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Chatting With Woodall Grain

“Things come pretty quickly. Once the fire hose is turned on in the morning, it doesn’t stop,” said Lou Pfister, Director of Operations at Woodall Grain, describing what his days can be like.

Woodall Grain operates five grain-handling locations in Tennessee with a combined grain storage capacity of more than six million bushels. They also run a direct-ship program that supplies corn, wheat, and soybeans to end users throughout the Southeastern United States. 

Woodall’s initial interest in Bushel Mobile was driven by the desire to attract and retain local farmers. “We wanted to make sure that to our farmers, our name was fresh in front of them. If they went to look for a bid and thought about selling grain, they used us,” Pfister said.

Soon after the Woodall Grain team started using Bushel Mobile, it became clear that the tool would do more than help with their farmer marketing efforts – it was saving their administrative staff time and headaches. Among the different features Bushel Mobile has to offer, Pfister said that their top two favorites are 1) eSign contracts that are sent, signed, and returned via the app or web portal and 2) the easy-to-use in-app push notifications that they can send to keep their farmers informed. 

“I’m blown away by the [eSign] contract aspect. It saved us a lot of time here in the office from administrative headaches,” Pfister said. “There is a lot of value for the dollar.” 

While Bushel’s tools streamline communication, the goal isn’t to replace face-to-face interaction or phone calls, it’s to make those conversations more meaningful. With the integration of Bushel Mobile, Woodall staff members are able to spend less time answering trivial accounting-related questions such as ‘what’s the balance on my contract?’ and ‘can I get a reprint of a scale ticket?’

For many, the main concern associated with introducing digital tools in the agriculture industry is adoption – will enough farmers use the tools to make the investment worthwhile? For Woodall, they’ve seen more than 90% of their growers adopt to their Bushel app and web portal. ”I think it sets us apart, I really do. Most people don’t realize how much technology is used by farmers. A couple of folks in our organization said, ‘I’m not sure how much they’ll use this.’ But I kept saying, ‘I’m telling you, they’ll use it. I know they will.’” Pfister said. 

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“I think it’s a very good value. There wasn’t one time where we said, ‘This is not really working for us.’ Think about how many apps you use every day. Name everything you do on a daily basis. There’s an app and access to it.  Why should farmers not have the same ability at their fingertips?” 

– Lou Pfister, Director of Operations

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