aaron furrer

Stanford graduate offers new perspectives

Aaron Furrer’s passion for science and business at an early age has set him on a unique path where he finds himself in New Zealand, working with AbacusBio consultants on bee breeding and farm irrigation management.

By the age of 14, Aaron was already a self-made entrepreneur in America. He founded Three Firs Factoring, a grassroots freight factoring business, using capital he raised from growing and selling cows on his family’s farm in Monroe, Washington.

Factoring is the process whereby a business sells its accounts receivable at a discounted rate to a third party, in exchange for instant money to allow for the continuation of business operations.

After graduating from Stanford University with a management science and engineering degree, Aaron came to AbacusBio over summer to work with Anna Campbell and Peter Fennessy on various projects.

“It has been an eye-opener during these few months – definitely a key highlight of the year for me,” Aaron remarks.

Aaron has been working on bee genetics, specifically as part of an industry programme to breed genetically-superior bees to resist the varroa mite and maintain population diversity.

“I worked with both colleagues and clients, and was able to gain hands-on experience in handling bees and hives, which was really exciting.”

In addition, Aaron also visited farms and became involved in farm irrigation systems. He is working for NextFarm, a company developing irrigation modules for controlling large solid set irrigation systems to minimise man-hours and increase the flexibility of management practices.

Having grown up in a farm in the US, Aaron remarks that NZ has a unique way of doing things and his stint at AbacusBio allows him to explore trends and opportunities in both countries.

“Regardless of which country, as digital technology becomes more encompassing in agribusiness, we are now faced with a high level of systemic complexity,” he says.

AbacusBio consultant Peter Fennessy who instigated bringing Aaron to NZ says, “we need to bring in more young people like Aaron into the industry, as they bring fresh thinking and a different lens to solve these complex problems.”