For Growers By Growers
GISC is a farmer owned national data cooperative headquartered in Lubbock, TX. We provide producers worldwide with digital data tools through strategic partnerships that maximize production and efficiency in their farming operations. Seeing a need for producers to have a partner in navigating through the fast-growing world of ag technology, thus GISC was born.
We are the only producer owned organization in the world focusing solely on ag technology and data storage for the betterment of our member producers. With strategic partnerships with IBM and Main Street Data, we enable our member producers to have access to the most premier weather and data analytic platforms in the industry. Allowing our member producers to aggregate and benchmark their operational data with other member producers to make better on farm decisions year after year.
Our mission is for our member producers to get the most out of their data, as we look to revolutionize the agricultural industry, and bring the entire ag ecosystem closer together.
We aim to be the farmer-friendly place to cultivate digital strategies, maximize individual growers’ success and collectively level the growing field for US agriculture to better fulfill the world’s growing demands.
To provide cooperative members with an independent data platform and state-of-the-art tools for optimal ROI. We see the strength in collaboration and relationships with exceptional technology partners that embrace the same end-goal–to help the US growers feed and clothe the world.
Billy is the fourth generation to manage a large family-owned production Ag operation, which he has overseen for the last 36 years, in an area west of Lubbock, Texas. This operation is his passion and his greatest business love. He has managed this endeavor while being involved in many other businesses throughout his career.
Billy’s past leadership includes almost 22 years on the Board of Directors of two separate telecommunications firms providing all levels of telecommunications to rural America from the pioneering days of cellular to the deployment of internet to its customers. He invested 9 years in a local agricultural bank as its Executive Vice President and served on its Board of Directors for 11 years. He was involved in daily lending to dozens of agricultural operations on the Plains of Texas and in the formulation and execution of the agricultural lending strategy of the bank. In addition, he managed the bank’s investment portfolio.
Billy has for the last 18 years operated as a founder, consultant and adviser to companies desiring to increase their understanding, market share or interaction within the agricultural community and he has built strong relationships with Texas Tech University and many agriculture industry innovators. Several of these companies have made significant progress surrounding renewable energy and agricultural innovation due to his involvement. He has made it a mission to create partnerships and alliances within industries that are sound and accomplish specific goals. Most of this work is rooted in rural America and are in the agriculture space.
Billy was a founder of Grower Information Services Cooperative (GiSC), and currently its CEO. GiSC was founded in late 2012 as the first cooperative to represent growers’ interests on the topic of data and information. The formal launch was in 2014 and 2015. GiSC is a national cooperative which currently has members across 41 states and all major commodities. He has several accomplishments in the “Big Ag Data” space which include being a speaker and panelist over the last few years at many events featuring ag data. Billy has also testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture in October 2015 at a public hearing titled: “Big Data and Agriculture: Innovation and Implications” and then again before the House Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management at a hearing titled, “The Future of Farming: Technological Innovations, Opportunities, and Challenges for Producers.” In July 2017, he was named by PrecisionAg Professional and Meister Publishing, as one of the Top 10 Most Influential Precision Farming Advocates for 2017. Throughout 2017 he worked to reset the focus of GiSC and 2018 should be the most productive year to date due to some very strategic alliances. He says his greatest accomplishment is building alliances and partnerships with companies and organizations that hold similar values in relation to growers’ data. He continually tells the GiSC Board, “Collaboration is the key to innovation, because great ideas are never invented alone!”
Billy holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from Texas Tech University from 1986. He was the top graduate that year in the Rawls College of Business at TTU and addressed the graduates and guests at the ceremony. He is married to Christal Tiller for 36 years and they have four children and five (soon to be six) grandchildren.
Mark is the Chief Operating Officer and Controller of Grower Information Services Coop (GiSC). Mark was born and raised in rural West Texas and has a lifelong connection to agriculture, working on his family’s farm as a high school and college student. As the COO for GiSC, Mark is responsible for the day-to-day operations of GiSC, including financial management (modeling and analysis, budgeting, cash flow management), legal, accounting, human resources, IT management, website management and maintenance, and business processes and strategy. Prior to his work in the ag-tech sector over the last five years, Mark was a management consultant. As a consultant, Mark worked with numerous large and mid-size companies, in many industries, including food processing, manufacturing, and airlines. Primarily, Mark worked with company management to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of computer systems as a component of implementing Lean Manufacturing techniques and discipline, in a variety of systems such as database management, accounting systems, logistics/inventory management systems, and AS/400 system modernizations. He brings this wealth of knowledge to the cooperative and will be an asset to all of our grower members. Mark earned a BBA from Hardin-Simmons University in 1998 and a JD/MBA from Texas Tech University in 2004.
Dewey Hukill, President of the GiSC Board, has a lifetime of agriculture in his blood. He has spent 51 years with his hands in the dirt raising everything from cotton to canna bulbs. He started farming in 1961 and in 1967 he returned to his hometown of Olton, Texas and struck out to establish his own farming operation. He farmed in Lamb and Hale counties of Texas and raised many different crops in his farming operation including corn, cotton, wheat, and cattle. Dewey is an innovator in every right and in 1985, along with partner Royce McFadden, formed Agri-Gold, Inc. dba Pride of the Plains Bulb Farm. This partnership spent the next couple of decades raising Iris, Canna, and the Day Lily for markets all over the world. Dewey has shown proven leadership for agriculture as he served on the Board of Directors of the Olton Grain Cooperative, the Olton Stock Show Board, and the Lamb County Farm Bureau. He spent 2006 to 2012 serving on the State Board of Directors for Texas Farm Bureau, and the last 3 of those years he was the Vice-President of Texas Farm Bureau. He also served during that time on the Board of Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance. Dewey currently serves on the Texas FFA Foundation Board, the Lamb County Appraisal District Board, and the Runningwater Draw Care Center Board.
Roric Paulman is an innovative grower who has implemented technology solutions to better manage his resources and provide visibility to the many factors that contribute to the success of his operation. Since 1985 Roric has been a full-time grower, operating a 6,500 acre farm in southwestern Nebraska near Sutherland where he and his family produce corn, popcorn, sugar beets and dry beans. Roric is a a leader in his community, the state of Nebraska, and the agricultural industry. Roric currently serves as President of the Nebraska Water Balance Alliance. He also ran for the Nebraska State Senate in 2014, losing the election by 300 votes out of the 10,000 votes cast in the race. Roric was also one of three finalist for the 2015 Top Producer of the Year – representing the best in the farming business.
Ricky Yantis is a diligent advocate for agriculture. He and his wife Gena started a farming operation that is centered in Lamb County and has now operated for 29 years. They each represent 4 generations of cotton and grain farming on the plains of Texas. His operation also includes some acres that are rain fed or non-irrigated. The irrigation entails both center pivot sprinklers and drip irrigation systems. Ricky has raised cotton in no-till as well as conventional tillage methods in West Texas. Ricky is a great record keeper and has documented many of his production practices in ways that lead to further analysis by his chemical dealer/agronomist as well as his financial partners. This detailed method of operating his financial analysis and tracking production practices led to be his being honored early in his career as Texas Farm Bureau Outstanding Farmer and Rancher. Ricky is actively involved in leadership. He has served as a Texas Delegate to the American Farm Bureau annual meeting, on the Lamb County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, the Texas Farm Bureau Cotton Advisory Committee, the Lamb County AgriLife Extension Executive Advisory Committee, and in his community on the Administrative Council of the First United Methodist Church of Amherst, Texas.
Bryan Baker is a West Texas native, attending Texas Tech University where he acquired a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics in 1996. He then returned home to begin a career as a farmer, raising cotton, grain sorghum, and soybeans. Bryan farms both rain-fed and irrigated land. He has managed a successful farming practice for over 20 years. Bryan is a board member for the Farmer’s Cooperative Association of Sudan, and he has traveled with the board to many different locations to attend conferences along with observing the different farming practices used throughout the nation. This experience in the agriculture sector has provided Bryan with a firm foundation of knowledge of the benefits and hardships of farming in different parts of the country. By becoming a board member of the Grower Information Services Cooperative, he has chosen to stand with others to voice his concerns and provide a realistic and practical answer for farmers across the nation. He believes that the grower owns his information and that he has every right to utilize and benefit from its varying uses in the economy.
Brent Coker grew up just outside of Springlake, Texas, working on the family farm after school, on the weekends and the summers, throughout high school and college. He attended Texas Tech University and graduated in 1996 from the Business College with a degree in Business Management and Marketing. Upon graduation Brent spent the next 11 years working in various areas of the property & casualty insurance market but ended up focusing most of his time and attention on the commercial insurance markets. In 2011, Brent made the decision to leave the insurance business and return the family farm. His father was approaching retirement age and Brent saw a great opportunity to continue the family business. Brent now works the same land his Dad did for most of his life and farms in Castro and Lamb County where he raises corn, cotton, grain sorghum, wheat and a few forage crops. Brent brings a unique aspect to the GiSC board. He has seen the benefits of standard information flow in that industry and knows the tremendous benefits, efficient information flow can have to the American Farmer.
Richard (Dickie) Brownd resides in Earth, Texas. Dickie attended South Plains College, where he earned an Associate’s Degree in Agribusiness. Dickie has been a farmer for thirty-three years and has grown corn, grain sorghum, cotton, and wheat. He is currently a board member of the Springlake-Earth Cotton Grower Cooperative. Dickie sets as co-chair of the First United Methodist Church Finance Committee and an active member of the local Lions Club. He was also a volunteer firefighter for the Earth Volunteer Fire Department and board member on the Springlake-Earth Junior Livestock Show Board, both of which he served for over 20 years. Dickie is a committed supporter of the agricultural community. Due to this fact, he is a board member of the Grower Information Services Cooperative. Dickie understands the importance of data in agriculture.