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August 20, 2020 | Tom Ballard

Michelle Fore-Siglin highlights benefits of recent “AgLaunch Bootcamp”

As anyone who has ever participated in a start-up accelerator knows, the purpose is to help you advance your venture in one or several ways, and that was clearly evident with an email we received last week from one of the participants in the just-concluded “AgLaunch Bootcamp.”

We had noticed a couple of changes in the pitch that Michelle Fore-Siglin made on August 11 as she described the company she and her husband co-founded that we had spotlighted in that morning’s edition of For starters, there was the name. In our article that came from an interview two weeks earlier, the company was named SCAREcrow Farm Tech. Now, it’s known as FARM Technologies Inc.

“One big difference between last week and our presentation last night is the name change to cover the broader scope,” Fore-Siglin wrote. “Jim Biggs (Executive Director of the co-sponsoring Knoxville Entrepreneur Center) had encouraged us to think big (no pun) and change the name.”

She explained that SCAREcrow Farm Tech was one group of algorithms that the start-up is creating. It and another one named Udderly Efficient that is focused on the dairy industry will be what Fore-Siglin calls the “outward facing algorithm brands.”

They thought about Bigg’s recommendation and decided to make the change. “While Jim’s suggestion on a name change was scary (again, no pun), it was the right thing to do, and it’s one of the ‘aha!’ moments in the journey towards algorithms for agriculture that we hope will truly make a difference,” Fore-Siglin says.

The word “farm” not only indicates the core customer, but also is an acronym, standing for “Farming Algorithms Resource Marketplace.” FARM Technologies will be the brand for the R&D part of their overall business that will add other algorithms eventually.

The company is also being established as a Tennessee public benefit corporation.

“The reason for doing the B Corp approach is to focus our decisions around family farms and micro-farming, especially since 98 percent of Tennessee’s farms are family farms,” Fore-Siglin explained. “In fact, the incorporation papers note the public benefit as such: ‘To enable family farms and micro-farming to thrive through the creation and applied use of farm-focused algorithms and technologies.’”

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