Jan 30, 2023
New CEO joins ag tech developer of weeders

Farm automation start-up FarmWise, Santa Clara, Calif., has hired Tjarko Leifer as CEO.

Leifer was senior vice president of strategy at Climate Corporation, which was acquired in 2013 by Monsanto/Bayer.

Sebastien Boyer, co-founder and former CEO of FarmWise, will move to the role of chairman.

Tjarko Leifer
Photo: FarmWise

“I couldn’t be more excited to join the FarmWise team at this moment in time,” Leifer said in a news release. “FarmWise is the only ag tech company that has demonstrated repeated customer satisfaction over multiple years of commercial automated weeding operations in the field.

“I am convinced FarmWise is one of the best positioned companies in the industry to truly change agricultural practices using technology,” he said in the release.

Leifer has been a FarmWise board member for three years, where he progressively emerged as a key strategic leader, according to the release.

“I can’t think of a better leader than Tjarko to drive FarmWise forward,” Boyer said in the release. “He has the industry experience and has successfully navigated the start-up journey multiple times.”

“FarmWise is in a strong position today, with unique technologies, a strong brand and a group of very talented employees and investors that are driving our vision forward,” Boyer said in the release. “I am really excited for this new phase of the company and personally, I am looking forward to continuing to serve the company by leading the board of directors and promoting our vision with external stakeholders.”

Over the past 3 years, FarmWise has progressively established itself as a go-to partner for some of the top vegetable farms in California and Arizona to handle their weeding needs, according to the release. At the upcoming World Ag Expo in Tulare, Calif., FarmWise will release its next-generation machine, a lightweight, ultra-precise weeding implement that distills thousands of hours of commercial weeding jobs for leading farming organizations.

“FarmWise is at an inflection point today and we are thrilled that Tjarko is joining as CEO after having served on the board for several years,” Jason Schoettler, FarmWise board member and partner at Calibrate Ventures, which led FarmWise’s Series A round, said in the release. “FarmWise is one of the only ag tech companies we’ve seen that combines artificial intelligence, computer vision and robotics to deliver real value to farmers in the field.”

“With a proven track record of successfully scaling businesses from early stage to growth, I am thrilled that Tjarko is taking over the CEO position at FarmWise and am extremely confident in his ability to transform the business and deliver on their unique technical vision,” Clay Mitchell, co-founder and managing director of Fall Line Capital, who led FarmWise’s Series B round, said in the news release.

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