Monarch Tractor announced today that the first production unit of their fully electric, autonomous tractor is being deployed at Wente Vineyards, the oldest, continuously operated family winery in the United States.
The Monarch Tractor was announced in December, 2020. Since that time, the company has been busy ramping up their manufacturing line and taking the first orders for the tractor. The company is based in Livermore, California and has deep ties to the California winemaking industry. Their “chief farming officer” is Carlo Mondavi of the famous Robert Mondavi Winery family. Carlo is a grandson of Robert Mondavi. As a result, Monarch sees a huge opportunity to deliver a solution that helps improve the productivity of vineyard owners throughout the world. Although, unlike many of the competing autonomous AG-tech solutions, the Monarch Tractor has a ubiquitous, compact tractor footprint, making it immediately familiar to any small to medium sized farmer.
“We are thrilled to announce the ahead-of-schedule deployment of the first Monarch Tractor,” said Praveen Penmetsa, chief executive officer, Monarch Tractor. “Our tractor has undergone strenuous real-world testing and is now ready to get to work and deliver on the promise of a more sustainable and efficient farming operation.”
Strong, regional partnership
Monarch Tractor and Wente have been partners throughout the tractor’s beta phase. The two companies found synergy with Monarch’s traditional farming features, cutting-edge technology and sustainable capabilities, merging the Livermore wine region with Silicon Valley tech.
This Wente Vineyard’s deployment is literally in the Monarch’s backyard, only 20 miles from the Monarch Tractor Fremont headquarters. This makes it convenient for Monarch’s engineering team to visit Wente on a regular basis and quickly update software or hardware as needed to improve the functionality. The deployment at Wente was enabled through a grant from the California Air Resources Board Farming Agricultural Replacement Measures for Emission Reductions (FARMER) program program. The FARMER Program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment, particularly in underserved communities.
“We’ve seen firsthand the benefits of the Monarch Tractor in our vineyards,” said Niki Wente, Wente Vineyards. “Monarch Tractor represents the future of tractors and to be the first customer deployment is especially exciting as we kick off this new era of sustainable farming.”
“Monarch has demonstrated great leadership in the manufacturing industry to help reduce air pollution and protect the climate with their innovative zero-emission farming equipment,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District. “The Air District was pleased to award Monarch this grant funding to further this work.”