ReEnvision Ag is an agricultural start-up located in Nora Springs, Iowa, founded by Jayson Ryner – farmer, musician, entrepreneur and creative problem solver. ReEnvision Ag is developing disruptive technology that will change the row-crop farming industry. Jayson came up with the idea for the system – now called REAP (ReEnvision Ag Planting) System to allow row-crop farmers to plant earlier, with more control and less damage to the seed and soil than with other existing technologies.
Jayson grew up on a family farm in Iowa, but during the farm crisis of the 1980s became uncertain of the continued viability of making a livelihood as a small farmer. That was when he decided to pursue a career in music and music education; but as he puts it “you can take the boy out of the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the boy.” When Jayson returned to the family farm to take over a part of the business, he was determined to ensure that the farm was successful and also to make sure that they were doing things the right way. “This is just how we do things,” wasn’t a good enough reason for continuing with the same old practices.
While passionate about helping farms be profitable through improved crop production and reduced waste, Jayson is also passionate about helping farmers be good stewards of the environment by reducing pollutants, fuel consumption and the overall environmental impact.
Jayson’s vision is that once the REAP technology is commercialized, it will disrupt and improve the current no-till farming methods and give row-crop farmers a viable alternative that is a more environmentally friendly, sustainable and profitable option. Current planting practices can cause soil compaction which inhibits root growth and water infiltration. Wet soil is particularly at risk for soil compaction and to avoid damage to both the soil and the plant, fields cannot be planted when wet. ReEnvision Ag’s technology was designed to avoid soil compaction while also giving farmers greater control over the depth and spacing at which seed is planted. The end result is an improvement in plant health, soil conservation, a reduced environmental impact and the opportunity to improve small farming profitability.
The uses of the REAP technology can be expanded across the agricultural spectrum and ReEnvision Ag intends to focus on solving problems in commercial agriculture in an effort to create a traceable, reliable, and sustainable food source with a reduced impact on the environment in a way that is commercially sustainable for family farms. ReEnvision Ag is working with the Iowa Innovation Corporation and investigating Federal and State grant
opportunities through the SBIR/USDA and National Science Foundation (NSF) grant programs.
Farmers are known for being great problem solvers. In Jayson’s case, not only is he a problem solver, but he is also an entrepreneur who is passionate about helping farmers and developing technology that is less impactful on the environment on which we all depend. To help bring his idea to market, Jayson connected with Brook Boehmler of the North Iowa Area Small Business Development Center, one of the 15 regional centers of America’s SBDC Iowa. Amongst other advice, Brook recommended that Jayson connect with Laurie Pieper, Ph.D. who specializes in working with tech commercialization. Jayson worked with Candi Karsjens at the NIACC John Pappajohn Center, the lead instructor for the NIACC Pappajohn Center cohort of the University of Iowa Venture School. He graduated from the fall 2019 Venture School NIACC cohort where he developed his initial business model and tested the product-market fit gaining momentum to move ahead with his idea. During Venture School Jayson connected with his mentor Spencer Stensrude, Executive Director of AgVentures Alliance and started assembling a team of agricultural and technological experts.
Hard work as well as working with knowledgeable advisors has paid off. Jayson has developed a successful pitch and has also had success bringing in a core group of initial investors. The next challenge is to utilize technology to produce a working prototype to test, prove ReEnvision Ag’s hypotheses and continue pursuing the company’s commercialization plan to deliver this new agriculture planting technology.