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Red Meat Crop


Glenn Rea & Joel Rockes


Stock agents occupy one of the oldest professions in the agricultural industry, with one of the first livestock auctions in Australia taking place in Melbourne’s Bourke Street in 1854. Not much about the business has changed since then despite giant leaps in technology across the sector and changing market demands.

“Saleyards and auction sites still remain the chaotic, noisy, dusty places they always were. Technology has remained a bit of an afterthought for a lot of the industry, especially in sheep” Glenn Rea Co-founder of AgriNous explained.

“With an innate ability to assess the animal, its monetary value and even its protein needs just through the naked eye in a matter of seconds, the stock agent profession is still a specialised art!” Glenn explained. “Though technology may disrupt aspects of the marketplace itself, I don’t think the stock agent’s ability will ever be replaced,” he said. “Buyers and sellers still seek out the talent of a good stocky to reliably know everything from what price their animal will sell for, to how to improve the feedlot. That isn’t something any technology can really do yet.” Glenn explained.

But many stock agents are still facing a changing market and potential disruption and need to ensure they can keep pace with the evolving market and client demands.

Glenn knows those needs of stock agents and the saleyard very well. He had a 28-year career as a livestock stock agent in Bendigo, Victoria and comes from a family of stock agents and farmers operating in the region since 1911. Like others in many businesses, though, Glenn was constantly grappling with finding a way to harness technology to help his business and keep pace with changing client profiles.

“In particular, we are seeing a growing demand for traceability and quality assurance, with many of our export destinations demanding paddock-to-plate traceability alongside onerous reporting requirements. But we still have some stock agents and saleyards using paper-based records— they just can’t keep up.” Glenn says.

When Joel Rockes joined Glenn’s stock agency to help manage its office administration, he encountered those same frustrations with the gaps in existing software offerings and processing systems. Through these frustrations, Glenn and Joel decided to approach developers to see how they could create a better software product.

While some Agtech companies are seeking to replace the stock agent and the physical saleyard altogether with algorithms and online saleyards, AgriNous is working with these highly skilled agents to help modernise and streamline their trade while delivering efficiencies for all actors along the supply chain.

“This is particularly important these days as stock agents aren’t dealing with the 65-year old farmer who has always done things the same way. They are now dealing with a 25-year old tech-savvy farmer who is demanding better technology-enabled solutions and real-time data and tracking. So agents need to up their own value propositions for their clients. That’s where we come in!” Joel said.

“There are quite a few solutions out there already but they are outdated and exacerbate the problem of siloed data in the supply chain. With AgriNous software, we deliver a modern approach through cloud-based solutions and provide a platform for agents to enter data in real time that can be communicated directly to the back office, reducing processing times end-to-end” Joel said.

The team are excited to be able to help their customers ensure compliance with the Victorian Electronic Identification (EID) legislation  by communicating with the National Livestock Information System (NLIS) in real time. “We also offer multi-user, real time capabilities, which is really cutting edge--this promotes “team” collaboration” Joel said.

This year alone, AgriNous has had 2 million animals and 700,000 EIDs processed using their software. They are operating in 3 states, 7 saleyards and have 100 plus users (agents) and tens of thousands of producers benefiting from their software.

With this strong start already behind them, the next few years could be special for AgriNous Joel says, “we’re enabling the industry with a modern approach to data management, which is actually really big. Right now we’re building a strong foundation, soon it will lead to something much bigger: helping support more efficient insurance markets, better trade finance access for producers, and major international opportunities are just a few examples. We’re excited to enable the modern day stocky!”

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