Lynn Dargis is the founder and CEO of Farmbucks
By Diego Flammini
A St. Vincent, Alta. farmer recently won the grand prize at a pitch competition to help further develop an app she created.
Lynn Dargis won $25,000 during the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs’ Pitch for the Purse Finale gala in Vancouver. The money will be used to make changes to Farmbucks, the company she founded.
Winning the grand prize “was a little unexpected,” she told Farms.com. “But it’s already used up as we’re working on improving the (Farmbucks) app, making it even faster and to keep growing.”
Dargis, who currently farms about 4,200 acres of cropland, launched Farmbucks about a year ago to bring price transparency to grain farmers.
Dargis was hopeful that an online grain-pricing service like this would be available, but when one wasn’t, she decided to take the initiative to create it.
Lynn Dargis/Farmbucks photo
The app and website enable wheat, canola, pea, oat and barley and other crop farmers from Western Canada to find out what their best grain marketing opportunities are and help them contact buyers by putting prices from multiple companies in a centralized location.
Farmers didn’t have that option before, and looking for good bids either became a hassle, or producers only checked certain places and missed out on good prices, she said.
“I found myself missing out on opportunities,” she said. “People, myself included, fell into habits where we didn’t have the time to check every app or every website on a daily basis. I became accustomed to checking my favourite place to see pricing information.
“One day I happened to have extra time where I checked multiple sites and lo and behold, the price I was looking for was there at a different elevator and different company. I called them up right away, made the deal and signed off on it.”
Farmbucks doesn’t handle contracts or livestock yet. But farmers can receive notifications if grain prices change to help them stay connected to the marketplace.
Close to 2,000 farmers are signed up with Farmbucks and feedback has been positive, Dargis said.
Producers appreciate the price transparency and having all of the data put into one place.
“Farmers love it and are on board with it because it makes their lives easier,” she said. “Imagine if you had to book a hotel room and had to call every single hotel to find out what their room rates were. That’s basically what farmers have to do on a daily basis. We want to be involved in (grain marketing) but there’s been a lack of information in an available and accessible way.”
Farmers can sign up for Farmbucks on the website or download the app for Apple and Android devices. New users receive a 30-day free trial after which they can purchase one month of service for $19.99, three months of service for $49.99 (on sale), or a full year for $119.00 (on sale).