This year marks Canada’s 150 birthday! To celebrate this occasion the International Agriculture and Agri-food Committee of the Calgary Stampede (IAC) has created the IAC Canada 150 Reflections Project. We have asked industry leaders who offer a wealth of experience and insights across a broad range of industries to share their thoughts and perspectives on what has been the biggest advancement in the agriculture/agri-food industry.
From the Alberta Wheat Commission to local producers, here are some of those reflections.
Andrew Campbell, Dairy and Grain Farmer, @freshairfarmer
If there was one word to describe the biggest advancements in agriculture it would be precision. Precision to have a planter, tractor and satellite drop a seed in the perfect spot. Precision to identify feed nutrients to get just the right diet for livestock. Precision to be able to monitor air quality in a barn, or crop quality in a field, right from a smartphone. Precision is and will continue to be the biggest advancement to agriculture as we grow more food with less resources.
For myself, I’d have to say one of the biggest factors allowing agriculture to advance has been our access to information and how we communicate. With smartphones, there is a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips. With texting, tweeting and video chatting we can easily communicate with others down the road or across the country. One of the biggest positives is how we in the agriculture industry can communicate with consumers to answer questions about farming and show what we do on our farms.
As a mom and fourth generation farmer, the biggest advancement in agriculture is connecting with consumers. Farmers are seen as one of the most trusted sources and I’m grateful to be able to share my story to lots of people within my community and online. Consumers are curious about where their food comes from and I’m proud to say it’s from families like mine.
Jennifer Christie, Event Chair, Global 4-H Network Summit, @SavvyFarmGirl
In my short career, I have seen the Internet and “big data” lead to the greatest advancements in the agriculture industry. The ability to analyze massive amounts of information in seconds and transmit real-time management information has mainstreamed robotic technology on dairy farms and allowed for more precise nutrient applications in field. This has resulted in healthier animals, less environmental impact and higher quality products being sold to consumers.
In my opinion one the greatest advancements in the agriculture/agri-food industry has been the smartphone. This little everyday device has given a farmer the world’s information at their fingertips while in the field. Agriculture is about putting science and theory into motion; the smart phone takes this to the next level. It’s a platform in which so many other tasks are made simple whether it’s communication like e-mails or Twitter to local weather apps or cloud-based farm management software to operating drones.