The agtech entrepreneurship and investment community, which is largely located in urban areas and focused on valuations and lines of code, is too disconnected from the agricultural industry it's trying to disrupt.
Our mission is to connect the agtech and agriculture communities by digging in to the "so what" of agtech. We profile innovators working at the intersection of agriculture and technology. We demystify emerging technologies, explore the implications of increased venture funding for agtech startups, and talk to farmers about what’s really adding value (or not) on farm.
This week, Dr. Rachel Hay, social scientist at James Cook University and boutique pig farmer, shares insights from her PhD on the role of women in agtech adoption. Published in 2014, Rachel’s findings still hold true and could be helpful for agtech companies looking to understand the industry and develop marketing strategies that can cut through the noise.
Today’s episode is the 4th in the theme Responding to Climate Risk, brought to you in partnership with the Australian Farm Institute. Check out episodes 42, 44 and 46 to hear more on this theme.
Today’s guest is Peter Thompson, a farmer based in rural Queensland, Australia that has been farming regeneratively before the word existed. He and his wife Nicki run grassfed beef cattle, do broadacre cropping, and have about 6000 acres of wilderness conservation country.
His farming philosophy has developed over a lifetime on the land, and in this episode he shares his insights about:
Finding compromises that are truly win-win;
Avoiding the temptation of silver bullet solutions;
The long list of technologies they’ve adopted; and
The importance of balance.
Today’s episode is a live recording from the Sydney AgTech meetup, where we hosted Dan Harburg, senior director at IndigoAg. IndigoAg is one of agtech’s biggest startups. They’ve raised over $650M, have over 1k staff, and are working to expand in the US and internationally.
Ben Krasnostein, co-founder and managing director of Kilara Capital, a company that helps facilitate investment opportunities that provide both commercial returns and environmental impacts.
Ben believes that we as consumers, primary producers, and global economies need to shift away from a mindset of extraction to one of regeneration. And he believes that business and technology are tools to enable this transition.
When it comes to agriculture, Ben sees great opportunities for farmers to benefit during this transition.
This episode is the 3rd the theme, responding to climate risk, brought to you in partnership with Australian Farm Institute, an independent organisation conducting research into the strategic issues facing Australian farmers and the agriculture sector. Find them on social media @AustFarmInstitu
Andrew Whitlock is a farmer who’s spent his career helping farmers to adopt science-based, practical, precision agriculture solutions.
With a deep seeded love of farming, Andrew has many insights into how farmers make decisions about technology adoption and getting agtech ready.
In this episode, Andrew shares these insights as well as lessons from his journey from agronomist to farmer and finally to founder of a precision agriculture business.
This episode is the fourth and final in our theme: Getting Agtech Ready. This theme is brought to you in partnership with Decipher, an easy-to-use precision agriculture solution helping growers and agronomists in 60 countries make data driven decisions. To learn more about Decipher, visit their website or follow them on twitter.
Cotton farmers Jon Elder and Karin Stark have looked to technology (and their neighbors) for innovation that can help them respond to climate risk. The 500 kW hybrid solar-diesel pumping system they’ve installed- Australia’s largest- is helping them combat rising energy costs.
As farmers who are passionate about the environment, Karin and Jon say it’s a win-win. The system is reducing their carbon footprint and building financial resilience. On top of that, Karin has been organizing field days and conferences to share her message that communication and trust are key to building knowledge and confidence when it comes to adopting new technologies that can help farmers respond to climate risk.
This episode is the second in the Responding to Climate Risk theme, brought to you in partnership with Australian Farm Institute, an independent organisation conducting research into the strategic issues facing Australian farmers and the agriculture sector. Find them on social media @AustFarmInstitu
In this episode we hear from a farming couple, Jess and Matt, about social media, robotics, and picking low hanging fruit when it comes to innovation. Jess and Matt Fealy returned to farm life after a long stint in the corporate world to grow avocados, mangoes, and limes in Far North Queensland.
For them, being agtech ready is about having an open mind, trying new things, and thinking beyond business-as-usual. Their advice is lean in and take control of what you can. But when it comes to implementing technology, to remember that innovation is not a band-aid for sound business practices- it’s a natural progression of good decision making.
Matt also shares insights from his recently completed Nuffield scholarship on robotics and automation in horticulture.
This episode is the third in the theme, Getting AgTech Ready, brought to you in partnership with Decipher, a precision agriculture solution that helps growers and agronomists make data driven decisions. Find them on social media @DecipherAgTech
Anika Molesworth is a passionate advocate for sustainable farming and climate change action. She can be heard across Australia and abroad discussing the balance of rural landscapes and managing climate risk in agricultural systems.
In this episode we talk about managing climate risk and how Anika’s family experience taking on a property in far west NSW sparked her interest in this style of agricultural study. We also look at the differences she sees between the Riverina and South East Asia, and what we can learn from each. We also touch on technology of course, and its role in managing climate risk and telling the stories of the land.
This is the first of four episodes in partnership with the Australian Farm Institute on the theme "responding to climate risk".
Lachlan Sutton, Agribusiness Manager for Southern Cross Farms, has been involved with agriculture for his whole life. He was born and bred on his family’s sheep and wheat farm, worked in various rural services roles for over a decade with Elders, and now looks after agtech for the Corporate farming outfit Southern Cross Farms.
Because of his experiences working in both corporate and family farming businesses, Lachlan is in the unique position of being able to shed light on his experience incorporating agtech into each of these different farming models. Lachie discusses 5 key insights that we hope will help farmers of all types make their businesses agtech ready.
This episode is the second of four that we will be releasing on the theme of “getting agtech ready.” This theme is brought to you in partnership with Decipher, an easy-to-use precision agriculture solution helping growers and agronomists in 60 countries make data driven decisions. To learn more about Decipher, visit their website or follow them on twitter.
Tim Rethus and his family are cropping farmers near Horsham in Victoria, Australia. They are early adopters and innovators who are leveraging best practices achieve their commitment to “sustainable, low cost farming”.
Tim has some valuable insights to share about adopting (and building) new technology, where to look for inspiration, deciding to shift to a whole new farming system, and more.
This episode is the first of four that we will be releasing on the theme of “getting agtech ready.” This theme is brought to you in partnership with Decipher, an easy-to-use precision agriculture solution helping growers and agronomists in 60 countries make data driven decisions. To learn more about Decipher, visit their website or follow them on twitter.
Anthony began as John Deere Australia’s first integrated solutions manager. John Deere’s precision ag technology was tested in the USA and then brought to Australia. Anthony was integral in joining the technology to the dealership, and then helping connect the value to the grower. After leaving John Deere, Anthony, not wanting to abandon the relationships he had fostered but also recognizing the gaps in the market around managing on-farm data, founded I-AG. I-AG aims to bridge the gap between, “I’ve bought this piece of equipment and we can’t get it to work” and “I can now use and harvest the data to benefit my production”.
This episode on Smarter Faster Farms was recorded live at evokeAG 2019, with Sarah facilitating a panel discussion between Anastasia Volkova, Flavia Tata Nardini, Jonah Williams, Will Wells and Martin Clough.
This episode on Alternative Farming was recorded live at evokeAG 2019, with Sarah facilitating a panel discussion between James Pateras, Dror Tamir, Olympia Yarger and Emma Parsons.
Matt Roesner is the technical director of Roesner Pty Ltd. based in Harvey, Western Australia, developers of the Marshall Multi Spread.
Episode 7 guest is Jen Medway, a sheep farmer and R&D manager at AgriFutures Australia.
Viv McCollum is the founder of AGKServices, a precision ag consulting firm, and Margaret Ayre is a senior research fellow in the Rural Innovation research group at University of Melbourne.
Will MacSmith is a farmer from Manildra in Central West New South Wales, developing a system to calculate feed efficiency for individual sheep.
Chris McLoghlin is the director of Mycelia Organics, the largest organic mushroom farming company in Australia currently supplying 90% of the market.
Dr. Jaci Brown is a Senior Research Scientist at CSIRO, and an expert in weather and climate science. In this episode, we discuss how researchers are working to better understand end users and agtech startups.
Brooke is a digital agriculture manager for McGregor Gourlay. On this episode, she discusses drones, working with startups, and personal relationships in AgTech.
Allison Kopf is the CEO and Founder of Agrylst, a software company providing indoor farmers with a virtual agronomist. Allison is a veteran in this industry, and an advocate for more women in agtech.
Kevin Heikes is an agtech veteran with a new idea for how to improve agriculture and the farmer’s bottom line using technology.
Seana Day brings experience in technology, finance, and agriculture to the agtech space where she is raising a fund, exploring the livestock space, and more.
Dr Rosie Bosworth is an investor, storyteller and food futurist from New Zealand. In this episode, we discuss the rise of alternative protein and the industry’s response.
Nathan Dorn is an agtech entrepreneur with a long career in the agriculture industry. In this episode, we discuss the future of robotics, how ag has changed in the last 100 years, and just how important it is to know the problem you’re solving.
Tony Holt, Partner at Square Peg Capital, is now an agtech investor after announcing that Sydney-based agtech startup AgriDigital joined their portfolio in early 2018. In this episode, recorded at the Sydney AgTech Meetup, Tony discusses this investment and their views on agtech in general.
Bruce Finney is the Executive Director of the Cotton Research and Development Corporation. The CRDC invests in research, development and extension to improve productivity and profitability for Australia’s 1250 cotton growers.