A Global Precision Agriculture Experience

2011 has been an interesting year. Weather issues in my area and the rest of the U.S. have created some excitement in the markets. We had record rainfall and a full soil profile that kept me from getting into the fields in a timely fashion. Since harvest was late last year (finished October 1st) I decided to take the preventative plant option on my insurance and looking back I am liking that decision. What a year to remember.

This year is also exciting for me because I am a 2011 Eisenhower Fellow for Agriculture. Their statement is “Eisenhower Fellowships engages emerging leaders from around the world to enhance their professional capabilities, broaden their contacts, deepen their perspectives, and unite them in a diverse, global community – a network where dialogue, understanding, and collaboration lead to a more prosperous, just, and peaceful world.” Their website is: www.efworld.org.

This is the first year that there have been two Agriculture Fellows thanks to Monsanto becoming a sponsor. Rhett Proctor of Great Barrington, MA is the other Agriculture Fellow who finished his travels to Australia and New Zealand. The agriculture committee is looking at ways to become stronger in the years to come.

As a Fellow, I was able to choose my area of study which is precision agriculture and remote sensing. I will be traveling to Argentina (2 weeks), Uruguay (1 week), and Brazil (2 weeks). I leave on October 14th and return on November 26th. I will be spending an extra week in Brazil over Thanksgiving with my wife and two boys.

My journey as a Fellow has already started. Last September I traveled to EF headquarters in Philadelphia, PA to interview. Former USDA Undersecretary Jim Moseley, DTN Executive Editor Marcia Taylor, EF Vice President Dan Giesler, and two EF program officers conducted the 20 minute interview. I came out of the interview feeling good but scratching my head because there was no small talk, they proceeded right into the questions.

I learned later that fall that I was chosen as an Agriculture Fellow and in April I traveled to Philadelphia to meet the Multi National Fellows (MNF) from all parts of the world. Also, the nine other 2011 U.S. Fellows were present. This was a wonderful experience to meet these top level people from other countries and here in the U.S. I look forward to staying in touch with them and I hope that we can do justice to the EF motto.

Since April I have been preparing for my travels to South America. I bought the Rosetta Stone software for Spanish and I need to get back to the lessons. This is just one part of my preparations. Flights have been booked, hotels reserved, Visas and shots acquired and meetings tentatively scheduled.

I leave at 5:30 am PST on October 14th and arrive in Argentina at 8:00 am on the 15th. Since this is a Saturday it will give me a chance to get acclimated and settled for this new chapter of my life. I will visit with EF Alumni and get a chance to see what goes on in other cultures.

Some of the tentative meetings in Argentina are with Aapersid (Argentina No-Till Farmers Association), the Grobo Group (world renown agribusiness), AACREA (Association of Agriculture Experimentation), ag journalist Hector Huergo, INDEAR (biotechnology), Sociedad Rural Argentina (promotion of agriculture heritage), and La Rural (world’s largest agribusiness show). I will be meeting with the presidents, CEOs and key people of these great organizations.

From Argentina I will travel to Uruguay. Originally I was just to travel to Argentina and Brazil, but through LinkedIn I put out a call for help and was offered an opportunity for some meetings. Meetings for this portion of my trip have yet to be scheduled.

The final leg is Brazil. At this time it looks like I will be traveling to Sao Paulo, Piracibaca, Campinas, Ribeirao Preto, Brasilia, Belo Horizonte and will spend a week with my family in Rio de Janeiro. I will also be spending some time with my friend and 2011 Brazilian Fellow, Flavio Nogueira (Secretary General Federation of Industries of the State of Minas Gerais).

The tentative meetings are with Monsanto (President Andre Dias), State University of Sao Paulo, State University of Campinas, Agronomic Institute of Campinas, Lanagro Sao Paulo (National Agriculture Lab), U.S. Embassy, Ministry of Science and Technology and the State Secretary for Science and Technology in Belo Horizonte.

In all three countries I will be visiting with EF Fellows and having meals with them. I look forward to talking with them about leadership and I will try to tie in agriculture to their respective fields. Farm visits will also play a big part on my adventure and I look forward to learning their views on precision ag and to learn about their crops and farming practices.
At the forefront of my Fellowship, I am going to base questions on the fact that world agriculture needs to feed 9.5 billion people by the year 2050. Technology is going to pave the way and I hope that I can help in making that happen.

Even though I will be traveling to different countries, I do know that they are facing some of the same issues that we in the U.S. are facing. Environmental activists, trade barriers, trade agreements, and governmental regulations that hinder successful agriculture in the U.S is also present in South American countries.

At the time of writing this I am trying to finish up harvest, I have had much time to think and plan. Plan not only visits, but questions that I should ask these high level people that make their respective countries work. I am curious about their thoughts on precision agriculture and the role it can play in meeting the challenges that agriculture is facing.

As I stated, I am very excited about this opportunity and look forward to expanding my mind and making new friends that I hope will make a difference for agriculture’s future. I will be writing about my experience and thoughts at http://theunmannedfarmer.blogspot.com.

I hope that you will follow me on my journey and I would like to hear from you on your thoughts on any agriculture subject that you would like to know more about while I am there or in general. It would be cool to try to make this somewhat interactive. Until next time, keep it between the fences!

Leave a Reply

One comment on “A Global Precision Agriculture Experience

  1. Hello. I’m an agronomist working with precision agriculture in Argentina. I’d like to know more about your ideas or thoughts on this subject.
    Have a nice trip.

Guidance Stories
GuidanceDigiFarm VBN Announces Supplier Agreement with AGCO
September 7, 2017
DigiFarm VBN LLC, an agricultural technology company, announces it has signed a supplier agreement with AGCO Corp., a world-leading manufacturer Read More
Young Corn Field
GuidanceOutback Guidance Launches Hands-Free Farming Campaign at Farm Progress Show
August 30, 2017
Outback Guidance, a leader in automated steering and advanced precision farming solutions, and a part of AgJunction, Inc., is launching Read More
GuidanceRaven Announces 2 New In-Cab Technologies
August 23, 2017
Raven Industries announces the release of two new precision agriculture products: RS1 and CR7. The RS1 combines autosteer, GPS, and Read More
Hagie sprayer
GuidanceWhat’s New and What’s Next from Hagie Manufacturing
May 16, 2017
Many were surprised by John Deere’s announcement last spring that it had acquired majority ownership of Hagie Manufacturing Co., a Read More
Trending Articles
AmericasIPNI Brazil: Precision Agriculture to Improve Nutrient Use Efficiency
October 16, 2017
As I mentioned in my last article, the IPNI Brazil Symposium on Precision Agriculture was held in early October in Read More
Decision Support SoftwareFarmers Edge, Service Provider Talk High-Frequency Imagery Deal
October 11, 2017
As the domestic ag tech market continues to mature and develop as we barrel into 2018, another intriguing partnership has Read More
Corn Field Sunset
Industry NewsEFC Systems’ FieldAlytics Now Available in Canada
September 29, 2017
According to an AgPR news release, FieldAlytics is now available in Canada through FieldAlytics Solutions Canada, Inc. This new company Read More
Decision Support SoftwareSciFi in Ag: Chatbot with your Plants?
September 26, 2017
(Article Notes: This monthly column takes some crazy sounding ideas and applies them to the field of Ag Tech. The Read More
Robotics/Labor SaversDeepfield Robotics to Showcase Precision Agriculture Technology at Agrilevante
September 22, 2017
Deepfield Robotics is preparing to showcase its robotics and automation technologies for the agriculture market at the Agrilevante event, in Read More
Farmer with iPad
Australia/New ZealandAgrian Expands into Australia
September 20, 2017
In line with a familiar growth trajectory, Agrian Inc. is moving into Australia with a physical support and sales presence Read More
Latest News
Specialty CropsOpinion: Agriculture’s Big Data is Coming to You
October 20, 2017
If you think your world is changing at a dizzying pace, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. That’s my takeaway from Read More
Ohio State
Data ManagementRecap: The Ohio State University Explores Ag Tech ROI a…
October 19, 2017
How do soybean producers begin to extract value from the vast selection of digital tools available in agriculture today? At Read More
Industry NewsAGCO, Climate Corp. Announce Digital Partnership
October 19, 2017
AGCO announced today a new digital partnership with The Climate Corp. that will provide AGCO customers the option to connect Read More
Industry NewsFieldReveal Inks Agreement with Texas Agronomy Outfit
October 19, 2017
FieldReveal has entered into an agreement with Ag Producers Cooperative of Dalhart, TX, to offer the full FieldReveal precision ag Read More
corn weather
Data ManagementSeasonal Weather Outlooks: High Risk Worth the Reward?
October 18, 2017
Often, when discussing weather service needs with a potential client, I am asked about the possibility of providing long-range weather Read More
Industry NewsAgDNA Announces Dealership Expansion
October 18, 2017
This week AgDNA surpassed their growth projections, announcing partnerships with eight new multi-store dealerships across the mid-west, mid-south and east Read More
AsiaIndia Maps 185 Districts Through Remote Sensing for Hor…
October 17, 2017
India’s Union Ministry of Agriculture has mapped 185 districts under a project using remote sensing technology to identify areas best Read More
AmericasIPNI Brazil: Precision Agriculture to Improve Nutrient …
October 16, 2017
As I mentioned in my last article, the IPNI Brazil Symposium on Precision Agriculture was held in early October in Read More
Data ManagementUsing Vector Soil Data in a Raster World?
October 16, 2017
Why spend the time and resources to extract the NRCS ‘Soil SURvey GeOgraphic’ (SSURGO) soil polygons only to display the Read More
Precision Irrigation
Precision Irrigation4 Important Ways Precision Technology Is Impacting Irri…
October 12, 2017
Water management is becoming an increasing concern in agriculture, whether that’s dealing with too much or too little water. This Read More
DronesDroneLife: Global Ag Drone Industry Potentially Worth $…
October 12, 2017
Via DroneLife.com’s Jason Reagan: According to an August study by Esticast Research & Consulting Market Research, the global commercial drone Read More
Decision Support SoftwareFarmers Edge, Service Provider Talk High-Frequency Imag…
October 11, 2017
As the domestic ag tech market continues to mature and develop as we barrel into 2018, another intriguing partnership has Read More
Planet Labs satellite imagery
Industry NewsFarmers Edge, Planet Labs Announce Multi-Year Exclusive…
October 11, 2017
Farmers Edge announced today a strategic partnership to bring Planet’s best-in-class global monitoring platform to the Farmers Edge precision agriculture Read More
John Deere Combine Harvester at Hagen Farms
Decision Support SoftwareAg and Rail Equipment Uptime Critical for Good Harvest
October 9, 2017
Across the American Heartland, growers have started harvesting their crops for what the USDA predicts will be a good yield Read More
Ag Drone
Industry NewsBotlink, SST Announce Integration
October 6, 2017
Botlink has announced a seamless flow of actionable aerial data into the agX Platform. This integration makes it quick and Read More
corn field
Industry NewsEFC Purchases AgSolver Assets, Establishes New Sustaina…
October 6, 2017
EFC Systems announced it has purchased the assets of AgSolver Inc. The move establishes a new Agronomic Planning and Sustainabilty Read More
Ag Retailer and Grower WinField United
Australia/New ZealandNew Technologies vs. Agronomic Knowledge in Precision A…
October 4, 2017
As the days are getting longer and the temperature is starting to rise, Australian broadacre growers are gearing up for Read More
Field Sky Beauty shot
Industry NewsClimate, West Central Distribution Join Forces on Phosp…
October 3, 2017
To help farmers improve productivity and return on their investment, West Central Distribution and The Climate Corporation have teamed up Read More