Since joining Farm Progress Cos. in July 2007 as national accounts manager, Jeffrey Jackson's role has been to manage and grow the company's Digital Products Division, which currently includes 24 websites, 25 newsletters, 19 mobile sites and seven mobile apps. The company also develops custom apps for clients.
Farm Progress has offered innovative mobile features for many years, such as the ability (introduced in 2008) for FarmProgress.com registered users to receive market alerts on their mobile devices. In December 2010, the company introduced its first native app for Android smartphones and the iPhone, the Farm Progress Growing Degree Days (GDD) App, which calculates GDD units, indicators of crop maturity, for the user's specific geographic location and updates the data daily based on changing weather conditions. The app is a tool that helps farmers plan when to apply fertilizers and pesticides, as well as to predict the optimum harvesting date.
The GDD app was followed by news and magazine apps for the Farm Futures brand, an app for Beef Producer, event apps for the Farm Progress Show and Husker Harvest Days, and the Farm Progress app, which aggregates news and information for state and regional brands as well as highlighting local news for users based on their location.
Jackson said 100,000 apps, collectively, had been downloaded as of late March. “We continue to see 10% monthly growth,” he added. “We are currently working with our client base to deliver additional apps specific to our industry.”
Farm Progress Cos. publishes 18 state and regional farm titles, and Farm Futures, a national magazine for high-volume producers. The company also operates four farm trade shows and a broadcast division.