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E-COMMERCE PROFILE
POWERFARM.COM POSITIONS AS ONE-STOP AG SHOP
Powerfarm.com now offers one of the most extensive agricultural e-commerce sites today - a true one-stop shop for crop inputs, flexible financing, crop insurance, agricultural consulting services and short-line equipment parts; along with headline ag news, market quotes and weather. Powerfarm.com was launched November 4, 1999, by Ag Services of America, Inc. (NYSE:ASV) as a natural extension of the company’s fifteen-year business model.

Strong relationships with leading seed and chemical suppliers have allowed Powerfarm.com to add name brand suppliers to its e-business model efficiently with their established distribution networks and customer service programs. Flexible credit options administered by Ag Services of America also provide growers with appropriate purchasing power to get the products they need.

Powerfarm.com has compiled one of the most comprehensive assortments of agriculture products, services and credit options available on the Internet. The site includes quality seed products produced and supported by Asgrow, DeKalb, Garst, Novartis, Stine and Wilson. It also includes crop protection products from American Cyanamid, Bayer, Dow AgroSciences, Monsanto, Valent USA and Zeneca.

"In order to increase value for producers and manufacturers, Powerfarm.com goes beyond the simple availability of quality products to include a total package that contains additional services and value," said Tad Mozena, director of marketing and business development for the company.

Powerfarm.com provides farmers a platform to securely transact business 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Growers can shop at their convenience for products and sign up for additional services such as crop insurance, grain marketing programs, crop scouting and soil sampling services.

The Web site also connects farmers to one another and to the company’s agronomic staff. Powerfarm Community and Information Resource Center enables farmers to communicate with each other by posting messages on agricultural topics. These conferences have been established for discussion of crop production, marketing, equipment, GMO issues and other topics of top concern.

In addition to providing message posting, the Powerfarm Community allows registered users to contact the company’s staff of certified crop advisors. Future plans include online chats with industry experts on important issues for growers.

"Our online community is exciting from the standpoint of providing users the ability to share information with other farmers around the globe and to give us personal interaction with growers," said Mozena. "Through our staff’s combination of experience, research and special access to manufacturers and industry experts, we provide a valuable, independent source to utilize when making crop production and operational decisions."

Agronomic support and flexible financing options are the success of Ag Services and its Powerfarm.com division. Assisting in crop management maximizes their clients total crop production and, in turn, protects the company’s financing investments.

This strategy placed Ag Services among the top 100 hot growth companies in 1999 according to Business Week and listed the firm in the top 200 best small companies in 1999 by Forbes.

Keeping with the strategy "knowledge is power," Powerfarm.com will soon introduce a Yield Data Center-a national data center for electronically submitted data from local test plots. The accumulation of this vast database will provide individual producers a powerful tool in their hybrid selection process.

"We are constantly striving to make Powerfarm.com a valuable tool for producers," stated Mozena.

Powerfarm.com continues to plan for the future though on-going discussions with many additional suppliers serving the multi-billion dollar ag industry. Areas of expansion range from farm equipment and parts to feed and animal health products. Given that the agricultural sector is one of the fastest growing markets in the e-commerce arena, a one-stop shop for agricultural inputs, financing and advice should gain a piece of a continually growing pie.AM

 

Jeanne Marquis is an integrated marketing strategist for Mathis, Earnest & Vandeventer in Cedar Falls, Iowa.


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