If you are visiting my site and wondering a little more about my company and who I am, this blog post hopefully answers those questions for you. My name is Mark Hewitt. I grew up on a farm by Cleveland, MN. It’s one of those towns you can blink and miss it while you drive through. We grow corn and soybeans on my family’s farm. I grew up working alongside my Dad, learning how to fix equipment, grow crops, and take care of animals. Also like most farm kids, I couldn’t wait to leave.
After high school I left the farm for the big city of Grand Forks, ND. I had always loved airplanes and flying so it seemed like a good fit to learn how to fly them. I went to a 4-year university and studied to become a commercial airline pilot. I learned a lot up in the Great White North, but the biggest thing I learned was in the air looking down. I remember looking out the airplane window at the green fields below me. I kept thinking, “What am I doing up here?” The more I flew over those fields, the more I wanted to be back in them. I earned my private pilot’s license, and decided to leave UND and come back home to the farm.
When I was a kid, I had a little red wagon I used to pull around. It was full of tools and things that I had taken apart. My parents say I was always trying to take things apart. I decided to go to South Central College for their Ag Service Technician program. I used to tell my teachers “I’m not here to learn to take stuff apart, I’m here to learn how to put it back together.”
After getting my degree, I went to work for John Deere. I worked on just about everything from lawn mowers to corn planters. My main focus became combines, planters, and sprayers. When I started we were still putting aftermarket yield monitors in combines. Working on this equipment involved a lot of technology because they had controllers and monitors. I came to love the technology side of things. I was a field service technician after a year and did every repair you could dream of in the field to keep farmers moving. It was while in the field that I found how much I liked learning about everyone’s farms and the decisions that keep them running.
After I left John Deere, I went to work for an AGCO/Caterpillar dealership. I quickly became the technology guy, dealing with variable rate applicators, sprayers, planters, and autosteer. I also worked with construction and surveying technology. Around this time, I was starting my farm and seeing the real benefits of VR fertilizer and seeding.
I had the opportunity to move to a precision agriculture company as a technology specialist. I did a lot of on-farm work with technology installation as well as talking to growers about how they can develop their precision agriculture plans. I taught growers to use remote imagery to see the health of their crops in season. I spent a lot of time soil sampling and writing fertilizer prescriptions throughout Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Which brings us full circle. Why Hewitt Precision Insights? Simple. My number one goal is to help growers understand and utilize a fully integrated precision agriculture plan on their farm.
Using my aeronautical knowledge from my pilot’s license, I obtained my remote pilot certificate. My UAV services combined with my agronomy knowledge allows me to give advice on what we are seeing in the images versus on ground. I completed my Certified Crop Advisor exams and am in the process of obtaining full licensure. I also obtained my private pesticide applicator license. I have several SMS certifications and multiple precision equipment certifications as well.
I truly believe that the future of agriculture is in using the technology we have to grow our crops more efficiently. A lot of growers have data they are creating, but aren’t sure what to do with it or how to decipher it. I want to help.