LIVERMORE, Calif. – December 29, 2022 - For roughly 10,000 years humans have been practicing agriculture and yet, for all this time, only a handful of inventions — reaper, thresher, combine, and internal combustion engine (ICE), among others — have revolutionized how farmers produce food. Monarch Tractor’s MK-V, the first commercially available, electric, driver-optional, and connected tractor is the latest entry on this trophied list.
The journey from Monarch’s earliest vision to putting the MK-V into customers’ hands has been marked by excitement and challenges. Here’s our story:
Alpha Tractor, 2019
The Beginning of a Vision
Every idea has a starting point. The Alpha Tractor was the beginning of Monarch’s ambitious mission to deliver electric, autonomous, intelligent, and accessible solutions capable of solving complex, agricultural challenges. It also meant being the first and only company to embark on building one of the most advanced tractors in the AgTech space.
With a small, but dedicated team of the first 10 employees, building the Alpha Tractor meant long hours at the drawing board, camping in the field during cold winter nights to run tests, and creative thinking and innovation to get things done with limited resources.
Beta Tractor, 2020
Pushing through the Unexpected
Monarch was just preparing to launch the Beta Tractor at the turn of 2020 when COVID-19 flipped the world upside down. The team had to find ways to continue developing, validating, and testing the tractor during a global pandemic all while California was hit with some of the worst wildfires the state had seen in decades. The problems of the world underscored the pressing need for new agricultural solutions.
Despite the challenges at hand, Monarch was able to successfully introduce new features such as Routines, the ability to record routes and operations for the tractor to perform autonomously. It was at this point that Monarch Tractors began reporting for work in the fields and barns of agribusiness partners for real-world testing. Wente Vineyards was one of Monarch’s first partners.
"We are always interested in learning about new technology that can further aid our sustainability goals and create a more efficient vineyard,” says Niki Wente, 5th Generation Winegrower and Vineyard Manager at Wente Vineyards. “Our goal in adding these tractors to our fleet includes reducing emissions, exploring automation, and the potential for multi-tractors per operator activities. We’ve seen firsthand the benefits of the Monarch Tractor in our vineyards."
Pilot Tractor, 2021
From the Factory to the Field
The Pilot Series Tractor confirmed that Monarch’s vision was becoming a reality. After the deployment of the first fleet of tractors, strenuous real-world testing, and several customer trials across the state, the Pilot Series was testimony to Monarch’s on-farm readiness. The Pilot Series was the first to hold the tractor’s full digital offerings, including the all-new Auto Drive feature, enabling the tractor to perform autonomous operations with a variety of implements.
"The thing I’m most excited about is the autonomous feature because Monarch Tractor takes it from just an environmental sustainability idea to delivering a really higher level of productivity,” says Jim Hoffman, Managing Partner of Hopville Farms. “I think my team will be very excited when it’s on the farm."
MK-V Founder Series Tractor, 2022
The Future of Farming is Here
After many successes with our test partners and enthusiasm for the results they were seeing, the MK-V became a realized vision. On Dec. 1, 2022, Monarch handed the keys to the fleet of its first commercially-available tractors to Constellation Brands, and with it, ushered in a new era of electrification in farming.
Monarch’s bold journey and impressive, mind-boggling timeline would not have been possible without a dedicated team and early customer support. These are farmers, farm managers, ag specialists, and representatives of multiple agricultural businesses who shared their enthusiasm to bring meaningful change to farms and their surrounding communities. The MK-V Tractor is ready to get to work and deliver on the promise of a more sustainable and efficient era of farming.
About Monarch Tractor
Founded in 2018, Monarch Tractor utilizes 21st-century to empower farmers by enabling profitable implementation of regenerative, sustainable, and organic practices. Monarch Tractor’s Founder Series MK-V is the world’s first fully electric, driver optional, smart tractor set to enhance farmers’ existing operations, alleviate labor shortages, and maximize yields. Monarch Tractor is committed to elevating farming practices to enable clean, efficient, and economically viable solutions for today’s farmers and the generations of farmers to come. With cutting-edge technology, global reach, and an experienced team, Monarch is delivering meaningful change for the future of farming.