1:45pm  |  Session 1

  • Michael Prorock
  • Ryan Raguse
  • Allan Dikeman
  • Becky Newell
  • Jeremy Zwinger

1:45pm-2:00pm  |  Networking Break

2:00pm-3:00pm  |  Session 2

  • Infrastructure Panel
  • Jon Richter
  • Peter Schott
  • Nick Horob
  • Andy Gates

3:00pm-3:15pm  |  Networking Break

3:15pm-4:00pm  |  Session 3

  • Corbett Kull
  • Carl Lippert
  • Leela Watson
  • Kevin Kimle
  • Dustin Balsley

4:00pm-4:15pm  |  Networking Break

4:15pm-5:00pm  |  Session 4

  • Brian Carroll
  • Jim Cupples
  • Farmers’ Panel

5:00pm-6:00pm  |  Happy Hour + Networking







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