Making Sustainable Farming Economically Superior With the Tesla of Tractors - Carlo Mondavi // Co-founder of Monarch Tractor


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In episode 135 of the Disruptors for GOOD podcast I speak with Carlo Mondavi, Co-founder of Monarch Tractor, on making sustainable farming economically superior and cleaner with fully electric and autonomous tractors.

Carlo Mondavi is a 4th generation farmer & winegrower and grandson of the legendary Robert Mondavi. In addition to making wine, Carlo is co-founder & chief farming officer of Monarch Tractor founded in 2017. He is currently an active sustainable farmer and leads the delivery of the world’s smartest, fully electric, autonomous tractor which is being deployed around the world to farmers.

In 2013 he formed RAEN Winery with his brother Dante. He has also put the Monarch Tractor to work at RAEN winery. RAEN stands for “Research in Agriculture and Enology Naturally,” which speaks to the core ethos of Carlo’s farming & winemaking practices: to farm at the highest level and in unison with nature. RAEN implements permaculture, biodynamic and organic.

In 2017 he started the The Monarch Challenge. The Monarch Challenge is set to enlighten, encourage and connect our communities to farm and thrive in unison with nature and give back to the delicate circle of life---Basically cleaner farming.

The challenge was inspired by the dwindling Monarch butterflies that used to be in the millions and have dramatically been reduced to thousands. The butterflies are very important to the farming ecosystem in Napa and Sonoma but impact other regions too.

The name ‘The Monarch Challenge’ comes from the fact that since Roundup’s introduction into the market in 1974, the Monarch butterfly population has declined by 90% and is currently under threat of extinction. The environmental impact goes beyond the Monarch to frogs, bees, other pollinators and even on to our human health.

In 2020 he was co-founder of Monarch Tractor leading the electrification of agriculture.

Carlo states, “The true definition of sustainable is all over the place, blurring the root meaning of what sustainable is. With that said, truly sustainable farming is leaving the soils and environment farmed as good if not better than before to allow for life and farming to continue on healthily. This means no herbicides, systemics and a basic regenerative practice to help build soil health and biodiversity on the farm. Once this balance is found on a farm there is the opportunity for a healthier farm team meaning healthier community and most importantly a better and healthier product to share and sell.”

What is the Monarch Tractor?

Monarch Tractor is making sustainable farming economically superior with the MK-V -- the world’s smartest, fully electric autonomous tractor and with a world-class leadership team that have accelerated vision to product delivery in three years.

What are the benefits of the Tractor?

Monarch’s fully electric tractor helps eliminate the 35 percent of carbon emissions developed by current diesel tractors used in agriculture farming. Monarch projections suggest its tractor can directly reduce 1% of GHG emissions, while regenerative practices enabled by Monarch can reduce 4% of GHG emissions.

Farmers today face numerous challenges including labor shortages, effects of climate change, safety concerns, increased customer scrutiny for sustainability demands, government regulations, and more. Monarch Tractor addresses these issues by combining electrification, automation, machine learning, and data analysis to enhance farmer’s existing operations, increase labor productivity and safety, and maximize yields to cut overhead costs and emissions.

Monarch Tractor has helped customers cut their carbon footprint, improve field safety, streamline farming operations, and increase their bottom lines. Monarch Tractor will be the template for all future tractors in terms of an all-electric, driver optional and actionable intelligence features.

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