AcreShield announces leadership team

A corn crop from northeast Iowa. (Courtesy photo.)

AcreShield, the company that provides seed selection with seed performance guarantees, announces its leadership team.

Comprised of proven agricultural entrepreneurs adept at solving farmers’ problems, the team includes Billy Rose, chairman and CEO; Jim Rouse, executive vice president of seed trials program; Kevin McNew, chief data officer and Ryan Budnik, COO of seed trial program.

Addressing the universal United States farming challenge of the yield gap, Rose and his AcreShield team used three years of certified seed trial plot data to create AcreShield’s first product, Yield Optimizer. It guides farmers in selecting the seeds that will perform best on each farm. Yield Optimizer helps ensure a profitable yield or provides a performance protection payment.

Rose has spent his entire career helping farmers. In the 1980s, he helped family farm friends write business plans to grow their operations and reduce debt. This led to him launching Ag1, a company that provided crop insurance, grain marketing, risk management advice and working capital. He later founded the company now known as DTN and Crop1 Insurance, Inc., later acquired by Farm Bureau.

Rouse has been managing research protocols for agronomic and plant breeding experiments for more than 20 years. This has allowed him to collaborate with farmers, seed producers, research partners and regulatory officials to produce results that deliver profitable crop performance. He also currently serves as the executive director of the Iowa Crop Improvement Association, the official seed certifying agency for Iowa. Rouse leads the Iowa Crop Performance Tests which deliver unbiased performance comparisons among hundreds of corn hybrids and soybean varieties across Iowa.

McNew brings 32 years of experience in econometrics, market analysis and advanced statistical modeling to AcreShield. He founded Quantum Hedging where he was the lead for its Market Intelligence Lab and served as the chief economist at Farmers Business Network after it acquired GeoGrain, a market intelligence firm.

Budnik is a 20-year seed industry veteran with a passion for all things agronomy, especially crop performance testing and yield trial management. He has curated the crop performance testing segment of the Iowa Crop Improvement Association and private contract research. He also launched a custom UAV remote-sensing device. Before working with ICIA, Ryan served as an agricultural specialist for Iowa State University.

“This team thrives on innovation and helping farmers meet their challenges head-on,” Rose says. “We’re certain that by helping farmers address their Yield Gap problems with Yield Optimizer, we can help farmers remain profitable and protect the legacies they care about.“

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