Dan Custis CEO and Co-Founder, ABM

I have been involved in grain and livestock farming all my life raising corn, soybeans, wheat and hogs. I can tell you from experience that farming and the desire to feed the world never leaves you.

Since leaving the farm I have been involved in sales positions that kept me close to the farm. Most of my product exposure was with legume inoculants and chemical seed treatments. I always knew there was a better way of maximizing the yields of crops by integrating natural products with traditional mainstream farming practices. I got my chance to prove my theory was correct.

In July 2000, we started Advanced Biological Marketing (ABM) to introduce natural seed treatment products to mainstream farming in the United States. Since then ABM has developed a world-class line of proprietary natural seed treatments and legume inoculants.

The products ABM manufactures are designed as companion products to chemical seed treatments. Even though our products are approved for organic farming, our main market is the traditional commercial seed market.

The key to success is having “buy in” of key influencers by country, region, and local centers and people of influence. Influencers are foundations, non-government organizations (NGO’s), heads of state, ministers of agriculture, clergy, regional officials and Local officials. Influencers are key to successful completion and execution of this model. Initial marketing program must be targeted to the above centers of influence.

There are a number of keys to success for the small stakeholder farmers. The first is getting the logistics worked out so the farmer receives the critical inputs to successfully get a crop planted. How is the farmer going to receive these inputs?

Secondly, the farmers need high-quality seed (adapted to the growing region), fertilizer, herbicides, seed treatments, inoculants and insecticides to plant 1-2 hectares of farm ground.

The third piece is access to top-notch agronomists to provide advice and expertise on how the crop should be planted and cared for. That training must include:

1) Soils types

2) Annual rainfall in local area

3) How to grow specific crops in local area

4) Beneficial Biologicals

5) Fertilizer requirements

6) Pest control

7) How to monitor crop

The companies and individuals that get the agronomy, seed, pesticide, soil science, precision planting, biological science, logistics and local farmers working in harmony will capture the markets for food sustainability and food security around the world.