March 2017

Hi there.

is now

AgTech Connections and Resources for Entrepreneurs

Change is never easy, but we love our new name and new look.  The board and staff of ACRE AgTech, formerly the Great Lakes Ag-Tech Business Incubator, is proud to announce this much anticipated change that more accurately captures the essence of what we do and how we do it.  
Thank you to Burch Partners for their creativity.
Drones - love 'em or hate 'em, they have a long way to go before they can be considered an effective farm management tool.  Check out this creative crowdsource challenge sponsored by Land O' Lakes, offering $150,000 in prize money to the team who can solve the issues! 

Featured Sponsor:  

For over forty years, West Michigan Community  Bank (WMCB) has been providing banking products and  services to those who live, work, and play in West Michigan.  What many people do not know about WMCB is that they have staff who are trained and dedicated to serving agribusinesses also! WMCB believes in supporting the community, and partners with a number of organizations in order to enhance the quality of life of residents and businesses in their service area.  One way WMCB chose to support  our region was to become a sponsor of ACRE AgTech. WMCB's role as a sponsor organization includes providing guidance and expertise to ACRE AgTech and its clients as needed.  Rick Wieringa, our sponsor liaison, is currently assisting ACRE AGTech in developing an Innovation Fund that can be used to assist ACRE clients on their entrepreneurial journey.  Rick notes “WMCB is happy to support this program both financially and with our experienced personnel to make sure that this is a vibrant service available to our communities for years to come. It not only provides support to our communities but strengthens the economy within them". More information can be found at

New Partnership with

For readers in West Michigan, ZFS is a well known acronym.  For those who don't know, it stands for Zeeland Farm Services, Inc. ZFS processes more than 35,000 bushels of soybeans per day at their facility in Zeeland, and also has a number of other agribusiness divisions.  Beginning in March of 2017, ZFS will partner with MAIN, the Michigan Agriculture Information Network, to launch Idea Harvest, a weekly radio segment about ag-technology.  MAIN's programming is broadcast by 16+ affiliate stations and can be heard over most of the lower peninsula. Programming can be enjoyed from any where in the world by accessing their website.  ACRE AgTech will also be a part of the program, assisting with the content and broadcasting.  We are very excited about the opportunity to continue this conversation about ag-technology successes and challenges with a broader audience.   Be sure to tune in!

Upcoming Events


Date: March 29, 2017
Time:  3:45pm - 8:30pm
Location: Wharton Center, East Lansing

The GreenLight Michigan Business Model Competition brings together entrepreneurs and startups from all over Michigan to compete for $100K in cash prizes. Competition participants pitch their ideas or new startups to a panel of judges and have the opportunity to network with angel and venture capital investors from across the state. 


Date:  April 18, 2017
Time:  1:00pm EST
Paul Sachs, ACRE AgTech executive director, and Jovan Jovanovic, patent attorney with Watson IP group,  will host a webinar that will educate veterans about entrepreneurship opportunities in ag-tech.

Agri-technically Speaking

Fun Facts, Tidbits, and Trivia about Ag-Tech!

John Deere has designed, produced, and sold approximately 596 different tractor models since 1837.  In 1998, they hit the $1 billion mark in sales, making John Deere the first company in the agricultural equipment industry to do so.  I wonder how many hats they gave away to get there?

News from the Back Forty

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Board of Directors:
Don Disselkoen, Chair  
Cliff Meeuwsen, Vice Chair 
Mark Schmidt, Secretary 
Loren Koeman, Treasurer  
Kurt Brauer
Jim Byrum  
Cary Grover
Larry Kooiker   
Merle Langeland 
Jennifer Owens  

Ottawa County Commissioner
President, Zeeland Farm Services
Founder, BizStream
Finance Director, Stryker Corporation
Partner, Warner Norcross & Judd, LLP
President, Michigan Agri-Business Association
General Manager, Hudsonville Creamery & Ice Cream Co.
President and Owner, Agritek Industries, Inc
President, Ottawa County Farm Bureau
President, Lakeshore Advantage
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Our mailing address is:
12220 Fillmore St Room 260
West Olive, MI 49460

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