Based in Raymond, Alberta, AdvancedAg is a family-owned company that has been doing research on bacteria and microbial-based products since 2001. 

Joshua Day Chief, Chief Executive Officer of AdvancedAg, says that the foundation of the company was originally built on water treatment. 

“We were treating lakes and storm ponds, and we were using bacteria to clean up these bodies of water in terms of the algae and sludge buildup,” said Day Chief. “These bacteria were consuming sludge, and that’s kind of how the business started. We did a lot of research back in those days with Lethbridge College and had funding from the National Research Council to do this research.” “Then, about seven years ago, we started doing research on using bacteria for plant growth, promotion and soil health. That led us down a whole bunny trail that resulted in rebranding to AdvancedAg and really focusing on the ag market because we were solving real life issues for farmers. We were cutting back fertilizer use; we were producing healthier crops using these bacteria, and we were just seeing an improvement in soil health in a very short period of time. Now, this was seven years ago, but now the industry’s really moving this way in terms of soil biology. And I think just the years of research that we have has really set us apart from anyone else doing this.” 

AdvancedAg, Day Chief says, is all across North America with the company’s supplier and head scientist located in Cleaveland, Ohio, but there are farmers from New Brunswick, and the Okanagan using the products. Advanced Ag, Day Chief says, also has growers in U.S. locations including Kansas and Montana. 

The work, Day Chief says, is family focused with his sister, Ashley Day Chief, serving the company as the Chief Operations Officer; and his wife, Kaylee Day Chief, who serves as the Director of Sales, and his mother, Dr. Phyllis Day Chief, being the founder of the company. Day Chief says that AdvancedAg also includes his brotherin-law, sales agronomists, dealers, and a team of scientists. 

“We’ve been working with colleges and universities as well as scientists to develop this product line further because we’re offering up like a fertilizer, not alternative, but like a supplement to fertilizer programs,” said Day Chief. “But we’re able to now use these bacteria for other purposes including seed treatments and disease resistance We also work with a lot of research facilities to do replicated plot work to show that our products will work in the field.” 

Day Chief says that AdvancedAg’s claim to fame in the last several years has been a product called ACF-SR, which is a blend of five different microbial species for plant growth promotion. However, Day Chief says, AdvancedAg recently launched a seed treatment product for treating seed, basically any type of seed, and they are also working with a plant health product to cut back on fungicides and chemicals to deal with disease. 

AdvancedAg, Day Chief says, is also self-funded, but they were accepted into the THRIVE Canada III Accelerator Program at the beginning of March 2024 and have also received grants from Alberta Innovates in the past. 

“THRIVE is an accelerator and we were one of 15 ag tech companies in Canada chosen for this accelerator,” said Day Chief. 

AdvancedAg, Day Chief says, is using technology to help farmers in cutting back other costly inputs that cost the farmer a lot of money, but also damage overall soil health. The company, Day Chief says, brings awareness to their work through events, including 2024 Ag Expo, and intimate grower meetings before seeding time where they try to educate people on the research they are currently involved in. On top of that, Day Chief says, the biggest form of marketing and awareness is word of mouth, as farmers all talk to each other. 

“The farmers are beyond ecstatic because it’s something different that they know that they’re, they’re using to farm better,” said Day Chief. “At the end of the day, economics comes into play; it has to make them money, and it has to make sense economically, and we’re able to do that. I couldn’t be more proud. I mean, just to know where we came from, we have very humble beginnings. We started off as a small, tiny company and we had big dreams, but to see the difference it’s making for these farmers. It almost doesn’t feel real to me. At the same time, knowing what the potential is: it is huge. We’re just scratching the surface. It’s been a long 23 years but at the same time, what we’ve done in the last six has been nothing short of incredible, and I think over the next couple of years, we’re going to see a rapid expansion in our science and product line. I think in the next five years more could happen than have happened in the last 23.”

By Heather Cameron, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on May 29, 2024 at 10:49

This item reprinted with permission from   The Taber Times   Taber, Alberta
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