shutterstock_522287986Pair of moves underscore Central Iowa’s standing as a global player in seed tech, ag software tech

Two rising stars on the global agriculture stage announced new locations in Des Moines last month.

Origin Agritech, one of China’s leading agricultural biotechnology companies and a key player in the country’s national ag strategy, announced the opening of its first US office in Des Moines.  The office, in Des Moines’ Financial Center, will house Origin’s CEO Bill Niebur, CFO Shashank Aurora and other team members.  The company aims to add more employees in Des Moines in the coming years.

Founded in 1997 and headquartered in the Zhong-Guan-Cun Life Science Park in Beijing, China, Origin Agritech specializes in crop seed breeding and genetic improvement, seed production, processing, distribution, and related technical services.  It is the first Chinese seed company with an in-house biotech research center, making Origin the leading firm for genetically modified organism technology in China.  Origin is traded on the NASDAQ index at SEED.

“Des Moines is an ideal location for Origin’s North American operations, providing superior access to talent, technologies and proximity to our key target markets,” said Niebur. “Iowa is positioned in the center of agricultural innovation, which will allow Origin to attract and retain great talent, while working collaboratively with, and in close proximity to, our strategic partners.”


In a play for the rich talent pool in Central Iowa for ag tech workers, Ann Arbor-based superstar software startup FarmLogs has announced the establishment of an office in Des Moines.  The company plans to house 12-15 of its roughly 80 employees in Iowa.

“We really wanted to tap into the talent pool that we think Iowa has to offer,” CEO Jesse Vollmar said. “There’s a great agricultural University in Ames [Iowa State University] studying agronomy and farm business management. It was also a great location because it balances the geographic region we have. Ann Arbor gives us easy access to eastern states, and from Des Moines we can easily serve the rest of the market.”

The company builds technology that helps map out fields and soil composition, track rainfall and more.  For more, check out this Forbes article: FarmLogs Is Going To Change The Way That Farmers Manage Their Businessor watch this video.

FarmLogs will host one of its three global user conferences in Des Moines on January 17.  Get free tickets here.