AGCO Invests in OPTIfarm to improve productivity and animal welfare

OPTIfarm is delighted to announce the investment of AGCO

AGCO (NYSE: AGCO), is a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural machinery and precision Ag technology. AGCO delivers customer value through its differentiated brand portfolio including core brands like Challenger®, Fendt®, GSI®, Massey Ferguson®, Precision Planting®, and Valtra®. Powered by Fuse® smart farming solutions, AGCO’s full line of equipment and services help farmers sustainably feed our world.

“Our investment in OPTIfarm aligns with our vision to deliver industry-leading smart farming solutions that improve our customer’s net farm income and address animal welfare,” said Eric Hansotia, AGCO’s Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer. “We believe that advances in modern animal agriculture, like OPTIfarm, can help producers care for their animals and reduce environmental impact while maximizing productivity.”

Agco logo, your agriculture company

Next steps in our unique approach

“As the founder and CEO of OPTIfarm, I am extremely excited by this new relationship and look forward to supporting the AGCO vision as well as implementing our own. The culture and ambitions of both companies are extremely well-aligned, and I am sure this is the start of a strong and robust relationship.” – David Speller, CEO and founder.

Together with AGCO and OPTIfarm’s founding investor, Evonik Venture Capital, we will now move forward and invest further in two key areas.

1. The further development of our artificial intelligence and automated systems, allowing us to check every farm even more frequently than we do today, thus helping keep an even closer watch on your birds and generate even larger data sets for us to then explore with advanced machine learning and extensive data tools. The aim of this will be to have an ability to come to you with more ground-breaking new learning and insights with increased frequency adding even more value to your business. 

2. In addition, we will this year enter the global pig sector for the first time. We have already started the recruitment process to introduce the required skill sets into our team and will now rapidly adapt our poultry platform to suit the pig sector.

Smart Solutions in Poultry Farming

Broiler farm monitoring

In the October issue of the Poultry Business magazine, they featured an article on how one poultry farmer advanced his production and bird welfare for the 200,000 birds on site. 

Mathew Philips, a farm manager from Herefordshire told how access to insights and around-the-clock support from the OPTIfarm team has been the key to a more proactive approach and in getting the best performance from the birds.


Read his full story:

Nigel Strain becomes Technical Director of OPTIfarm

We are delighted to announce that Nigel Strain has been appointed Technical Director here at OPTIfarm.

Nigel has vast poultry knowledge and experience gained from management roles in the UK, Russia, and EMEA region, and will be of great benefit to our customers and colleagues.

After progressing to management roles with major UK producers, he moved to Russia in 2015 to become production director in the Bryansk area responsible for an integrated operation rearing 1.2 million broilers weekly. He is also a qualified training assessor up to NVQ level 3 standard.

“I’m excited to be part of Optifarm and working with its innovative and forward-thinking team. With 30 years experience in the ever-changing and fast-paced poultry industry, as well as the smart technology and unique service Optifarm offers, I‘m well positioned to help our customers by offering solutions that will maximise their bird welfare, performance and profit.”

Welcome Lizzie Brass

We are delighted to welcome our Data Analyst intern Lizzie to the OPTIfarm family while currently attending Newcastle University, specialising in Animal Production Science.

Lizzie Brass

Lizzie has always been passionate about poultry, growing up on a family farm in Cumbria where her parents keep commercial laying hens, organic and free-range. 

“Some of my first memories are out in the fields with the hens. Upon working in the family business my love for welfare became apparent.” Says Lizzie.

This drive is what led Lizzie to her previous commercial role in agricultural research for The Lakes Free Range Egg Company.

To further her knowledge, research skills and broaden her knowledge about the advancements in agriculture as a whole, university was naturally the next step.

“I don’t think anyone can deny that while we have some of the best welfare and agricultural practices in the world, British agriculture still has room for improvement! It’s an exciting prospect my generation faces.”

New experiences

Lizzies experience in the poultry industry is predominantly in the Laying Hen sector where she has worked throughout the whole supply chain.

“When I had the opportunity to leave my comfort zone and gain experience with broilers at OPTIfarm for the summer I jumped at the chance.”

Currently, she is getting to know the systems of retrieving client data, and then utilising it so our clients can make adjustments to improve the bird’s welfare at farm level.

“One of the biggest strengths that I’ve identified so far is that the real-time data collection can lead to the alteration of conditions in the broiler shed within the hour- a unique service offered by OPTIfarm.”

While Lizzie is a Data Analyst Intern, we believe it is a great opportunity to gain experience on the farm, so she can see the client’s perspective of OPTIfarm and how farmers can utilise the data we are collecting.

“I’ve been lucky to place chicks on various farms and worked my way through the brooding period. David and Raja identified for the best intern experience I should visit multiple different sites with unique setups and equipment.”

Lizzie has been a great addition to the team already, now heading into her first set of night shifts to truly experience our around-the-clock service. 

Commercial News

Commercial News

We are thrilled to announce that  Russell  Jones is working alongside OPTIfarm to push our commercial development.  Russell will be guiding our global offering for Pig and Poultry along with our other plans for the rest of 2021 and beyond. 


After 30 years in the agricultural and livestock industry, starting with a sales career in pig and poultry equipment, and then in nutrition and animal health. Later running his own consulting business that focused on renewable energy and farm-scale anaerobic digestion, to then having many successful years at Cobb as their commercial manager. 


Russell is a welcomed addition to our drive for efficiency through data, analytics, and utilising systems that are efficient at getting the best out of your livestock. 


Russell Jones

Not Russell Crowe

 “The most important part of efficiency is being able to analyse data if you can’t analyse what you’re doing you can’t improve,” says Russell.  


“The future of the poultry industry globally will see an emphasis on optimising efficiency, bird welfare and further development of emerging markets. We are witnessing a shortage of labour in certain markets and a skills gap in others”  


“OPTIfarm watch a farm 24 hours a day 7 days a week together with a farm team and that has to be a bonus when we considering welfare” 

The thing that stood out for Russell about  OPTIfarm initially is the cost-effective way of providing farmers and integrators with a resource. With the growing demand on production with a higher welfare aspect the industry comes under pressure but the staff at farm level even more so. 

 “Farms are larger with less staff using ever evolving technology and this puts huge pressure at farm level to get the job done efficiently and with diligence.” 


The days are not long enough to do all the welfare standards, general management, administrating, health and safety, feed, everything that you need to do to run a farm: Plus receive ongoing training, utilise technical systems and manage an ever-changing genetic requirement.”  


For the price of two days labour a month OPTIfarm is a 24 hour service that gives farm staff an extra resource to produce quality welfare orientated chicken.  

What's the next step for OPTIfarm?

Data is the resource that’s just being tapped into, recording and using this data to provide insights will develop and all the whole Agricultural Industry are looking into it.  

Recording data accurately and simply is the challenge.  Adoption of recording and sharing that data can be a little sticky for some, that’s why we will continue to bridge that gap with OPTIfarm service. 


 “It’s one thing to collect data, to look at it in real time making decisions with data takes it a step further”, says Russell. 


 OPTIfarm is collecting data and reviewing it constantly. We react quickly, we can identify situations immediately such as temperature fluctuations, water/feed volumes and bird movement. We can look at that data and if there is a situation that might pop up, then it is seen fairly quickly. 


“Tweaking a system and looking for consistency is where we are now. Providing information to a farm manager and their team daily allows them to make intelligent decisions. It doesn’t matter if it’s broiler breeders, Commercial layers, Pigs or fish farming it’s all relatively the same, it is attention to the fine detail that makes all the difference.” 


With a service like OPTIfarm it’s important to remember that we are not here to run your farm for you, it’s a resource that provides you with information in real time so that you can make decisions to optimise your production.   


I think it’s fantastic for identifying training for farm staff, if you haven’t got the highest skilled labour, as long as that person is willing, got the right kind of attitude and who wants to learn, OPTIfarm will give you that peace of mind that they are there to help, give guidance and advice when necessary.”  


Russell brings a wealth of experience and passion for the industry and we are looking forward to providing many more sectors with the benefits of 24/7 monitoring and helping others get the best out of their production through data and efficiency.