Agribusiness alum launches app to solve farm inventory challenge
“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” – Warren Buffet
Sean Arians, an Illinois State alum who majored in agribusiness and minored in finance, is continuing a family legacy while building an innovative venture. He discovered a need in the farming sector and has worked against all odds to provide an easy-to-use solution. Upon graduation, Arians worked for a grain elevator as a grain buyer in Northeast Indiana. After doing this for two years, he moved back to Tremont, Illinois working as a regional sales manager at Precision Planting. In true #RedbirdAlum spirit, Arians proved to be a goal-getter by leading the support team, then the marketing team and eventually leading national marketing efforts for the company. However, this was only the beginning of big feats for Arians.
After Precision Planting was acquired by Monsanto in 2013, Arians switched up roles and became the product marketing manager and director of product marketing for data and insights, for one of Monsanto’s brands- Climate Corporation/Climate FieldView. At the time of writing, Arians works as the North America external stakeholder strategy director at Bayer.
In the fall of 2014, an unfortunate incident happened. Arians lost his uncle leading to Arians taking over the family farm. According to him, “having a career off the farm and trying to keep up with the marketing of my grain was a challenge.” As an innovative thinker, Arians started looking for solutions to this challenge. While there were farm management solutions available, Arians noticed that they were complicated especially for small farmers like himself. He wanted a simple, easy-to-use and highly effective solution. He decided to create an app.
In August of 2018, the web version of the app, GrainCoat was released while the iPad and iPhone versions were released December 2018 and April 2019 respectively. Currently, GrainCoat runs smoothly on the web, iPad and iPhone. However, “development continues to proceed with additional functionality for reporting and will move forward to focus on additional needs to help farmers connect to elevators and brokers.” Arians said. The app, GrainCoat can project multiple years of crops based on the data farmers enter, making grain marketing easier for users. Farmers can also use the app for inventory management and track delivery contracts.
Reflecting on his career and business journey, Arians believes we must constantly stretch ourselves as individuals and step outside the comfort zones to realize our unique potential. For Arians, it is important to understand your area of expertise and collaborate with people who complement your skills.