2019 Conference Agenda
Monday, January 14
Buses depart at 11:00 a.m.
IoT for Earth
Get the latest insights from Microsoft IoT leaders that are shaping the future of cloud, big data, and AI in agriculture. Immerse yourself with cutting-edge tools, technology and data-driven experiences that are helping transform our planet and farming communities over the next decade.
Location: The Microsoft Conference Center
8:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Welcome and Market Overview
James C. Sulecki, Chief Content Officer and Head of Global Precision Initiative, Meister Media Worldwide
The state of precision agriculture and digital farming as gleaned across the many markets that Meister Media serves.
9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Opening Keynote: “Innovate or Perish”
Dr. Kevin Freiberg, Best-selling Author, Speaker, Advisor, Freibergs.com
Technology and the competition move at such fast speed today that any business can be rendered irrelevant in a breathtakingly short time. Today more than ever, to stop innovating is to stop moving entirely – unless we embrace being uncomfortable and make the continuing evolution of our products and our processes a key priority on every day’s working agenda. Noted business speaker and international best-selling author Dr. Kevin Freiberg will kick off the Vision Conference with a message sure to leave you energized for our two days together and braced to seize the unprecedented opportunities that are right before us.
10:00 – 10:30 a.m.
10:30 – 11:15 a.m.
Precision Irrigation: Managing Ag’s Most Threatened Resource
Fred Ziari, President, IRZ Consulting
Perhaps no crop input is more threatened than the availability of quality water, especially in key production areas for specialty crops. Yet an array of newer technologies – sensors, IoT, microprocessors, smart nozzles, etc. – offers hope. But how will all these pieces come together, and how readily will these technologies be deployed, not just in the U.S. but in other parts of the world? You’ll walk away with an understanding of how readily agriculture will be able to respond to the inevitable water challenges of the future.
11:15 – 12:00 p.m.
Mind-Bending Precision Developments from Around the World
Marc Vanacht, Strategic Business Consultant, AG Business Consultants
From China to Latin America and everywhere in between, precision agriculture and digital farming are taking on a wide range permutations arising from unique regional needs and creative adaptations of technology. Put it all together and it adds up to a compelling picture of technology in service to agriculture like never before. You’ll walk away with ideas and inspiration for your own corner of the world.
12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Robotics and Automation for a Labor-Starved World
Robotics and automation are the potential answer to every labor-starved grower’s prayers – but where, realistically, do we stand on practical development? Breaking down this big, diverse, but highly promising sector, we’ll examine which solutions specifically are on the two- or three-year horizon for practical adaptation in agriculture, how and where they will be deployed, and snags that may impede their progress. You’ll get your best estimate yet at how soon robotics are likely to impact your and your customers’ business.
2:30 – 2:45 p.m.
2:45 – 3:45 p.m.
The Practical State of Data: Are We Ready for the Next Major Leap?
Jeremy Wilson, Technology Specialist, Crop IMS LLC
What to do with field data? This area has been discussed at length for numerous years and is now crowded with overzealous start-ups, and the agricultural industry is in dire need of a data management solution. We’ll present three or four likely scenarios which may finally solve this seemingly endless riddle. Head home with a far greater handle on how much longer data pain points are likely to persist and when data will start working for us rather than the other way around.
3:45 – 4:15 p.m.
4:15 – 5:15 p.m.
Bankrolling Precision: Who Pays?
Many stakeholders have their hands on the strings of precision agriculture and digital farming – not only producers, service providers, tech companies, and investors but also increasingly powerful land investors/managers and food/feed buyers. But the level of investment needed to continue propelling agriculture to a digital future is only going to increase. How will the future be bankrolled? You’ll walk away with a better handle on the economic and financial terms of engagement needed to keep digital agriculture moving forward.
9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Day Two Keynote: “The Coming Second Wave of Ag Tech”
Daniel Vradenburg, Board Chairman, Cavallo Ventures
The first wave of precision farming and ag tech has been exciting, but it has delivered less in the way of enduring value to farmers than was originally hoped. The second wave of ag tech, however, is poised to cause major disruptions in at least five key areas: water; synthetic pesticides and fertilizer; farm equipment; farm connectivity and production optimization, and the intersection of food, nutrition, and healthcare cost. You’ll hear first-hand the ambitions of four new startups and gain a far greater understanding of non-traditional companies planning to make seismic changes to agriculture.