With harvest right around the corner, finding help is a rising concern for many operations in rural America. With the recent development of AgButler, the app provides solutions for the unfortunate reality of labor within the agricultural sector.
Coming from a long history of agriculture, fifth generation farmer and second-generation cattle producer in Missouri, Kevin Johansen says as him and his wife returned to the operation, they quickly recognized the bottlenecks in operations of all sizes experience in facilitating peak season help.
AgButler is a gig economy platform geared intentionally to provide on-demand jobs for farmers and ranchers, with the intent of boosting rural economies. “We had the baseline to be in App version in its IOS for Apple and Android, but we also have a web-based version for producers who don’t utilize smartphones,” Johansen says.
Utilizing the AgButler platform is a fairly simple process, bringing help to labor shortages and those looking for short-term employment opportunities. After downloading the app or accessing the web-based version, setting up a profile is free to the user. “Whenever an employer is looking to post a job, they’re prompted to put a card on file to facilitate the connection fee whenever a connection is made with a laborer,” Johansen says.
User-friendly is the name of the game. For users looking to work, Johansen says the individual simply fills out basic information and specifies on industries they are experienced in. Once the laborer creates a profile, farmers are ranchers can easily filter protentional laborers for certain jobs.
With the map function, people can see available jobs within a certain mile radius on the app. Johansen says with the map function, people in certain states looking to pick up jobs along the way can see where the jobs are multiplied at.
After feedback from farmers and ranchers, the AgButler team looks diligently to make improvements to the platform. “Our tools and features that we’re looking to add in will make it easier for the farmer or rancher and the laborer to have a discussion before they decide to work with one another,” Johansen says. “Another avenue we’re looking at is to get direct pay to the laborer.”
At the beginning of 2020, the AgButler team was fortunate in receiving a value-added grant from the Missouri Department of Agriculture Small Business Authority to help with customer expansion. “Right now, Missouri is the largest populated state for users, but we have also reached a total of 42 states,” Johansen says. The main population AgButler serves right now are customers in Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kansas, Nebraska, and Texas.
As the team moves forward, the main goal is to use the blueprint already created and utilize social media as their main driver. Since March, Johansen says the AgButler app user numbers have increased over 168%.
With a user-friendly system, AgButler is an ideal platform for farmers and ranchers looking to find harvest help or even day labor. The mobile application is designed to help face the challenges of the agriculture workforce shortage, all with a secure payment structured system.
To learn more about the AgButler resource or to get access to the platform, visit agbutlerapp.org or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. AgButler can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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