Jun 22, 2021PlantTape announces promotions in bid to bring automation to forefront
PlantTape, an automated transplanting system, has promoted Lance Portman to president and Hunter Smith to vice president of agriculture and sales. The two promotions provide the company with ample support for continued growth within the United States and globally.
“Both Lance and Hunter joined our team at a pivotal time of growth and have been there every step of the way during PlantTape’s commercialization,” Brian Antle, prior president of PlantTape, said in a news release. “Their combined knowledge, leadership skills and in-depth understanding of the agriculture industry as well as PlantTape system, will continue taking this innovative company far into the future.”
Left to right: Lance Portman, Hunter Smith and Brian Antle.
Portman joined the PlantTape team in 2018 as vice president of engineering. Before that, he held several leadership positions spanning across the United States, Canada, Indonesia, and Singapore. Portman held numerous roles during his 14-year tenure at BJ Services Company, which included technical advisor and director of research and engineering coiled tubing. He additionally served as vice president of coiled tubing and cementing at Baker Hughes Incorporated and vice president of marketing at Cormorant Engineering LLC. In his new role as president of PlantTape, Portman will oversee all operations and drive the company’s success in transforming the automated transplanting for vegetable, tomato, hemp and other crops.
“PlantTape is fantastic technology that is yet to reach its full potential across all applications. I am honored to take on this key leadership role within PlantTape, and the opportunity to make this the most successful and accepted transplanting system globally,” said Portman. “I look forward to forming new partnerships with growers and pledge to continue to give our existing customers the best service possible.”
Hunter Smith, Ph.D., joined PlantTape in 2018 as the company’s director of agronomy. Smith received his bachelor’s degree from Arkansas State University and attended graduate school at the University of Florida. He completed his doctorate program in agronomy there in 2016. Prior to his current role at PlantTape, Smith performed field research, developed pesticide programs and optimized growing practices for Generation Farms in Southeast Georgia. In his new role, Smith will continue overseeing the agronomic studies of PlantTape while taking managing the company’s sales team.
“With significant labor shortages on the farm, automation is taking over the agricultural industry. I’m excited to continue working for such an innovative company,” said Smith.
Originally created in Spain the PlantTape system was brought to North America in 2014 for final development. In partnership with Tanimura & Antle the PlantTape system was further developed and proven successful by transplanting 40,000 acres of vegetables over the course of three years.
PlantTape was made commercial in 2017 and quickly made a statement in the transplanting world that a new standard had been set. While acheieving planting speeds and efficiencies never before seen PlantTape has provided a solution to the ever increasing labor demands and costs seen world wide.
Photo at top: PlantTape is an automated transplanting system. Photo: PlantTape