Raised in an entrepreneurial agriculture-focused family from Treherne, Manitoba, Kristen Timmerman has always strived for innovation. In 2022, she launched her own ag-tech company from the small community she grew up in.
InputsPro mobile app and website provides growers and agronomists in Western Canada with essential crop data based on the government issued Guide to Field Crop Protection.
“It is essentially the crop protection guide of Western Canada digitized into a mobile app,” said Timmerman. “It is user friendly so it is searchable by active ingredient or product trade name. Everything that is in the guide is easily accessible at your fingertips.”
The path to becoming CEO of her own ag-tech company
Timmerman is a young entrepreneur with extensive experience in ag-retail and agronomy.
Growing up in her family business, Circle T Agra (an independent crop input retailer), she was taught from a young age to operate heavy-duty equipment and was surrounded by entrepreneurial thinkers who encouraged her that she could achieve whatever she set out to do. This fueled her passion to build a business of her own.
To expand her knowledge, she entered University of Manitoba’s Agriculture Diploma, continuing on to a Bachelor of Science, Agronomy major. Throughout her studies she took summer jobs to expand her understanding of the industry. This led to various roles from working with small and large plots on Kelburn Farm to sales at Bayer and BASF where she made on-farm grower calls to discuss the agronomic benefits of various products. This is when she began brainstorming ways to make crop data more accessible.
She found the Guide to Field Crop Protection cumbersome, and knew others felt the same. Her idea was to make this data available in the form of an app that would allow people to filter data by crop and pest type in order to make informed decisions more efficiently.
“I know what it’s like to need access to product information on the go,” said Timmerman. “The books keep getting bigger and I saw the need for a better way to access up-to-date information more efficiently.”
One of her university courses focused on entrepreneurship, providing her an opportunity to dig deeper into her idea and develop a business plan for her own app and web platform, which she called InputsPro. She continued to work on this app after graduating university and returning to her family business.
In May 2023, InputsPro received one of EMILI’s 2023 Emergence Grants, a fund that provides small and medium businesses with financial support and guidance to increase digital agriculture innovation. Over the past two years, this initiative has supported 14 innovative organizations and funded 220k toward emerging technologies by Prairie innovators.
EMILI’s Innovation Farms team is using Timmerman’s mobile app throughout the season to retrieve information on rates, water volume, tank mix options and more for the safe and effective application of crop inputs.
“It is truly inspiring to work with EMILI and Innovation Farms as they support InputsPro and other like-minded start-up companies to advance digital agriculture technologies,” said Timmerman.
Timmerman is proud of the work she has done to make vital crop information accessible to growers, agronomists, and retailers across Western Canada.
“I see a lot of changes with technology in our world and it’s an exciting time to see a lot of young people of my generation starting to step up and make their footprint in this industry,” she said.
Watch the Inputs Pro video to hear Timmerman tell her story. This profile is part of EMILI’s This is Agriculture series, highlighting talented and diverse individuals across the digital agriculture sector.