Synergy is not a word used often in day-to-day vernacular, but with Dakota AgSynergy, it is a lifestyle. The company, founded in 2016, seeks to simplify the process of selling grain. Leading the company is two sets of brothers, Justin and Jon Purintun, and Brandon and Cody Sehn. All of whom grew up on farms southeast of Bismarck, in Hazelton and Linton, ND. With experience working on their family farms, the team envisioned a way to harness everyone’s strengths and support their ND community.
Dakota AgSynergy (DAS) primarily works with pulse crops (peas, lentils, chickpeas, and edible beans), along with other ND powerhouses like sunflowers, flax, and barley. DAS essentially serves as the market between farmers and ending supply chains; they take the place of grain elevators, brokers, packers (at times), and freight forwarders. This makes the team a one-stop-shop for farmers to take the guesswork out of the logistical hurdles often faced to get their products into deeper markets.
Jon and Cody explained that “We saw a gap between ending markets and their constant need for origination.” Working with DAS simplifies the buying needs within the industry. They eliminate the stress involved in origination, such as purchasing, quality control, packaging requirements, and transportation. That’s where DAS comes in. The company brings together both sides of the equation, finding the right consumers and connecting the farmers, and vice versa. They make meaningful contacts locally and across the globe to add value and savings to both sides of the process.
The economy in ND has a foundation in agriculture, “it revolves around ag, we know this, and we [DAS] provide value to our local economy through the work we do. We could not do this work without trust and word of mouth from our clients” says Jon. Building trust is their goal, not only with the farmers that they work for, but also with their supply chain customers. Trust is a process, but “growing up on farms, we know this business well. We see everything that is going on up here, weather issues, planting intentions, along with quality control,” says Jon. Cody adds, “origination is vital! We are the boots on the ground, and that knowledge is huge for us. Some buyers only take a crop tour once a year or so, but now they can rely on us to help with supply needs and information on what’s happening up here in North Dakota.”
Outreach is also a large part of what DAS does, which has been difficult with the pandemic. “The biggest struggle with the pandemic is that the international buyers are not able to meet face to face with us and come over here. It has been holding us back a little” says Jon. The team is looking forward to traveling in the future and being able to build upon their past successes. The business is expanding rapidly through word of mouth, and the team at DAS couldn’t be happier to support ND farmers, along with surrounding states.
Exporting advice from the DAS team was to “Be open-minded,” says Jon, “the world is big and full of opportunities. You should step outside of your comfort zone to find new people and easier solutions.” Stepping outside their comfort zone has proven successful for this team as they continue to meet new people and expand their reach beyond state and international borders.
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