The MMP360™ story actually begins in 1981 with six acres of Iowa farmland, a handful of gilts, and a dream. It was my parents’ dream at the time; I was just a kid, and my agricultural education had just begun.
By the mid-1990s, the days were numbered for smaller scale, open feedlot hog operations—ours included. In 1997, my parents’ 200-head sow herd joined the rest of the hog industry and made the transition to the corporate structure we see everywhere today. Over time, those six acres became a 3,600-head hog finishing operation with some feeder cattle on the side. Time on the farm, along with many twists and turns in the Iowa livestock industry, gave me a lifetime of hands-on education.
The journey would take me to Luther College in 1996 and then on to graduate school at Iowa State University to study mechanical engineering. The atmosphere within the engineering department at Iowa State was a classic slice of middle American values. The engineers had varied backgrounds, were extremely bright, and shared an appreciation for a hard day’s work. Our work and studies led several of us to the renowned Idaho National Laboratories (INL). I joined the biofuels and bioenergy R&D program there in 2006. Our team did innovative work with data management and computational simulation methodologies. We were focused on how to make production agriculture more efficient and profitable supporting an emerging bioenergy industry. In 2012, our team completed a major project for the US Department of Energy where we combined our technology with the same tools used for the Iowa manure management plan (MMP) process to execute 100 million unique USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) conservation management plans across the United States.
In 2012, random circumstance and a lifetime of on-farm education came together. I had called my father—we lived 1,300 miles apart at the time—to catch up on life in general. He was scrambling to complete his Iowa MMP. As many Iowans know, the process includes a myriad of USDA NRCS software tools and workflows that require training well beyond the inclination or time available to most individual farmers. As we discussed my father’s plan, the proverbial light went on in my head. I knew then that the years of research and discovery by our INL team would lead to an invaluable tool for the Iowa livestock industry. In 2013, our team returned to Ames, Iowa, and was rounded out by a proven information technology entrepreneur who has six successful startups to his credit. Together, we founded Praxik, LLC (now part of EFC Systems), and launched our inaugural commercial product— MMP360™. The first fully automated tool of its kind for production agriculture was born.
MMP360™ can prepare most MMPs in the state of Iowa in the time it takes to warm up a tractor. This state-of-the-art, cloud-based tool offers a straight-forward interface that reduces plan completion time from 4 to 8 hours to about 30 minutes. It also saves the practitioner hours of analysis and setup time by instantly delivering a broad range of scenarios to optimize manure delivery rates, as well as providing assistance preparing documents for local compliance. The bottom line is increased application efficiency, better manure management decisions, and overall profitability.
We are incredibly proud of MMP360™ and its contribution to production agriculture. For more information, please visit www.mmp360.com, www.efcsystems.com, or call us directly at 515-203-3545. Thanks for taking the time to learn more about us. We look forward to sharing our vision and success with you.
Vice President, Agronomic Planning & Sustainability