EAGIC stands for Early Adopter Grower Innovation Community. The EAGIC project provides a pathway for farmers to drive innovation in production agriculture. EAGIC is a project of GlobalSTL which is an initiative of BioSTL, a St. Louis-based public private partnership created to promote midwestern agriculture and attract innovation companies to the Midwest to aid further agricultural development.
The EAGIC project wants to cultivate a new pathway for innovation to get to the farm. Rather than farmers having to sort through the growing myriad of options pushed at them, we want to talk with farmers and find out what their needs are and then find potential solutions to those needs and help test them on the farm. In this way EAGIC streamlines the evaluation and speeds the adoption timelines for both farmers and innovators. Learn more at:
How EAGIC Works:
1. Recruit EAGIC Producers
Gather a list of farmers that are progressive, tech savvy, and willing to provide input and occasionally participate in on-farm trials of new products. Farm Bureau, commodity organizations; professional & random contacts have provided most the current participants. Additional participants that meet the description above are welcome.
2. Identify Farmer Needs
Sounds simple, right? However, many companies struggle with distinguishing between an assumed solution to a perceived problem and the actual root cause of the challenge that a farmer may face. Others may become immersed in trying to find a farm problem to fit to the product they have developed. In either case, the farmer may not get the true solution for the problem they are facing. By building a trusted relationship with growers, EAGIC strives to cut to heart of on-farm needs.
3. Finding Solutions
BioSTL/GlobalSTL/EAGIC knows innovative companies and has dedicated people searching all around the U.S. and the world for the best innovations. Many products exist that are well proven elsewhere in the world and can be adapted in the Midwest. In other cases, the innovations are developed locally and simply need a hand bringing the product to market. EAGIC can facilitate both.
Product Preview - When EAGIC becomes aware of a new product that may address one or more of the farmer needs, we create a brief Product Preview that provides growers with a basic level of what the product is and what it might do to relieve the respective need. If a grower likes what he/she sees, we can start to arrange a trial that would provide a firsthand look at the technology, i.e., a Case Study.
When EAGIC matches a farm cooperator with a potential solution, a Case Study is conducted to provide an evaluation of the technology. Establishing test criteria that will satisfy the farmer, the innovator and a third-party expert is our goal. A summary of the study similar to this will then be produced: Case Study
5. Communicate Results
When the Case Study trial concludes and the Case Study report is completed, the results are shared with the growers & innovators directly involved, as well as with the entire EAGIC community so that all will benefit from the research of each trial. Depending on the nature of the product and the trial, the results may be shared outside of the EAGIC community as well, with the approval of the cooperating parties.
If a new product gains rapid acceptance in the market and the innovator cannot keep production in pace with demand, the benefits to the farm community are restricted. If this is the case, EAGIC, via the BioSTL/GlobalSTL connection, can assist the innovators in their ability to scale-up their operations in the interest of meeting market demands.
EAGIC is about reducing the pain and speeding the rate of adoption of technology by farmers for the purpose of increasing their overall productivity, profitability, and pleasure of farming. It also is about enabling innovative companies, be they large or small, by making their work and involvement in Midwestern agriculture easier and more rewarding.