NAMPA, Idaho — As a tax professional with many clients who are involved in agriculture, Jared Asumendi knows that farmers “are always looking for ways to be more efficient and to use technology to better analyze their operations.”
“It becomes more and more important,” he said. “Agriculture is a very cost-intensive enterprise.”
Asumendi is a partner in Agri-Pay LLC, which has developed specialized software that helps farmers track their expenses and reduce their costs.
The software and app is a time-tracking, safety training and compliance platform.
For example, the company has been working with insurance companies to analyze how best to develop safety training for driving farm vehicles and operating farm implements.
Agri-Pay has also added farm-level features to its software that offer time and location tracking, online training and compliance solutions.
“We think there is the opportunity there to provide some training for farmers and employees to drive down risks” and thus costs, Asumendi said.
He came up with the idea for the software after an agricultural association approached him. Business-development specialist Nic Miller and software industry veteran Eugene Dina are the other partners in the one-year-old business. Customers include small and large farms. They pay a fee based on the number of employees.
Asumendi and Miller grew up working for farms and agribusinesses in the Homedale-Parma-Wilder area of southwest Idaho.
“We care about it and know a lot of people in the industry,” Asumendi said.
Agri-Pay “gives farmers greater capability to know where their resources are spent,” Miller said. “Ag needed a system that was built around their industry.”
He said it can be adapted to various settings, from a multi-field farm to a produce packing shed. It includes training, reporting and record-keeping elements centered on the safety of ag workers.
Dina said Agri-Pay is “built specifically for ag” and designed to be a compelling alternative to adapting other software. Challenges in its development included synchronizing remote workers with a central office or decision maker, and coordinating online and offline features.
Planned enhancements include making the existing “field-lock” feature more effective. Field lock is designed to keep workers away from recently sprayed fields until Environmental Protection Agency Worker Protection Standard safety periods pass. It is especially effective for employees who may work far from a central office.
Dina said the feature incorporates geo-fence technology, which alerts the worker the instant he or she crosses into an off-limits field because the field’s coordinates are on his mobile phone. The farm manager is alerted as soon as the worker travels into a wireless coverage area.
“That not only keeps people safe, but creates a digital trail,” Miller said.
Agri-Pay used Idaho State Department of Agriculture-administered Worker Protection Standards in designing some of the software features, Asumendi said. Employers must keep records of worker and handler training for two years.
He said many functions reflect challenges ag employers expressed.
“Our focus is looking at the ag community and our software to see if we can find solutions to complex problems using technology,” Asumendi said.