AgTech company AGDATA was last night named Australia’s Regional Online Hero for 2016 by the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) and Google Australia.
Based in Toowoomba, AGDATA creates user-friendly software with a focus on agriculture for a range of financial, budgeting, livestock, mapping, cropping, grazing and weather applications.
The ‘Ag-tech’ space has been inundated by a raft of newcomers in recent years, but AGDATA is one of the tried, true and trusted originals, having been developing software solutions for agriculture for more than 30 years.
AGDATA was established by the Skerman family on their property near Wandoan, Queensland, in 1984.
Since that time the family business has grown to become a leading software provider, with over 22,000 active user licenses Australia wide.
The business continues to be managed today by the next generation of the family that started it over 30 years ago, but now with approximately 20 staff members from its office in Toowoomba.
All software development work is conducted at the company’s Toowoomba base.
AgData was one of 10 finalists in the running for this year’s award, with others comprising:
Blackbooks Tea, Cairns, QLD
Corporeal Health, Northam, WA
Crowd Carnivore, Pambula, NSW
George The Farmer, Penola, SA
Local Farm Produce, Bundaberg, QLD
Off The Track Training, Longreach, QLD
Penny Evans Art, Lismore NSW
Rabbit Hop Films, Moree, NSW
Simply Rose Petals, Swan Hill, VIC
The finalists were judged by a panel including Small Business minister Michael McCormack; the founder of Birds nest in Cooma, Jane Cay; Bridestowe Lavender Estate founder Robert Ravens, Google Australia head of Small Business John Hall, and the RAI’s chief executive, Jack Archer.
“AGDATA is a true hero for regional Australia. By developing and distributing digital solutions specifically for regional areas, they’ve narrowed the divide between a traditional industry and technology, bringing the two together to help farmers achieve better agricultural output,” said RAI CEO, Jack Archer.
“This not only benefits regional communities through improved productivity and sustainability, but also boosts our national economic output,” Jack continued.
Small Business Minister Michael McCormack, said AGDATA was a perfect role model for other regional businesses to be inspired by and put their natural resilience and entrepreneurial spirits into action.
“It’s fantastic to see a regional business leading the way in digital innovation for agriculture, which is set to play a huge role in the future of our economy. AGDATA has grown from a small family startup to a valuable national asset, demonstrating just how important regional businesses are to our nation’s prosperity” said Mr McCormack.
The Regional Online Heroes competition is designed to recognise outstanding regional innovators, and to encourage small and medium sized businesses around the country to realise the potential of mobile and online technologies for growth.
Google Australia, Head of Small Business, John Ball said the Regional Online Heroes competition showcases and supports regional businesses that are leading the way in digital innovation.
“Research suggests that digitally engaged small businesses are more likely to be growing, which is great news for jobs and local communities,” said Mr Ball.
For more information on the competition, visit the Regional Australia website.