Business Insider

John Bruce: Conferees embrace my firm’s driverless farm equipment idea

The Idaho Technology Council hosted its first Capital Connect Conference this fall, focusing on our state’s past, present and future business environment.

From the beginning of the Oct. 22 conference to the final remarks, the council and its entire staff were focused 100 percent on companies like ours, Farb Guidance Systems, that are continuing to realize that Idaho is business-friendly, growth-focused and committed to its quest to be the nation’s No. 1 location for advancement in technology, agriculture, agriscience and innovation.

The mission of the technology council is to “help technology companies in Idaho start, grow, and thrive.” Throughout the entire Capital Connect Conference, the council not only nailed its mission, it spread goodwill far and wide.

More states should take note. If you truly want a sustainable state, with a healthy business environment, you need consensus from the top down. With the vision of the council, its global members and well-respected partners like Micron Technology, Keynetics, Hewlett-Packard, Monsanto, Deloitte and the Idaho National Laboratory, there’s no question Idaho is leading the nation as the top business location to “start, grow and thrive.”

Our company, Farb Guidance Systems, was invited to be a part of this event, which was one of the most valuable networking opportunities we have ever attended. The council should be commended for organizing this event, which brought together visionaries, entrepreneurs and investors.

As a third-generation farmer who grew up on Lyle Bruce Farm in Post Falls, I learned from my grandparents and parents about the traditions of our state, and its deep-seated culture of farming. As we showed our company’s new driverless farming equipment to potential investors, I quickly realized that our dream and efforts to continue to improve the kind of life I have lived were immediately accepted and embraced by those attending. This was powerful proof that the council had done its job to help startup companies like ours have a solid future in the fields of agriculture and technology right here in my own state.

When the conference was over, I reached out to other farmers who have the responsibility for carrying the torch our of family traditions. I told them that the Idaho Technology Council and the state were allowing me and my family an unequaled opportunity to not only grab the torch, but to fan its flames and keep farming alive through innovation, technology and good, old-fashioned face-to-face communication.

Thanks to the Idaho Technology Council, its sponsors and all who supported this first annual Capital Connect Conference, Farb Guidance Systems is on a successful path to achieving our goals to feed the future for all the right reasons while being a part of the vision of the state of Idaho. We’re here to stay.

John Bruce,, is a partner in, and vice president of, Farb Guidance Systems in Post Falls.