Over the last few weeks you have read and heard stories from your fellow farmers in North America (#MeetYourFarmer series). Now, I think it’s time to meet the people behind the scenes who keep Farm At Hand up and running! It’s only fair that we share our stories, too.
The team at Farm At Hand comes from different backgrounds: farming, technology, design, filmmaking and more. This diversity is important because it allows us to see a situation from multiple different angles, identify potential roadblocks and work towards building a solution that is best for you.
This is our team, I’m the one wearing a denim jacket
— Anastasia Hambali (@hambalia) May 29, 2015
R-L: Max (designer), Greg (developer), Nick (developer), me. Missing Ben (developer; in Toronto) and Tyler (marketing; in San Francisco) in the picture.
This month marks my first year at Farm At Hand. So, I will kick off this Meet The Farmily series with my story. This way, I am more than a floating head on your Farm At Hand screen 🙂 Here goes…
What’s your name? Anastasia Hambali
I’ve been a community builder since: as long as I can remember although I only started identifying myself as such in 2012 – I did not know it could be a profession!
How did you become a community builder?
Funny you should ask. I think it has always been ingrained in me. Everyone has a story and I find their stories interesting. I want to help tell those stories, and I like connecting people in our community with other groups or resources that they might find helpful. In short, I like to build bridges.
Where are you located? I’m based out of Raincouver, ehm, I mean Vancouver, B.C.
What do you do at Farm At Hand?
We are a very lean team so everyone pitches in whenever needed. Generally speaking, I manage the Farm At Hand community. This means I get to connect with you online via social media talking about news in Ag, any trends within the industry or just a general chat about how Ag is, and more importantly I get to help you make the most out of Farm At Hand. I’m also only an email/text message away whenever you have any questions, want to share feedback, etc.
One of my favourite parts of this job is I get to retell your stories and share them with our community and beyond (read: people outside of Ag). Occasionally, I also get to play Santa and send swag to you – thank you Kim and Himanshu for paying the bill!
Why did you join Farm At Hand? Technology is so prevalent in our lives and there is a plethora of apps and technology businesses today. However only a handful of them are solving tangible, quantifiable problems.
I met Kim and Himanshu at the early stage of Farm At Hand and witnessed how hard they work to build and grow the company. That sense of purpose and their vision for the Ag industry is what attracted me to join the company in the first place.
I’ve been in the farmily since: Summer 2014.
What’s your experience with farming or agriculture?
I grew up in a big city and I am one generation removed from the farm. My only exposure to farming prior to Farm At Hand was during the Summer holidays when I would visit my uncle’s farm and rice paddies back in Indonesia. This past year has been a great learning opportunity. You have taught me a great deal – when I first joined I didn’t even know the difference between using a straight cut header on a combine or a swather for harvest.
What is the biggest thing you’ve learned about farmers and/or Agriculture since you joined Farm At Hand?
Can I get back to you with an essay or a blog post? The list is pretty long… 🙂
If you were a farmer, what would you grow or raise and why?
I’d grow wheat in a heartbeat – glutton for gluten!
What’s one of your favourite moments?
When I get a message or a call from one of our users (that’s you) just to chat about what’s happening on your farm. It makes me feel like we are a part of your operations. That makes me happy.
What are you most excited about?
Everyone is talking about farm data and data ownership, however access to this data is often gated by a pay wall or controlled by a large company. I am excited to see farmers being able to use this data – their own data – to grow and produce food more efficiently without a hefty cost.
We just launched the reports feature and there will be more to come. We are breaking down the barriers for farmers to be able to access and do more with their data than ever before – and that’s what I am excited about.
What’s the one thing you would like a farmer to know from the general public?
Many of us are far removed from a farm and have minimal knowledge of food production, and unfortunately the most accessible information is typically marketing messages or ‘viral’ post type of things. We do want to know more about how our food is grown and raised, help us understand by sharing your stories.