The Top 10 People In Precision Agriculture
2. Teddy Bekele, WinField U.S., Vice President of Information Technology
Having left the tech world three and a half years ago to join WinField/Land O’Lakes to lead information technology at the Minnesota-based conglomerate, Teddy Bekele’s path to inclusion on our Top 10 People list perhaps took a bit of a different track than many of his counterparts.
“I was born in Ethiopia and my dad was a farmer when I was first born. A couple years after I was born he lost all of his land to a dictator that had decided all farmland now belonged to the government,” Bekele says. “So my father got out of farming, but then he went and sold crop protection products for Bayer (and other companies) for 20 years, but he always told me to stay out of farming.”
His father’s career advice aside, today Bekele spends a good chunk of his day-to-day managing and developing WinField’s R7 Tool. Mobile device compatibility was one of many areas that he made sure WinField stayed focused on as they worked towards R7’s development.
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“We said ‘Hey there’s a real opportunity now because people are carrying these devices (iPads, tablets, mobile phones), now we can get R7 to a bigger audience’, and it’s a simple way that we can go to the field, quickly bring up that field and then with just a couple clicks get some insight about what is going on with the field.”
Going forward, Bekele and his team plan to continue focusing on improving the immediacy of the R7 Tool’s impact.
“We’re going to continue down the path of leveraging imagery better, so we’ve got a tool now coming out that actually looks at low-resolution imagery, so say you’re an agronomist and today you’ve got 50 fields to look at. How do you zero down on the three to four fields you need to focus on? It kind of gives you these fields are trending up, these fields are trending down, and you decide which ones you want to look at.”