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Protecting the Seeds of Our Future

In the vast fields of our nation’s heartland, a new kind of threat looms. One that doesn’t come from the skies or the soil, but from the shadows of the digital world. The FBI, FDA OCI, and USDA have sounded the alarm with a joint Cybersecurity Advisory. Our focus today is not the usual pests or weather—it’s about protecting our food supply from cyber threats.

A New Wave of Cyber Thievery Threatening Cybersecurity in Agribusiness

Criminal actors, armed with nothing more than a computer, are now targeting the backbone of our food supply with a scheme known as Business Email Compromise (BEC). It’s a simple yet effective ploy: they impersonate trusted contacts to intercept large shipments of food products and ingredients. The result? Our hard-earned harvests, valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars, vanish without a trace.

The BEC Scam Explained

Think of BEC as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. These criminals craft emails and websites that mirror legitimate businesses almost perfectly, with just an extra letter here or a misplaced number there. They sneak into a company’s email system, send fraudulent emails, and use real employee names to weave a convincing tale. Before you know it, products are shipped, and the scammers are long gone, leaving a trail of financial loss and potential food safety hazards in their wake.

Real Cases, Real Losses

In recent months, the BEC tactics have hit our sector hard. Trusted names with just one letter out of place, requests filled with grammatical errors, and large orders placed without a real buyer on the other end. These aren’t just isolated incidents; they are part of a growing trend that’s targeting our industry’s integrity and financial stability.

The Ransomware Threat to Cybersecurity in Agribusiness

And there’s more. Ransomware attacks, timed to hit during our most critical seasons—planting and harvest—threaten to disrupt our operations and impact the entire food supply chain. These aren’t random attacks; they’re calculated, aiming to cripple cooperatives when they’re most needed, forcing a hand that’s already busy sowing the future of our food.


It’s becoming increasingly clear that the world of agribusiness has expanded far beyond the fields and into the realm of cyberspace. The threats we face are not only to our crops and livestock but to the very heart of our operations—our digital infrastructures. The FBI’s Cybersecurity Advisory is not just a warning; it’s a call to arms. Let’s embrace vigilance as our new crop to cultivate, nurturing cybersecurity measures as diligently as we do our fields. At Tech Support.Farm we safeguard your digital infrastructure from the cyber threats of the modern age. Together, as a community rooted in resilience, we can ensure that our agricultural legacy thrives not only in the soil but also in the cybersecurity of our agribusinesses. Let’s keep plowing ahead, secure in the knowledge that our collective efforts will keep the breadbasket of our country safe from cyber threats.

Post Author: Chris Sherman

Chris grew up in Minnesota’s lakes country and started his first job at 11yrs old doing chores at the neighbor’s dairy farm. Summers were spent cleaning stalls, hauling silage, milking cows, raking hay, and endless hours picking rocks.

After graduating high school, he spent 10 years in industrial manufacturing. In 2005 he began studying Lean Manufacturing through the Shingo Prize Institute and passed his Bronze Level exams. Later he went on to redesign several production processes, and led facilities through numerous technological upgrades. During this time, Chris pursued his formal education, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Rasmussen University of Fargo. Ultimately, he received his MBA from Benedictine University in 2016.

In 2014 Chris returned to agriculture and took a position with a North Dakota based ag construction company. He spent the next 8 years managing the company’s service department, overseeing large-scale irrigation projects, and construction of grain handling facilities across North Dakota and Minnesota.

Currently, Chris lives in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota with his wife and children. He sat on the board of directors for the Becker County Economic Development Authority and the county’s Housing Authority for six years. He served as the board president until the end of his term in 2020.