What You Didn't Know About the Grain Industry: This is the Future of Agriculture

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Jared Flinn [00:00:18]: You're listening to the bulk load podcast, your number one resource for everything bold freight trucking. Jared Flinn [00:00:28]: Hey, guys. Welcome to the Bulk Loads podcast. Got Tyler in here with me. What's going on? Happy February. Yep. Tyler Allison [00:00:34]: It is a new month. Jared Flinn [00:00:35]: Yeah. You're looking pretty, damper. Tyler Allison [00:00:37]: Okay. Yeah. Jared Flinn [00:00:37]: What's the What's the occasion? Tyler Allison [00:00:39]: Simply showing I don't mess around, Jerry. You know, I always, I always if I dress up, I make sure to do it on a Friday because that's when everybody else slacks. So so then I come in looking as the as the sharp dressed guy. Jared Flinn [00:00:51]: Yeah. A 10 x move. Yeah. If you haven't heard, we and and people probably getting tired of us saying this 10 x, but, like, we have read the 10 x is better than 2 Yep. Book. It just it's something that, I don't know, man. When when you put it in perspective, everything you think of now Yeah. Like, is, like, is this a two x move, or is this The next Yeah. Tyler Allison [00:01:11]: It affects every decision, and that's what I was telling you. Like, whenever, you recommended me the book, I was like, oh, this book is just gonna be based around, you know, just business. Man, it just yeah. It affects every I mean, your marital life, your, you know, your your relationship with your children, Everything, you know, you can take it to that 10 x level. Jared Flinn [00:01:31]: Yeah. Yeah. My yeah. I was just thinking the other day, my kids, we were talking about what they wanna do And the moves that we gotta make, and, like, hey. If you really wanna do this, we gotta think of this as a 10 x move Tyler Allison [00:01:41]: Yeah. Jared Flinn [00:01:41]: Like, in your life and career and all that. So my kids are probably I'm gonna be talking about that as well. But happy February to you all. Before we get started, we always wanna feature a truck, and this one is Sharp. Yeah. So today, we're gonna feature Tyler Allison [00:01:57]: Matt Hubbard. Matt Hubbard Trucking, but he actually is leased on to Hewinghoff Burrows. Jared Flinn [00:02:03]: I came it off. Tyler Allison [00:02:04]: I'm Jared Flinn [00:02:04]: at Union Missouri. Local Tyler Allison [00:02:05]: guy. Just up the road here. Joe actually took these pictures. Oh. And, yeah, at At the truck show, and they are slick. He's got a slick rig. Nice. Jared Flinn [00:02:15]: Well, Matt, thank you for allowing us to showcase your rig. As always, if you have a truck that you want featured on the podcast show even in our calendar, yep, we would love to see them. Send an email to [email protected], and we will put, we'll put you on the list. I think I I said this on the last podcast, but I think we're gonna have to maybe start featuring 2 or 3. Tyler Allison [00:02:37]: Just because we're getting so many Yeah. Jared Flinn [00:02:39]: Maybe we do 1 in the intro and the outro. And, so maybe maybe that's something we're talking about Yes. Well, before we get started again, we want you to make sure and subscribe to this channel. There's a small percentage. We have a lot of people that watch this, But actually few that actually, hit subscribe. So if you can, I'm gonna have Joe put a subscribe button right here. Tyler Allison [00:02:59]: So you can do it? Jared Flinn [00:03:00]: Yeah. Click on this button. See if you can. It's not, I'm gonna look really bad. But, yeah, hit subscribe right here. That way, you don't miss an episode when we release these. Usually, every Friday or Saturday for the week, You will actually be notified, and you can stay up to date with our YouTube podcast. Tyler Allison [00:03:17]: Yeah. We also, Joe posts a lot of shorts and a lot of short form content, reels that a lot of people like to watch, instead of the, the hour long episodes. So you will be notified whenever we post those well. So make sure to hit that subscribe button. It also helps the algorithm and helps us keep creating content that you guys like to watch. Jared Flinn [00:03:37]: Cool. Well, today, I'm gonna bring on Jake Jornstad. I consider him a friend now. We got to know each other really maybe over the last 6, 7 years. I really kind of meeting at trade shows and and just kind of developed a good working relationship with him. Jake is actually the CEO and cofounder of Bushell. And maybe you may or may not know of Bushell. They actually produce a lot of apps For co ops, maybe you've actually used their app through a different co op that you've called for. Jared Flinn [00:04:09]: So they kind of white label apps, to allow a a digital Structure for basically anything from seeing grain contract quotes, seeing your orders, truck tickets, and all that. And, so we I wanted Jake to come on the podcast today and really talk about kind of their mission because believe it or not, we're all I mean, we're very similar going down the same mission. You know, we are a digital technology company hoping to or with a goal to Really fine tune and, you know, bring more processes together technologically, to help farmers, Trucking companies and grain companies. Tyler Allison [00:04:47]: Yeah. Yeah. In the episode, he talks, he has a lot of good key points, you know, app fatigue, Just the competitiveness in the ag tech industry, and just new tech adoption specifically in agriculture world and how kinda tough it is, which, Jared, you You know all about that. But, yeah, he just covered some really good points in it. Yeah. Jared Flinn [00:05:06]: So with that said, here's my conversation with Jake Jornstad of Bushel. Jake, thanks for coming on. Jake Joraanstad [00:05:14]: Thanks for having me, Jared. Jared Flinn [00:05:15]: Yeah. I think this is long overdue, but, we've, we've been in the same circle for, man, years. I think the the COVID gets me kinda thrown off, but I think even pre COVID, we probably met and were at some of the the the events and, and got to meet each other. So thanks for for coming on the show. Jake Joraanstad [00:05:34]: Yeah. Absolutely. And the the egg show overlap is where we were Running into each other, I think, and some of your crew and, yeah, looking forward to it. COVID's a little bit of a of a black hole, I think, for most of us. I That was just a crazy time for especially if you're running a technology business and trying to figure out what you need to do. And in our case, we were raising money at the time and things were just kinda crazy. But, Yeah. Glad to be on, and thanks for taking some time. Jake Joraanstad [00:06:00]: I'm looking forward to it. Jared Flinn [00:06:01]: Yeah. Well, I'm gonna dive right into it. Many know who you are, and and we'll kinda Check that as we get into the show, but, your heart, I think, is the same for ours, man. It's really providing technology to an industry that There's not a lot of technology or there hasn't been previously. We've seen you know, there's a lot of people that talk about, you know, especially ag and even trucking in that aspect, We're so far behind in technology versus some of these other industries. I know I listen to a lot of your your your, shows that you've been on talk about even How far we're behind with with Fintech and and some of these others. So, really, like, let's talk about man, what what was your desire to really jump in To ag and really provide technology to ag. Jake Joraanstad [00:06:47]: Well, I I was, 1st and foremost, growing up in North Dakota, that's one of the industries that you know just because you're here. You know, I talked to Friends that maybe grew up on the coast or something. They don't necessarily know what a a truck driving down the road is with a grain cart or, you know, the grain gran in the back of the truck kinda deal. And so That that that that's kinda what I knew growing up. Both both families have farms. I was the city kid of Living in a town of 1500 people, and my cousins actually worked on the farm, and I just showed up for fun whenever it was, you know, convenient. But, when When I went to NDSU for school, I went for computer engineering, and I got into the world of software. And I was just, like, You know, fascinated with at this time, it was in 2010, 2011. Jake Joraanstad [00:07:35]: The iPhone was coming out. The the app stores were coming out. The Android Phones were coming out, and it was like the supercomputer in your pocket. And that was the inspiration for getting into software. And then I spent, You know, years building tools with my team, we we built a small team. We eventually, we're about 30 or 40 folks, doing custom software, whoever want to pay for whatever. And so we built something like 700 different projects over the years before Bushel and realized that you can't be experts in every industry. I mean, there was times when I was Trying to figure out a health care app, and it's like, what do I know about health care? Not a whole lot. Jake Joraanstad [00:08:12]: And, you know, manufacturing and education tools and Agriculture. And agriculture was something that we were just doing more and more often. It was working with a co op here. We did some work in the early days with companies like John Deere to build Different tools and, the outcome was, wow, we're we're pretty good in the ag world because we know it, and our competition who's in tech Doesn't necessarily need no agriculture. And so that became our focus. And around that time, it was probably 2016, my cofounder, Ryan, He grew up on the family farm, still helped his dad farm. Now he's kinda running the farm today, and he was running around in the truck hauling sugar beets. And he's like, why do I have to do everything on paper? So he was just so, like, you know, fascinated with the fact that you have to Still grab this paper ticket, put it in the tin, hope it doesn't fly out on the way home, and then, you know, dad's waiting for him to get it all into the shed and go, hey. Jake Joraanstad [00:09:11]: Here's here's where we're at. And that was the idea for how do we how do we solve for the the the grain contract and the scale ticket, which became Bushel. So That that was his kind of original idea, but we had already been doing a bunch of work in agriculture. We finally realized that, hey. We're we actually be pretty good at this egg space. Maybe we should Focus. And every entrepreneur knows, like, everybody tells you focus, focus, and it's like, well, at some point, you're worried that the market's too small. But Focusing on agriculture and, in our case, the grain industry, turns out that's a good thing. Jake Joraanstad [00:09:43]: So we're pretty pretty proud to be here. Jared Flinn [00:09:45]: Yeah. It's funny you mentioned that in 2010. Like, it was it was 2008, I think, when they released the iPhone, but I saw the same thing in trucking. I said, man, Like, all these guys now have these little computers in their truck. Why not harness the, you know, the connection of that versus, You know, transfer and air well, that day, it was trucking was just may very manual with the phones. Jake Joraanstad [00:10:06]: I mean, Jared Flinn [00:10:07]: you you call to book a load, you call delivery, you call that, and, like, man, we can do this a lot easier. For me, when I was working at this grain company, I said, man, let's use the power of text messaging and technology to really mass communicate to The broader audience, and that being truckers. And that's Yeah. That's really was the premise of how bulk loads got started. And, I love it. Yeah. It was the same thing. You just saw that, man, now that we have this Technology with, especially, smartphone apps. Jared Flinn [00:10:31]: I mean, man, there's so much more that we can do to that. Jake, talk about, In a perfect world, because and then I'm gonna kinda reverse engineer this. I I like doing it this way. But talk about in a perfect world, how do you see, You know, ag, but talk about how you see farmers, truck drivers, elevators all working together Digitally. How do how does that work if if it's if it's all working the right way? Jake Joraanstad [00:10:56]: Well, in the we call it the digital infrastructure. Right? I think you guys talk about it this way too. The perfect world is it doesn't matter what system the company runs or if it's a different party in a different business you're working with today and then tomorrow. The interface between those things becomes pretty much seamless is the perfect world, and it becomes part of your workflow. But but that workflow is more and more automated. So instead, you know, good example is instead of going into the dropping off a load of grain at the facility, Getting a paper ticket, figuring out how to drop that back off at the office, with whoever you're working with And reconciling at the end of the month and realizing that they missed a shipment that you brought in and we have to find the receipt. I mean, That's the somewhat the current process even today still. The perfect version of that is you get in, you drop a load, and then you have, sort of a prompt that just simply says, hey. Jake Joraanstad [00:11:59]: Is this correct? You, you know, basically confirm, and it fires off the whole workflow. It fires off Reconciliation, it's coming out of 1 company's system, ERP as we call it. Yep. And it's back to your system, whatever you're running. And the data's understood on both sides because skill tickets a skill ticket, and we're looking for a very specific, you know, load information, And those match up to what your records are. Everything's confirmed and, you know, payment request fires off, electronic payment gets issued, and You've got a card in your pocket. Maybe it's a Bushel Wallet card in your pocket, and now you're going and filling fuel the next minute and everything's paid for. And so, like, the perfect world is even in the same day you you deliver, you know, you do a transaction. Jake Joraanstad [00:12:43]: You're not only reconciling it, but getting paid. There's no reason that we should wait a month and pay, you know, long term, I think, the payment of The delayed payment information situation having to factor, those things eventually become Part of a solution of a workflow that's just fast. So I think that's the perfect world for that interaction. Jared Flinn [00:13:09]: I wanna hear your answer on this, but but some people say, you know, we have an adapter or have a guy we we can get there. I mean, the technology's out there to to get there today, But it hasn't been adopted on purpose because and and and I like to hear yours, but, like, some people don't want that speed or don't think they want that speed. They don't want those tickets that fast because then they have to reconcile faster or that truck has to you know, that those tickets get settled Quicker. There are companies that want that, but then there's companies that don't want that. Jake Joraanstad [00:13:36]: Yeah. Jared Flinn [00:13:36]: What what would be your response to that? Jake Joraanstad [00:13:39]: Well, there's there's 2 factors, I think, actually, 2 2 forces. 1 is the force of folks who don't necessarily benefit from the speed. Right? That that's actually detrimental to the business maybe. That that is a resistance that's gonna happen. But I would I would argue that the resistance is even higher In other areas because people are retiring soon and they don't wanna change. So the they're like, hey. I'm 2 years away from Being done, I'm not interested in putting in this whole system and doing a lot of extracurricular work to get things to work because we like you said, The technology I could do a proof of concept today or a real trial that literally does it a 100%. But Just at that one facility with that one trial is only part of the problem. Jake Joraanstad [00:14:26]: It's getting it everywhere. And, you know, getting mass. Yeah. Critical mass getting multiple quasi competitors or different systems anyways to collaborate and work together. That's a big task, and it's That infrastructure problem of connecting pieces and and parts, and then the resistance of change. I I just think Particularly in the com on the commercial side inside of a a facility, the resistance to change is significant. I mean, you you you got a lot of truckers listening to this podcast. I mean, we don't wanna learn another app, another tool. Jake Joraanstad [00:15:00]: I mean, I I was setting up, but we're talking you know, we'll talk a little bit of racing later. But Setting up the fuel apps. You know, when I'm going on a trip, how many fuel apps do I have to have to, like, just know what I'm supposed to do and get the best rate, for fuel and then, you know, make it simple. And it's it's all that stuff is just burdensome. And so there's an adoption issue there, but in the end, there's a lot of resistance to change by people. If people weren't there, the problem would have been solved already. Jared Flinn [00:15:26]: Hey, guys. I hope you're enjoying this podcast with Jake Jornstad. Hey. I I've had a couple of people ask about our upcoming bulk freight conference. One objection I heard was, hey. There's only 2 of us here. I'm Super busy. I don't know if I can get away. Jared Flinn [00:15:41]: Hey. We have an answer for you. This year, we are gonna have breakout times where you can actually go and work. So there'll be plenty of time between our activities for you to catch up on business. We'll have designated rooms Where you can actually go and set up a laptop and connect business. We know that it's hard to get away, but we want you to come. We know the network and people you'll meet will be well worth it. It's a 10 x move. Jared Flinn [00:16:06]: I promise you, you will not be disappointed. So again, I know you're busy, but we have solutions. We'll have plenty of time for you to break out, Catch up with business. We know if you gotta take a call, we have special rooms for you to do that. So we wanna see you at the Bulk Freight Conference. God bless. Well yeah. Because you think about it, like, now we're seeing so many of these companies by design are are creating their own app, and, you know, that you have now a trucker. Jared Flinn [00:16:31]: He may be hauling because we know this in the trucking space, 1 trucker or 1 company, he may have really 10 or 12 solid customers. But throughout the year, He really may haul for 30 to 40 of them. Yep. But now he's gotta have 20 different apps to submit documents and tracking and payments and all that. Jake Joraanstad [00:16:48]: Log in, different process, different Yeah. Oh my lord. Jared Flinn [00:16:51]: And it's a whole different system too. I mean, some of them, it's the same premise, but all of them have different ways to get to that same result. And, yeah, it creates almost you know, we call it app fatigue. I mean and it it's a real thing. We've we've been in these trucking conferences where a lot of these owner operators and drivers are suffering from app fatigue. It's it's just too too many apps for them to manage in one spot. Jake Joraanstad [00:17:13]: Yeah. It's not a it's not an easy problem to get through, but The reason why we have the app fatigue is because there is there has not been In some cases, there's not been the critical mass needed in those areas. And when somebody like a bulk load shows up to the market, you're one of the few players that has ability to move the needle To get people onto a similar set of tools or to get the critical mass, the only reason all these other apps exist is because They don't think the other the answer is already out there, so they go and they build their own. I mean, I could name phony grain companies that have had to build their own tools for their Delivery, for for their trucks because we needed a certain way. It's like, you don't. But here we are, And now you now they're one of those 20 logins that you've gotta have, as a trucker. So it's it's a elbow problem, but it sure as heck frustrating right now. Yeah. Jake Joraanstad [00:18:06]: Yeah. Jared Flinn [00:18:06]: And I'll ask this, and then we'll move on because I don't wanna beat a dead horse. But but why? And maybe this is the same in other industries. Jake Joraanstad [00:18:11]: Maybe Jared Flinn [00:18:11]: we can say it's the same in It's the same and this and that and then that. But, like, man, it just seemed like it's been a and and maybe because you and I are in it, but it's it's been a hurdle specifically in ag. And is that because maybe there's more fewer players and there or the dots are just isn't more uniform across companies? Jake Joraanstad [00:18:31]: I think the current the current issue is very few companies have gotten big enough to be critical mass Makers so they can move the needle and say this is how it's going to be and get everybody on board. And the other problem is There's just a lack of investment in the space generally. And so because there's not 3 really good, you know, bulk load like options out there, We all go build our own stuff, and then we recreate the problem and recreate the solution over and over and over again. You have 20 apps. And so Part of it is an underinvestment in the space. Part of it is being particularly in agriculture, we're dead last in digital adoption. So that means we have the All the systems with the least investment and the least advancement. And so, you know, Bushel, we sit around and dig. Jake Joraanstad [00:19:19]: We integrate with Twenty different ERPs in agriculture that were all built in the eighties nineties. I mean, what in the world How we doing? This is what is required to go for, like, a lift and shift, go from old school to, you know, on the cloud, All this capable technology. And so that's just where we're at in the industry right now. And I think I think that we were making progress. There's There's less competitors, in your business. Right? You guys I mean, there's some still out there, but it's you know, they're they've kind of flashed and gone away In the in the venture space, although there's lack of total investment overall, when the markets get tight in the tech space like it is right now where it's not easy to raise money, it's not easy to, You know, just spend to win. People fall to the side very quickly, and then the winners remain. And so This is kind of a I think we're going through a little bit of a filtering in in the moment, for, like, who all these competition, what are the competitors are gonna look like out there will be a lot different at the end of 24 than they were in 2022. Jake Joraanstad [00:20:24]: Yeah. For example. Jared Flinn [00:20:25]: I wanna wanna switch over and and talk a little bit about some of your products and and your offerings because, believe it or not, I'm sure a lot of our drivers have actually interfaced with your Absa probably didn't even realize it. But, Kent, high level, talk about kind of your your umbrella of services or products that you offer into the ecosystem. Jake Joraanstad [00:20:42]: Yeah. So what we started in 2017 and went to market with was basically, we call them the the bushel powered portals. There's a Mobile app in the store and a web portal online for each of these grain companies. Typically, at first, it was grain companies and then co ops, And now it's egg retail as well where the farmer typically, the farmer and their and their staff are able to see all their transactions at the So when they sell grain, they run across a skill or seen their tickets, their contracts, their settlement. They're seeing invoices and, Maybe prepaid purchases on fertilizer and have you taken in any of the outbound loads if you're picking up DDGs at the ethanol plant. That that's all part of our Platform today, but you never see Bushel as the main product. It's always our customer's brand powered by Bushel. You know, For example, maybe good one is ADM. Jake Joraanstad [00:21:35]: I'm sure some of your guys have delivered into those facilities. ADM FarmVue is the name of the product That's powered by Buschle. That one's our that's our product. So if you work for a farm that has a FarmVue app to check on on their loads, That's us. Now we're part of the problem because ADM has the FarmVue app and schooler down the road has the Schoolerview Bushell powered app and maybe another coop they know has the app as well. They're all different. There's 3 different apps. The technology is similar. Jake Joraanstad [00:22:06]: The Connections are all built by Bushel, but that's 3 of your apps right there having to check out, especially as a farmer. Now we're doing something about it. We're Consolidating that into something we call Bushel Farm for at least a farmer to see all their contracts in one place, all their transactions in our ecosystem in one place. But, Again, we're part of you know, we're a little bit part of that problem too if you got to download those tools. So that's where we started today. You know, farmer can go in and Make a contract, sell Green, sign contracts. They can, you know, see all their payments. They can actually now make payments. Jake Joraanstad [00:22:39]: So we built a tool called Push a wallet that lets you set up all your payment information on there so you can connect your bank accounts. And then the facility, if you're getting a settlement, they can pay you on the platform Just electronically right there up to, like, 1,000,000 plus, dollars in a single settlement, which is, you know, Jared Flinn [00:22:56]: you can't Jake Joraanstad [00:22:57]: do that on PayPal, But you can on this tool. And then they can also pay their invoices if they've got service fee or agronomy sort of purchase they've made. They could pay those on the platform as well. So that's what we've been expanding into as we've grown. It's been started with a view and check out the portal to more of a full Sort of encompassing workflow for the farmer. And then the facility behind the scenes, they're using our tools to communicate their hours, to Do their contract process. They can hedge their grain on here. So it's become a a total platform for these agribusinesses. Jake Joraanstad [00:23:29]: It's kinda where Folks has been and, again, the farmer is the end user, but our customer the paying customer is generally the companies like an ADM or a schooler. Jared Flinn [00:23:39]: Talk about 2 you know, we know and this is where we've had to even understand it from bulk loads. But, you know, when you're when you're in the trucking space, There can be multiple layers involved. So you can have, you know, the farmer to the dispatcher to the driver, You know, and go up that e and and kinda go through that. And then there's different scenarios on different loads. It just really depends on who that is. Jake Joraanstad [00:24:01]: It could be carriers and truckers Jared Flinn [00:24:03]: Everybody carrier. Jake Joraanstad [00:24:04]: Home trucks, Commercial trucks from school are coming in. Like, there's all these scenarios. Right? Jared Flinn [00:24:09]: So on on some of these apps, is it I mean, has that been built out to where You know, if a farmer you know, he can be on the app, but does his driver have access to the app as well? Jake Joraanstad [00:24:19]: Yeah. So today, up until so for the last few years, it's been, Hey. You can add him onto the account or you can, have him log in with your phone number. You give him the code when he logs in, and now your truck guy's got Access. The problem with that is that if you're using the same pharma account, well, now you're seeing all the settlements. You're seeing these contracts. You got a little bit too much of a picture of what's going on, then probably the farmer needs to be sharing. And so one of the biggest requests has been, how do we, How do we, build guest access? So a simple one is exactly your example here. Jake Joraanstad [00:24:54]: I just wanna let all my guys That are running trucks have access to tickets and contracts. So they see when we're full on a contract and how many, you know, how many tickets they've delivered in and are they right? Am I seeing, you know, My my protein inspect and my my moisture. Is that looking okay? That's the kind of stuff we get a lot of requests for. I think you'll see that 24 will have some guest access like that available for the customer. Now on the commercial side, another big part of our customer base is When they're doing commercial to commercial deals. So I'm a schooler I bought from the farm, but now I'm selling into an ADM crush plant. Jared Flinn [00:25:29]: Yep. Jake Joraanstad [00:25:30]: That transaction is done either by schooler trucks or carriers and shippers that work with the or, carriers, truckers that work with schooler. So now I'm running all these trucks. What we what Bushel provides is this tool we call fulfillment where At least the shipper, the, the 1 the schooler guys can see their contract status at, say, an ADM as a schooler. So now they they've got maybe A contract status with 1 of the facilities here. Maybe they got 2 over here, and they've got 1 at another facility that's not even ADM. If they're all in the Bushel Network, They have a single portal that they can look at and see status of all their contracts from those companies' version. Right? The big problem is tracking Where we at on our own contracts? Have we over you know, we we deliver 1 extra truck, and now I'm spotting it out and all kinds of problems. Right? So That tool lets them, as a commercial, see 1 view, 1 app, ideally, to see all their transactions in the network. Jake Joraanstad [00:26:29]: Now we're not solving the trucking problem in between. We're not working on the, you know, the the load fulfillment side on the marketplace, etcetera, but we are helping the commercials At least see their contract status across the board. Jared Flinn [00:26:42]: Yeah. Well, I was gonna say that's where bulk loads comes into play. Jake Joraanstad [00:26:44]: That's that's what you guys need to do. Jared Flinn [00:26:46]: Yeah. And that's, yeah, that's where we've kinda harnessed that. Yeah. And I I I guess, I can't really say out loud. It just seems like, you know, some of these apps have been out there. You know, they haven't got the buy in by the actual users of it. You know? And, obviously, like you said, you know, it's the the coop or the the the grain company paying for it, but, like and you gotta get buy it from the actual, The the users of it, whether it is that farmer or that truck driver that, you know, that that he's gonna still see some kind of benefit for him to use You the product or service. Jake Joraanstad [00:27:16]: We always talk about this idea, like, you know, we could build every feature and every Capability, but look like it's like does a bear shit in the woods. Right? I mean, when we're not there. Like, nobody's using the tool. Like, that doesn't matter how great the feature is. Like, the the usage is the only thing that drives value. And so You for us, you know, we have we have a 100,000 farms a month using our tools across the network. That's real farmers Using the tool for you know, whether it's checking bids, checking their contracts, looking at tickets, whatever. But The point is, like, the only thing that that matters is usage. Jake Joraanstad [00:27:59]: You can count your user numbers and brag about this. But If if they're not using the tool and the customer's not getting the benefit, then we're not making progress, and we're kind of like a you know, there's a lot of what we call, like, Walking Dead companies where they they're just a zombie out there. Like, they have this cool looking tool, and there's no usage, and they have no revenue. And, like, Those companies are the ones that will struggle the next 12 months and probably not make it, and maybe it'll make our lives a little easier to work with. But Yeah. Jared Flinn [00:28:26]: Yeah. I think we always talk about here. It's like, how do we provide less friction? And and, I mean, every day, we're constantly thinking, what's What what makes our app frustrating or any of our services, and how do we provide less friction where people, you know, hey. What annoys you? How do we fix that? What annoys you? How do we fix that? And I think the more and more you ask those questions, the more you're you're gonna get the the feedback you need. Because if 1 person's telling you one thing, there's Hundreds, if not thousands, now in our ecosystem, they're having the same problem. Jake Joraanstad [00:28:56]: Well, what's one of the craziest stories for us in the early days of Bushel, we launched The apps for our customers, and the thing we were pretty dead set on was that nobody wants to use email, And nobody wants to use password. It's not just a farmer that doesn't wanna use an email password. None of us wanna do that. It's infuriating to Try to look up the next account and the next password you forgot. And so we started right off the bat with phone number as the user login. So, you know, as long as you know your cell phone, you probably don't forget that. And if you do, you can look it up on your phone. Some guys do that. Jake Joraanstad [00:29:31]: Look up your number. You put it in. You get a text message, which is your one time password, so you don't have to remember the password. And we autofill it, and you're on to the login. And Yep. It was so simple such a simple concept at the time that people thought it was, Excuse me. Maybe it was unclear. Maybe it it was like, how does that even work? And there was all these concern because it wasn't a username and a password. Jake Joraanstad [00:30:00]: We had to overcome this in the early days, but the user absolutely loved it because you just you did that, you know, once every 6 months or once every 3 months, however long you wanna kick them out. But nobody ever wanted to use email passwords. It's just something that we feel is secure. But in reality, having a password at all is less secure than having a one time text to your phone. And so that kind of 2 step process we did was one of the best things we've ever done. Now everybody copies it. We're not the 1st ones, of course, to ever do that, but A lot of people copy this idea now because in the egg space, because it's just a no brainer. Most people have that smartphone with the with the same phone number for many years. Jake Joraanstad [00:30:36]: If it changes, they can get it updated. But that's been that's been our go to, and that was just such a huge difference from the Login username password process that nobody liked, that we had a huge amount of success just because of that simple feature. Jared Flinn [00:30:50]: Yeah. No. That's a game changer. I mean, A simple well, not a simple fix, but a simple, probably feature that that, yeah, had kinda or had Game changing effects, which is awesome. Let's switch to something fun, and we're gonna kinda camp out here and end on this one. But, I think it was last year, it was at an NGFA event. We were sitting there talking, and I don't know how the subject got on, but, you started showing me Some of your race cars. I was like, oh my god. Jared Flinn [00:31:19]: Dude, like, man, they like, we live and breathe racing in our community. I mean, a lot of our owner operators, they have, They're on stock cars, little I mean, we we sponsor go karts. Actually, we just did a video with a A farmer client of ours that we sponsored, his his son has a little go kart that they race. But, I mean, it's huge in our space. I just think with with trucking, You know, motor racing is just a big part of that, and you were showing me some of these photos. But, man, talk about how you got into that and and kind of that passion you have. Jake Joraanstad [00:31:50]: Well, it's it's interesting. Like, you'd think in North Dakota that I would have been a dirt track racer. But for whatever reason, I have Some of my cousins in the ag industry are in the dirt track, but up where I grew up, very northern part of North Dakota, 10 miles from the Canadian border, There's a couple dirt track areas around, but it wasn't like my family didn't race or anything like that. And so I was just in the cars If you you know this, but, like, Fast and the Furious came out as I was becoming a a teenager. And so that was a big deal. That would probably, like, change the trajectory of my life, that that movie. And so I'm kind of what you might call a ricer some days, but, I spent a lot of time, in the car world, we've got a shop in town, a group of friends, and I all run, and we we go circuit racing. So instead of running dirt track and circle track, we do Full full tracks. Jake Joraanstad [00:32:40]: We go race at the, Road America NASCAR, FIniti series Xfinity series races there. We were actually this last year in July, We raced the same weekend as Xfinity series did, at Road America. So We we were the warm up series out there running the cars, and then the NASCAR guys went. And it was so awesome to see that live in person, like, As a racer that was in the paddock, kinda we weren't in the same paddock as the NASCAR guys. They didn't want us over there, but we were we were doing our thing. So I run a Honda s 2000 that's, You know, full roll cage. It's about 250 horsepower at the crank and, Weighs next to nothing and, you know, top speed, 130, 140, and some of the bigger tracks. And we go road racing, and we we race wheel to wheels. Jake Joraanstad [00:33:30]: So we're racing 40 or 50 cars in a single race in 1 it's 1 class. So this is something that people only the dirt track guys understand. Everybody's the same class in our race. A lot of these road races around the country are like, oh, you've got 3 guys in 1 class and 3 guys another. You're all racing the same time. Ours is 40 cars all racing for 1st place, and so it's pretty intense, and and a lot of fun. And so little bit of rubbing, but most of it's pretty, Pretty pretty clean and and, everything from Corvettes that Corvettes swept the podium this year. It's kind of like a call it a, you know, c 6 kind of deal, all the way to, you know, older Porsches and 3 fifty z's and whatever else, everything in between. Jake Joraanstad [00:34:17]: So it's a lot of fun. Jared Flinn [00:34:19]: I have a I probably have 10 questions, but I was gonna ask a couple. Is like, with that racing, how what's the distance on that? I mean, obviously, NASCAR, you're running a 200, 3, 400, You know, Myler, like, how how long are those races? Jake Joraanstad [00:34:33]: Yeah. So our series is called Gridlife. It's a It's a Midwest based group out of they're out of Chicago. And the grid life series called the touring car series touring cup series, we race 15 minute or 20 minute sprints. We do 4 women a weekend, so pretty much 2 a day. We do 2 on a on a Friday, 2 on a Saturday kind of deal. And so we're putting down Between 5 10 laps on any given track per race, but we do 5 4 races. Now the the fun is part of our deal is You know, you qualify, and that's your starting position. Jake Joraanstad [00:35:05]: The next race is not finishing position. The next race is based on lap time from the 1st race. So you could have, You know, spun out, but put a good heater down and get to start again, you know, towards the front in the next race. Then the 3rd race is just finishing position from the second. And then the final race, this is the best part, is they do a random inversion of the grid. So if you're starting in 10th For the last race, normally, they might draw the number 12, and now you're starting flipping and you're starting on in 3rd place From the start of the race. So you might always be up there in the front, but never be able to start on pole. And all of a sudden, they draw your number, And now your whole group is now starting on 1st, and and the fast guys are all behind you. Jake Joraanstad [00:35:48]: And so I had an opportunity to start. I was gonna be you know, I finished 7th in the race this summer, and I got start on pole. Of course, I took 4th overall and lost it on the 1st corner to the The 2nd place guy, but, you know, this a great great way to do a series like that, and they live stream everything. So if you ever wanna see what circuit racing's like with a bunch of Random cars and all amateurs. Like, there's some ex pro racers that race with us, but, generally, everybody's an amateur racer. It's a lot Jared Flinn [00:36:18]: of your it sounds so awesome. I I I was saying that adrenaline rush alone, man, on some of those races. You're just sitting there, like, My my my hand is gonna be shaking off that wheel. Jake Joraanstad [00:36:29]: Oh, man. Your your adrenaline is through the roof on that warm up lap, and you Paul, so we start 2 by 2. We do rolling starts most of the time because you can't do a standing start with 50 cars. Everybody's gonna run into each other. So we roll we roll through on on 40 or 50 cars. But that like, watching for the flag, got the radio on. The guy's like, you know, in my ear, go go go. And we you know, it's just it's next Everybody that's racing knows the feeling. Jake Joraanstad [00:36:52]: This is one of the best feelings out there. That and finishing the race and, are 2 of the best feelings in racing. Jared Flinn [00:36:58]: Oh, that's awesome. I'm sure a lot of our listeners can relate to that. You you called me too before we started, though, driving a Freightliner? Jake Joraanstad [00:37:06]: Yeah. So my friend so I wouldn't claim to be a trucker, but my my friend, Felipe and I bought a, 2005 Freightliner M2. A lot of you guys know that business class truck. Cat C7, just an absolute trash bin of a motor, that has been to us. We've we've blown up 2 of them for some reason, but we pull this. It's a it's a tote or home, so it's an old Renegade. It's got, you know, sleeper, or 2 beds and a bathroom and the kitchenette kind of in the back as an RV. And then it's it's a, We've got a stacker trailer that can haul 3 cars behind us. Jake Joraanstad [00:37:47]: So we've got a Gooseneck style stacker, and, a shop in there. So we bring 2 or 3 cars to every race with us. Couple of my friends, we pick up somebody on the way with their car, and we go racing. I mean, I think it's an old actually, it's an old dirt track setup that I bought from some guys out east, that's how I ended up with it up here in North Dakota. So Jared Flinn [00:38:07]: Dude, that sounds so much fun. It sounds awesome. Jake Joraanstad [00:38:10]: It's a Jared Flinn [00:38:11]: I mean, Jake Joraanstad [00:38:12]: racing's racing's a whole another culture. It's a it's a good time as a lot of your guys that are listening know it's, one of the funnest things to do throughout the summer. Up here in the Midwest, we know you can only race between April October, best case scenario. So We put the time in in the summer, do about a race a month if we're Jared Flinn [00:38:27]: lucky. Yeah. I grew up closer to Saint Louis rural area, but I didn't realize here in Southwest There's a huge, huge racing area. We got the loc or Lucas Motor Oil Speedway just in Wheatland. But, I mean, Jimmy Murray is out here, obviously, Bass Pro headquarters. Lot of racers, but, yeah, this is, like, race country, down here, which is just cool. Jake Joraanstad [00:38:45]: What's the NASCAR track at East Saint Louis? What's it called? Jared Flinn [00:38:50]: It's in yeah. I I know the one you're talking about. Jake Joraanstad [00:38:52]: It's a skinny car or whatever it is, the oval out there. I've raced that track before. So we know that area well, and we go as far south as Circuit of the Americas and Texas. In the spring, they race, down there. I've not made the Circuit of the Americas race, but that's Same one that Formula 1 raced us last year, and NASCAR's been there. And, yeah, it's it's a blast. Jared Flinn [00:39:12]: Yeah. Believe it or not, I think they said that even, Johnny Morris, the Bass ProFounder, he's putting in a track down here just south of Branson. I know it it it's rumored, so I better not spread, but, Jake Joraanstad [00:39:21]: just let you like Jared Flinn [00:39:22]: a short Half mile track, like a Bristol style Jake Joraanstad [00:39:25]: Oh, yeah. Jared Flinn [00:39:26]: Race track here in the Ozarks. So I don't know what that's gonna entail or when that's Gonna be pushed out, but, yeah, that'll be super exciting to have it here right in our backdoor. So, Jake, man, I enjoyed this. Man, thank you so much time. Man, I appreciate your friendship. Like I said, I think we're we're kinda running side by side down in this space, and really, man, Man, if I can just end it here, I think your heart and passion's right there with mine and really trying to, make this industry, especially agriculture, better Through technology, and we know, you know, whether it's the truck driver who who we really have our heart centered around or the Elevator Co op, who you guys are assistant, man, we all work together in this Yeah. In this ecosystem. And, man, the more we can all work together to benefit Our customers, we're all gonna benefit from that in the long run. Jared Flinn [00:40:13]: So, man, I just wanna say thank you for what you guys are doing out there. I mean, yeah, you guys are are moving and shaking, and, man, it it's definitely notable. Jake Joraanstad [00:40:21]: Appreciate it, man. Thank you. And let's as long as we spend time together and, As we're all friends, I think there's lots to be done, and there's certainly no, no lack of problems in the space to be solved. And so It's fun to work with good people, and, we have the best customers in the industry are are the are the folks we work with. So proud to do it. Jared Flinn [00:40:40]: Yeah. Absolutely. Thank you, Jake. God bless. Jake Joraanstad [00:40:42]: Alright. Cheers, Ben. Thanks for hosting me. Jared Flinn [00:40:45]: Tyler, I guess the biggest takeaway I want users to think about is just being more open to technology Yeah. Especially in the commodity trading and grain trucking space. We know a lot of us, sometimes there's friction or there's anxiety looking at new platforms and programs to use. Yep. But, really, the goal behind all of them is to make life easier Tyler Allison [00:41:11]: Exactly. To Jared Flinn [00:41:12]: produce less friction and to just bring processes together. And I think Jake, he is on a mission, man. He has been on different TED Talks. I see him always speaking in different conferences, keynote speakers, But he is really on mission to digitize Yep. The farming grain trading industry, and I think that's That's notable. I mean, he's got a 10 x mission. Tyler Allison [00:41:33]: Yeah. And I think the ag industries, bulk hauling industry specifically, has always been kind of, late as far as adopting technology compared to, like, the general freight, world. But, yeah, I would agree. You know, all those platforms out there, you know, and even our platforms, they're they're made to save you time, make you more profitable, and make your operations just overall more efficient to to help you get that time back that you guys are wasting so you can spend more time with family. Jared Flinn [00:42:01]: Yeah. And, Jake's a fellow racer. Yep. You know, we actually I was at the, NGFA a couple years ago, and, I don't even know how we start talking about it, and he started pulling out pictures of his cars and racing. We know a lot of our fans Tyler Allison [00:42:14]: Yeah. Jared Flinn [00:42:15]: Are, into racing. And, I mean, there's All different ride is racing, but I thought, a lot of you guys would get a kick just out of that passion that Jake has as well. Speaking of, We are still sponsoring race or race cars. You know? We have a heart for racing as well. We know that in our industry, Especially truckers, a lot of them there are into motorsports, everything from, you know, kids go karts to different stock cars, dirt track racing, and, I mean, you name it. We have, I think, a few spots open to sponsor. Yep. But, man, if you would love or, I mean, if if you are looking for sponsors, We would love to sponsor you, be part of your, race team and community, and, get that name out there. Jared Flinn [00:42:54]: If you are interested, Send an email to [email protected]@bulkloads.com. It'll come to me. I promise you that, and we'd be glad to look at that and see if we can be a sponsor for your race car team. I love I mean, I love all different ones, but, man, I absolutely love when we get to sponsor like the kids Yeah. Race team. I mean, there's just something about, man, if I'm a little 8, 10 year old, And I have a sponsored company on my car. Tyler Allison [00:43:18]: Yeah. Jared Flinn [00:43:18]: It's just man, the pride that you feel. Yeah. And, it's, we're very thankful that we can and blessed, to be able to do that. Tyler Allison [00:43:26]: Yeah. And if you guys like, racing and and videos, definitely go to our YouTube channel. If you're not There already Joe put together a really cool video of 1 of the, guys that we sponsor. 1 kid that, races, and we sponsor his car. Joe made a cool video that encompasses the racing, and you can see in that video, I mean, the kid is just he thinks he's you know, he feels like he's on ESPN. Like, you in a huge production, so it's really cool The seed. Jared Flinn [00:43:51]: Yeah. Before we let out go yeah. Get out of here, man, we are months away Yep. From the Bulk Loads conference. I wanna kind of address just a couple things I've heard From some different users on there. You know, 1 user, I asked him, I go, man, are you all gonna come up? And they're out of Texas, and he said, you know, there's we're just a 2 man show here. That's gonna be a lot for us to get get away from work and and come up here. And I told him, I was like, we, actually, this year, are thinking about people, like, in your shoes. Jared Flinn [00:44:18]: Yep. We are going to have work stations where, actually, you can actually jump out, and you can go to this workstation. So if you need to take a phone call, I mean, if you just need to sit in front of the laptop and knock out some emails for 30, 40 minutes, and we have that station available, and you have have designated times, Yep. Throughout the conference for that because we know most of you all are in the trenches. You're working in the day to day operations. You have truck drivers that are calling you. You have different grain companies that are on you trying to match all that up. Tyler Allison [00:44:48]: Yeah. And we know this conference is all about growing your business, but we also know that You guys need to be in the business as well. Yeah. So like Jared said, we set up these stations. They will have, power. So if you need to bring a laptop, tablet, whatever, and need to charge it, you guys can set up at any point in the conference. It will be in a different designated spot, kind of away from the conference a little bit, just in the same hall, but a different room. That way, it's a little, quieter. Tyler Allison [00:45:13]: You guys can use that time to focus. Jared Flinn [00:45:15]: I just we we wanna make sure that we, will have, time and the technology available. You get work up here. We don't want that to be a barrier or a point where you can't come. We know that this is gonna be super beneficial. We know if you come, you're not gonna have regrets. You're not gonna go home saying, like, I wish I didn't come. It's gotta be something you're like, man, I wish I woulda came last year. And, so, yeah, get your tickets bought right now, bulk freight conference.com. Tyler Allison [00:45:41]: Yep. Jared Flinn [00:45:41]: The link will be in the episode notes of this. Quick, but make sure and get the tickets bought. They're now starting as we're getting closing in. We're starting to sell quite a few of them. We wanna make sure that we don't You get get sold out before you get your ticket. Tyler Allison [00:45:53]: Yeah. So like you said, Boatfreightconference.com, you can view the schedule, kinda what's gonna be going down, the different panels, speakers, the network breaks, the sponsors on there. You can also see hotel accommodations, how far they are away from the actual place so you guys can start booking your hotel, but you can also buy tickets right there on the website. If you have, Jared Flinn [00:46:13]: questions about the Conference. I mean, even just small questions, like, you can email Tyler, Tyler at bulk close dot com, or if you just make it easy. If you're watching this, drop down the episode notes and just say, hey. I have a question about the conferences and that. Tyler looks at the notes. Yep. We can respond right away. We can respond privately too as well. Jared Flinn [00:46:29]: So, man, please let us know if you have any reservations so we can address those. We definitely want See you there. Yep. Anything else before we close out? Tyler Allison [00:46:37]: No. I think, yeah. Just will say subscribe again. You know, you're already on YouTube watching the show. Definitely hit that notification bell. Turn it on. Subscribe to our channel. That way, you can get notified of everything going forward. Jared Flinn [00:46:49]: Yeah. Also, as we say at the end of every podcast, We wanna pray for you out there in your community. If you have a prayer request, we want to be a part of that, And we wanna pray. We have a team of people here that will pray for that. Send any prayers to prayer at bulk close.com. You know, the last episode, I prayed, and I I wanna pray again, and maybe next episode, I can get you too. And, we're gonna even ask other people in our community, other coworkers too. You know, one thing I heard somebody say one time, like, there's There's one thing when you say I'm praying for you, but there's another thing when you just go ahead and do it. Jared Flinn [00:47:22]: Right. Tyler Allison [00:47:22]: That's a prayer. Jared Flinn [00:47:23]: So I wanna address that. But, yeah, before we close out of here, if you don't mind, I just wanna say a quick prayer for us. So Father god, we love you so much. Lord, we just thank you for this day. Lord, we thank you for this great industry that we get to be a part of and serve. Lord, we know that it's all been orchestrated by you. All of this, has been in, Just in your guidance, lord, we know that all this has been created by you, lord, that we are here to serve you and and only you. But, lord, we know that there are hurting families out there. Jared Flinn [00:47:54]: God, we know that, there are diseases, lord, that there are cancers, lord, that there are marriage struggles, that there are, Lord, issues with, families and children and grandparents, issues with business. Lord, we know that there are companies out there hurting. So, lord, we just lift all these up there. Lord, we lift specifically our members on our platform up to you, lord. Lord, we just pray that your hand be upon them, lord, that the prayers that they petitioned you, lord, That they are answered, lord, in your time. Lord, that, that you can comfort them, out there. And, lord, that we, As, as as bulk loads in here, lord, that we can be servants, to them out there and even help answer those prayers, as well. So, lord, We thank you, for, the opportunities that you give us, lord. Jared Flinn [00:48:39]: We thank you again for this industry of agriculture and trucking and that we get to be a part of. Thank you in your heavenly and precious name. Mhmm. And lastly, don't forget to subscribe to the boat close podcast. Thank you very much, and