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May 9, 2022

Welcome back to Soil Solutions with Jessica Gnad. This episode features Monte Bottens, a fifth-generation Illinois farmer who owns and operates Bottens Family Farm, Grateful Graze, is the Founder and CEO of Ag Solutions Network Inc., and host of the AgEmerge Podcast.

Monte shares what regenerative ag means to him and how producers can get started with it themselves, focusing on what consumers actually want, and how his operation Grateful Graze is using soil health principles.

Monte Bottens is a business owner, entrepreneur, and thought leader who has deep roots in agriculture. Raised as a fifth-generation, northwestern Illinois farmer, Monte is a business owner, entrepreneur and thought leader. Monte began his farming career with two bred sows given to him by his grandmother. Thanks to great guidance from his dad and equipment-sharing startup assistance, today he’s the owner of Bottens Family Farm (BFF). 

The farm utilizes the latest agricultural innovations in precision farming technology and crop management systems while putting into practice advanced regenerative ag principles. BFF produces a diversity of crops and grass-fed livestock. which are sold direct to consumers under the Grateful Graze label.

He is the Founder, President and CEO of Ag Solutions Network, Inc. (ASN) headquartered in Moline, Illinois, where he leads the development and distribution of the POWER2GRO crop production system. ASN utilizes the latest technological advancements and highest-quality ingredients to enable farmers to build soil health and soil wealth. Monte is also the host of ASN’s podcast, AgEmerge where featured guests discuss new ideas, grower insights, research and emerging technology.

Monte is the Founder and Partner of California Ag Solutions, Inc. (CAS) in Madera, CA. The CAS team serves farmers of the Central Valley by helping them adopt reduced tillage techniques combined with improved water and nutrient efficiency using ASN’s POWER2GRO system on a wide variety of crops.

Monte has a love for the agricultural diversity in California. He serves on the leadership team of Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation (CASI) center that develops integrated reduced tillage and irrigation techniques in California and globally. His excitement for ag tech and continuous process improvement also led him to get involved with the UC Davis Entrepreneurship Program and the Sacramento Angels. He has a desire to teach others and make region specific practices applicable for all different crops, soil types, and climates throughout the US. He has presented at many conferences and universities sharing his passion for soil health and agriculture innovation.

Monte is a graduate of Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. He and his wife Robyn live in Sherrard, Illinois, close to family and the family farm.