Blyth-based agricultural security firm officially opens
BY DENNY SCOTT
Blyth’s Mark Beaven is bringing his 25 years of experience in agriculture and business to a new venture focused on security of all types in agriculture with the new company EthoGuard.
Beaven announced the opening of the business earlier this week, aiming to fill a gap in agricultural services not just locally, but across a wider service area as well.
“Most of my experience is in the biosecurity field,” he said. “But we’re expanding by learning other security platforms to combat risks and threats that agricultural operations are facing, whether it’s cyber [security] or just an increase in rural crime.”
Currently based out of Blyth, Beaven said the company is going to focus on four basic fields of service: three forms of security and one new initiative, an emergency response team.
For biosecurity, the company will offer training and planning for biosecurity systems, as well as reviews, audits and biosecurity products.
Cyber security will also be a major focus for the company.
“We’re very fortunate to be able to build a team of cyber security specialists,” Beaven said. “Agriculture is really overexposed and underprotected when it comes to cyber [security risks].”
He explained that there are multiple ways the company can help from the basics like virus protection right up to complete cyber protection security packages.
Facility security, the third pillar of the company, will be completed through a partnership with a company out of New Jersey, Beaven said, which will allow for entrance control, asset tracking and a whole range of products that will, among other things, help combat increasing rural crime incidents.
Beaven explained that fleet management will be available, alongside the ability to track equipment, including four-wheelers, trucks and tractors, at a moment’s notice to help deter crime or recover stolen equipment.
The fourth initiative, the emergency response team, is a smaller component of the business right now, Beaven said, but he hopes it will continue to grow.
“There is a real need for a small crew that is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in case of emergency,” he said.
The crew could help with anything from animal health emergencies to transportation problems.
EthoGuard coming into being in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic is no coincidence, Beaven said, as the pandemic had him thinking about biosecurity.
Initially, he said he was considering putting his biosecurity experience into practice for the general public, saying that agricultural biosecurity could be applied to helping contain the disease. In the end, however, he decided to expand on security in the agricultural field, focused on primary production, agricultural businesses and agri-food processing.
“We want to make sure that we can do what we can to reduce or eliminate threats that the industry is facing,” he said.
“At the same time, though, there are technologies that aren’t in the agriculture sector that the industry could benefit from,” he said. “That’s our plan. We’re really focused on developing strategic partnerships with companies focusing on other industries. We’ll see if their technology can be implemented or adapted to benefit agriculture.”
Beaven said there will be more announcements regarding partnerships between EthoGuard and other security and technology companies in the coming weeks.
For more information, visit www.ethoguard.com.