FBN℠ Makes Key Announcements at Farmer2Farmer, including FBN℠ Health and Partnership with Amazon Business

Leading independent farmer-to-farmer network announces its latest offerings aimed to benefit farmers nationwide

Omaha, Neb. – December 17, 2018 – Farmer’s Business Network℠, the leading independent farmer-to-farmer network, announced the launch of several groundbreaking offerings and initiatives to benefit farmers and their families. The company announced a partnership with e-commerce giant Amazon Business, a new first-of-its-kind healthcare offering for farmers and their families, released a new zone pricing report, and launched a new seed offering.

The announcements were made at the company’s annual farmer user conference, Farmer2Farmer, which saw a record 2,500 + farmers in attendance. The company also reported that it’s now reached more than 7,450 farmer members who represent 29 million acres of farmland across North America — roughly the size of Pennsylvania.

“We’re constantly looking for every possible avenue to provide family farms with the leverage they have not had previously and increase their profitability, and we’re excited to announce these game-changing initiatives. We’re on the side of the farmer, and helping them fight as they navigate a difficult farm economy, which we’ll do by remaining unapologetically independent.,” said Charles Baron, Co-Founder, FBN. “We believe these initiatives will help ensure farmers thrive and are able to Take Control into 2019 and beyond.”

FBN Health: A Straightforward, Affordable and Reliable Solution to a Complex Industry

There’s nothing more important to a farmer than their health, their family’s health, and their farm employees’ health. That’s why FBN is announcing the launch of FBN Health, a multi-state healthcare solution designed and tailored specifically for the challenges that face farmers.

By leveraging the purchasing power of the FBN network, FBN has lowered health insurance premiums and passes those savings straight to the farmer. In many cases, FBN expects that eligible FBN members will see significant premium savings over the individual marketplace.

Through a partnership with Lifestyle Health, FBN Health will offer four different plans to meet each individual farmer’s needs — all of which offer farmers:

  • Comprehensive health coverage, including medical, dental, and vision, for farmers, their families, and farm employees.

  • Free, 24/7 telephone access to a doctor—at $0 co-pay—so you don’t have to waste any time driving to town when you have a medical question or need.

  • Extensive regional and national networks of providers based across the country.

  • Up to 35 percent savings under the right circumstances.

FBN members in 11 states—Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Dakota—can enroll at any time during the year, and members in Minnesota can enroll beginning April 1, 2019, with more states coming soon.

“Healthcare is one of the greatest personal risks facing farm families – from the rising and unpredictable healthcare costs to the actual health and well-being of the family itself,” said Lucas Strom, Head of Insurance at Farmers Business Network. “Our members have been asking us to find a solution that’s affordable, has options and is easy to navigate, and we believe FBN Health is one giant step in the right direction.”

FBN Partners with Amazon Business

Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. announced that it will provide its more than 7,400 farmer-members with deals and discounts while shopping on Amazon Business. FBN members who register for a free Amazon Business account will have access to a specialized shopping experience tailored to Farmers, a suite of business-specific purchasing tools, an exclusive introductory discount, and deals offered by Kimberly Clark Professional, Honeywell, Bosch and other Amazon Business selling partners. The partnership complements FBN Direct’s leading farm-input e-commerce system with the broad array of farm goods, maintenance and repair items, office supplies and more on Amazon Business.

Seed Zone Pricing Report

As trade and tariff wars abroad cast a cloud on the farm economy, and consolidation in the largest seed and agrichemical companies doesn’t seem to be slowing down, opaque tactics at continue to harm family farms. FBN released the industry’s first ever “Seed Zone Pricing Report” to give farmers a look at how seed conglomerates have nearly created a monopoly, drove up prices on farmers nationwide, at the expense of the farmer.

Regional seed pricing, also known as “zone pricing,” complicates the degree of variability in corn seed prices. Because of practices such as zone pricing, farmers pay different prices for the exact same seed depending on where they live or farm—their agronomic zone.

The report found:

  • FBN estimates that zone pricing costs the average American corn farmer $13 per acre, a total of $1.1 billion dollars of lost income in 2017 alone.

  • Due to zone pricing, Nebraska and Kansas farmers have lower corn seed costs per bushel of yield than the rest of the Corn Belt—about 48 cents per bushel.

  • Farmers in Illinois ($23 per acre more) and Minnesota ($22 per acre more) pay the highest added cost per acre due to zone pricing.

  • Regional seed prices are not consistent with regional yields – large differences exist even within states, with many farmers paying as much as 15 to 20 percent more per bushel of yield than their neighbors.

“We are a network of and by farmers whose mission is to put Farmers First,” said FBN network Head of Data Science, Matt Meisner. “We rigorously examined thousands of invoices farmers paid for their corn seed and the area they farm, and we’re able to uncover the seed pricing zones that ultimately affect the profitability of a corn operation. This information is critical for farmers and is their basic rights as consumers.”

New Seed Offering

F2F Genetics Network™, continues to build momentum and gain sales ahead of the 2019 growing season, and continues its mission to bring the farmer closer to independent breeders. In August 2018, F2F Genetics launched corn and soybean seed, fit for most of the Corn Belt, and Farmers Business Network continues to build out its seed portfolio offering.

Now, F2F Genetics Network offers corn hybrids ranging from 78 day to 116 day, covering most of the corn-growing regions of the United States, in addition to glyphosate-tolerant soybeans.

Today, F2F Genetics Network launched alfalfa, brining a low cost option to the premium alfalfa seed market. As well as a nationwide, full line, of premium sorghum seed.

The F2F Genetics Network now offers premium seed across a wide variety of crops at Farmers First pricing.

Creating an Independent Farm Economy to Put Farmers First

The idea for the FBN network originated from farmers who wanted to create an independent, farmer-driven information and commerce network.

With the launch of FBN Health, farmers are one step closer to having a totally independent full-farm profit system: from FBN Insurance, crop insurance powered by data; to FBN Direct’s input ecommerce platform; to FBN Analytics comprehensive agronomic-network data analytics & decision support; to FBN Crop Marketing’s premium contracts, production contracts, advisory & risk management, and price intelligence powered by a global buyer network.

Annual FBN membership costs only $700 with no punishing acreage fees, making it easily affordable for farms of all sizes.

About Farmer’s Business Network, Inc.

Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. is an independent farmer-to-farmer network, built by and for Farmers, representing Farmers FirstⓇ. FBN members receive comprehensive farm benchmarking, real world seed performance, input optimization and pricing analytics based on over 160 million acre events of real-world precision agronomic data. The FBN Direct e-commerce platform provides national, transparent pricing on ag chemicals, fertilizers, seeds, technology and services. FBN Crop Marketing provides farms premium contracts, production contracts, risk management, and price intelligence powered by a global buyer network.

The FBN network has grown to covering more than 25 million acres of member farms in the U.S. and Canada. Blending the best of Midwestern agricultural roots and Silicon Valley technology, the company has offices in San Carlos, Calif, and a National Operations Center in Sioux Falls, S.D., and employees spanning 44 states and Canadian provinces.

The FBN Network’s mission of creating a better farm economy has earned the support of world-class technology investors GV (formerly Google Ventures), DBL Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers LLP, Bow Capital, Acre Venture Partners, Temasek, and T. Rowe Price. To learn more, visit: www.farmersbusinessnetwork.com.

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.