Chapel Hill’s Mines Dirt For Data

Agricultural technology company will be sure to bring its Earthstream platform device to the CED Tech Conference on Feb. 25-26 at the Raleigh Convention Center. The company will be among those presenting on the mainstage in front of an audience that will include more than 100 investors from throughout the Southeast and beyond.

The path to the Convention Center stage began when’s Founder and Chief Technology Officer Mike Prorock bought a farm in Chapel Hill a couple of years ago. He became frustrated with the lack of information and data that was available to help him manage his farm more sustainably. Prorock wanted access to tools that would help him more accurately know when to fertilize his crops and land, amongst other data, but the available solutions were either too expensive or not very accurate.

So Prorock decided to create a solution himself, and he ended up creating an Earthstream platform to access environmental data and use the information to implement better sustainable practices. Soon CEO Tom Rump came aboard, and now sells the Earthstream platform to farmers, ranchers, and businesses alike.

“We’re providing data for people who previously did not have access,” said Rump, “for people that really have a need for this information.”

The Earthstream device is literally planted in the ground of the farm or terrain that is being analyzed, and it begins to transmit relevant data—such as light, soil moisture, and surface temperature—to the company’s platform. The platform then analyzes the data and combines it with other information to make succinct recommendations. also uses the customer’s existing data to automate processes, which helps the client make more effective decisions to save money on resources, labor, water, and other materials, Rump said.

“With pesticides and fertilizers, this platform can help you figure out how much to use and when, so we have an environmental impact as well,” he said. “As a farmer, you can save resources as well as have a healthier crop.”

Rump also explained that has clients like Bayer Crop Science and Cotton Incorporated that are using the company’s platform and solutions.

The company was founded in 2016 and already has secured more than $750,000 in funding and landed more than a dozen clients. It also completed the Techstars Austin accelerator program in 2018.

The Earthstream device already has one patent issued, with another patent pending. The company was also selected to participate in the UN Sustainability Forum in New York City.

Rump said that has been to the CED Tech Conference before and that he and his team love the event because it helps them be with like-minded people and have a chance to engage with the agricultural community.

“We’re really excited to be a part of the CED Tech conference,” he said. “It has always been helpful with networking and funding opportunities.”

About Rebecca Ayers 27 Articles
Rebecca Ayers is a reporter for GrepBeat and a senior journalism major at UNC-Chapel Hill.