Tech Startup, Trying to Be Amazon for Farms, Runs Into Ag Giants

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OMAHA, Neb.—Inside a packed arena last December, 2,700 farmers sipped coffee from paper cups and listened to remarks on the Midwestern economy: incomes down, costs up and bankruptcies rising.

The speaker wasn’t a politician or an academic. He was Charles Baron, co-founder of Farmers Business Network, or FBN, a Silicon Valley startup that is trying to build an Amazon-like online marketplace for agricultural supplies.


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