CleanTechies
CleanTechies Podcast
#170 AgTech, Robot Weed Killers, Precision Spraying, Herbicide Usage, & More w/ Tom Gauthier (AgTechLogic)
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#170 AgTech, Robot Weed Killers, Precision Spraying, Herbicide Usage, & More w/ Tom Gauthier (AgTechLogic)

Saving the planet by helping farmers reduce water consumption.

🌎 Welcome back to the CleanTechies PodLetter, founder edition.

Today, we are talking to Tom Gauthier from AgTechLogic.

Heya! 👋 Welcome back to the pod — We’ve got a blooming episode to share with you today. We hope you’re eating something while you listen today. Here’s why…

What AgTechLogic is doing has a massive impact on reducing the use of herbicides on crops. If you’re eating something, chances are it, or many of its ingredients had a hefty dose of herbicides.

At the root of our discussion, we want to shine some light on three stems of thought.

  • The mind-boggling amount of chemicals used in food production today and how we have the ability to fix that today.

  • How this technology saves growers / farmers hundreds of hours per year, tons (literally) of water, and of course — will also save them a shed load of cash.

  • The importance of crafting an offer that your customer can implement.

Enjoy the episode, and let us know in what ways you grow through listening (have we hit enough puns yet 🤣 🌱)


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The Guest: Tom Gauthier

Tom is the Founder and CEO at AgTechLogic where they are reducing herbicide use by up to 90%, saving farmers days of time each year, and substantially reducing waterusage by retrofitting farming equipment with precision sprayers powered by computer vision.

After his time in the Army, Tom went on to have a long career in IT within CPG brands including P&G.

Eventually he shifted into consulting and drifted towards the agricutlure space.

Fast forward to 2018 and a chance conversation with an agronomist would set him on the path of founding AgTechLogic.

The Startup: AgTechLogic

AgTech, IoT, Retrofits, Water Efficiency

One-liner: making produce healthier and saving farmers time, money, and water by retrofitting spraying equipment.

In 2018, he connected with an agronomist who was a fellow boy scout parent, and their shared interest in the agriculture space would take root into a new mission for Tom—founding AgTechLogic.

Through Tom’s expertise, and this Agronomist’s network, they soon had plenty of conversations to understand the problem—the first step in building a solution.

Fast forward to present day (2024) they have completed a large scale demonstration with a grower in California. The results have demonstrated a savings of over $2,500 per day in chemical savings. This doesn’t even account for the dollar value of the time they save by taking fewer trips to the field or the cost of water. This is soley their savings from having to purchase fewer chemicals.

Using computer vision, their sensors identify weeds and only spray them, reducing usage and ‘overspray’ onto the produce. This has an added affect of preventing mutation of plants to become more resistant to agri-chemicals.

Nothing AgTechLogic is doing is dull—What is there not to love? Saving money. Saving water. Reducing harmful chemical usage. Saving time. And most importantly, saving the planet. 🌎


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📝 Show Notes:

Topics

Busy? Jump to the topic that stands out most!

  • 01:13 Introduction and Overview

  • 01:43 Reducing Chemical Overuse in Agriculture

  • 07:36 Validation and Early Discoveries

  • 11:11 Market Research and Initial Trials

  • 15:37 Concerns about Herbicide Usage

  • 20:34 Case Studies and Cost Savings

  • 24:04 Objections and Early Adoption

  • 24:57 Reducing Water Usage and Regrowth

  • 26:09 Building Trust and Landing the First Pilot

  • 28:54 Entrepreneurship Later in Career

  • 32:07 Collecting New Data

  • 35:40 IP and Moat

  • 37:38 Funding Journey

  • 41:03 Responsible Growth

  • 42:55 Future Plans and Getting the Message Out

  • 45:48 Reaching Out and Educating Farmers

  • 47:54 Takeaways

Links


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Here’s the thing: Somil and I both have day jobs, so if you’re in the helping mood, we both have an ask for you today.

Somil: I’m currently seeking to connect with founders in the built environment space for a project I’m working on. If you’re in that space, schedule a chat here!

Silas: If you’re a ClimateTech founder looking to hire top talent but don’t like the cost of headhunters… reach out. For a fraction of the cost of traditional headhunters, I’ll help you find top talent for your ClimateTech startup. (booking here)


🙏🏽 Thanks for tuning in, and see you all next episode!

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CleanTechies
CleanTechies Podcast
CleanTechies is a Podcast and Newsletter where Somil & Silas interview the leading ClimateTech Founders and Investors to share their advice and journeys with other Founders and Investors to help others succeed.