One of the biggest joys of this job is getting to travel around to the different parts of this great country and see what amazing people make up this industry. Here are some pictures from a recent trip to Illinois! Enjoy…
(In the words of Regina Farmer)
“So who is the Chem-Man?” This is a question that I’ve gotten a lot over the years. “Shouldn’t it be Chem-WO-man?” many say with a slight grin. I usually laugh it off and tell them that it really stands for “Chemical Managment Software”. That’s not a lie, but it’s not the whole story.
The story of “Chem-Man” is a little more complicated than that...
A programmer by trade but a businesswoman and marketing agent by heart, I was looking for a software package that I could resell. I had worked as a programmer for other people but wanted to make it on my own. I grew up in a family-owned retail store and so I wrote a complete book-keeping package including accounts receivable, payroll, accounts payable, payroll, checking and general ledger. These were the days of “DOS”, so I kept it simple and it worked well for them. I was working on software for an optometrist when Donnie and Sharon Forrester walked through my door. They needed a custom software package for their Agricultural Aviation Business and I wanted to write a specialty package to market, so it was a natural partnership. The program worked well for them and word got around. A local crop-duster, J.R. Cartillar dropped in and helped me enhance the software to work for more operators. Our area is a farming community and there were six local crop dusting businesses that eventually decided to use Chem-Man.
After seeing the difference that it made to their day-to-day operations, I decided that Chem-Man would be the package that I'd been looking for. A friend of mine, Tony McMickle, helped me create the graphics and build a manual to get me started. I also had hired a friend, Lynn Lace, who helped me work on building the software. We advertised in the "Ag Pilot" magazine and business started to pick up. We also decided to go to our first ag-pilot convention in Arkansas. I knew nothing about these conventions and just printed a dot matrix sign "Chem-Man" and displayed it on our booth along with my big bulky computer. I still laugh at my inexperience but it makes you realize how far you've come.
When I look back at those days, I think of all of the great experiences that I've had and all of the great people that I've met. Our company is growing and has sold many Chem-Man packages, Dos, Desktop and, now, Online.
John Farris joined me in 2014 as a business partner and the sky is the limit for Chem-Man! Our online software includes mapping, gps files, variable rating, inventory, loader reports, billing, commissions, reports, and many other features. We've got a staff of 15 and growing. It's very exciting times!
I saw Donnie the other day at a restaurant and took his pic. I told him how the company has grown and how he had helped me get started. He laughed and said "Ok, where are my royalty fees?" Gotta love him.
You never know when you'll need to access your Chem-Man Online Software. Out in the field, in the store, at the co-op, date night, while on vacation, sitting in the "deer-woods" or while watching the game. In fact, these days you no longer have to be in the office to work, you can do it anywhere.Read More
Submitted by: Regina Farmer
I was recently talking to a friend of mine from a hilly area in Missouri where there was not much farmland but plenty of pasture. I asked her if she was familiar with the ag aviation industry and she had no clue. It seemed so odd to me that people from other areas didn't grow up to the familiar sound of what we called "crop dusters" flying over the house on a summer morning.
I often stayed at my grandparents' house on the weekends and even more in the summer. The farm was in an area that was considered rice country. We often played in the flooded fields and ran across the levees under the watchful eye of my grandmother. It was a great time to be a child running and playing on the farm.
My husband also grew up on a farm where his dad was a farmer. The other day we were walking next to our rice farm and he told me that as a teenager he often helped "flag" the plane to help guide it to where it needed to spray. With the high-tech GPS systems we have today, I found it so interesting that it wasn't really that long ago where flaggers were used. I asked him to tell me more.
He said that they would usually get up around daylight and then head to the fields. He would get on one end of the field and another flagger would get on the other. He would usually have a pole with either a rag or some sort of flag to wave at the plane. Sometimes he would just wave his hands. When the plane was approaching he would know to get out of the way because it would be pretty low. I couldn't believe my ears when he said that sometimes the plane would fly so low that he could see tire tracks on the levee.
He flagged for dry and liquid work. When it was liquid it would spray the chemicals all over him and he could smell it all day until he was able to go home to take a bath. He said the most common chemicals were stam and fertilizer, but there were a few chemicals where they weren't allowed to stand in the field.
As we talked about the past, I thought about how far the industry has advanced in terms of technology. I often use my GPS to help me find my location in unfamiliar territory and this same technology helps our ag aviation industry be more precise.
Technology helps us to be more efficient, more precise, and hopefully, safer. But with technology comes more things to learn and use. The ag pilot is responsible for so many things that it is a dangerous profession. My hope is that someday our technology will make it so easy that there will be very few accidents, if any. I'm anxious to see what evolves in the coming years to make this happen because we want to keep our ag pilot friends safe.
Chem-Man Online Software uses technology to help our customers to be more efficient and precise. Let us know what we can do.
Call us at 866-314-9222 or 870-238-9222; you can also reply to this email!
This is a question that we are commonly asked and its a valid concern. We always want to make sure that our information is secure. It may seem like information saved on our hard drive is the most secure, however, your desktop program is most likely a lot more vulnerable to viruses and hackers than our online software.
Chem-Man software is rated to the same standards as the medical software that we make, which makes our software extremely secure. As long as you don't pass along sensitive information like usernames and passwords, then you shouldn't have anything to worry about.
The truth is sites that are targeted from hackers are most likely following a money trail. Since there is no credit card information available hackers are not likely interested.
Still need convincing?
Call us at 866-314-9222 or 870-238-9222