Thought leaders meet at the event to build on concepts and explore partnerships
Denise Hockaday, Climate Commercial Lead – Canada, Climate FieldView, says she was attending the Farms.com Precision Agriculture Conference and Ag Technology Showcase in November in Saskatoon because she wanted to connect with farmers.
“I was pleasantly surprised that one of the side benefits of attending the conference, was that it was also a great venue to connect with leading precision agriculture businesses and see what opportunities might exist for us to work together,” says Hockaday. “With new technologies and opportunities, it was an effective way for entrepreneurs with great precision agriculture business ideas to assess the current precision agriculture marketplace, identify us as a partner, and then approach us about working together.”
It’s not just big business that had the unexpected benefit of introducing companies to one another at the well-respected conference. The 2019 Farms.com Precision Agriculture Conference and Ag Technology Showcase will be the sixth time the event is held in Ontario.
Norm Lamothe, Head, UAS Agriculture (pictured left at his first Farms.com precision agriculture conference), and David MacMillan, President & CEO, both with Deveron UAS, remember the first time they attended the Precision Ag Conference in loud orange t-shirts to promote their new company. “We knew that applying data solutions to agriculture could make a significant impact on the industry, the conference gave us a great venue to meet with like-minded individuals,” Lamothe says. The exchange of ideas at the conference really helped us to understand practical solutions to help farmers.”
“The surprising thing was that other exhibitors did not see us as competitors,” says MacMillan. “The best and the brightest companies attend these conferences. It was great to have an exchange of ideas with companies that were as excited by the opportunities that precision ag was offering the agriculture industry as we were.”
MacMillan says that he attends the conference to get his “7 big strategic action items” for the year. He says the ideas come, not just from the presentations and workshops, but from the conversations he has on the trade show floors, with farmer, fellow exhibitors and sponsors, as well as the conversations he has with attendees over a beer during the social components of the events.
As a farmer himself, Norm says that he already understands some of the pain points related to digesting data for farmers to be able to put into practice, but he says that chatting with farmers at the conference allows him to get a better understanding of those pain points, so that he can develop more effective precision ag solutions for the future.
Deveron began engaging with both Climate FieldView and A & L Laboratories at the Farms.com Precision Agriculture event. They now have formal working relationship.
Nevin McDougall, President & Chief Commercial Officer with A & L Canada Laboratories says the Precision Ag Conference exposes him to thought leadership in precision agriculture. “The conference also provides excellent connections through its networking opportunities.”
McDougall says A & L Canada Laboratories and Deveron, which are now working together, first met at the 2016 Conference. “We did not immediately know what the opportunity was,” he continues, “but we understood one another’s businesses and how the industry was evolving. That has now dovetailed into a working opportunity.”
McDougall says the industry needs leadership from conferences like this to facilitate the dialogue on emerging issues and opportunities.
Zachary Harmer, North American Sales Manager, SoilOptix® Inc says that he attends the conference because he likes to learn about the different technologies and services available to farmers. He says it is an effective way to educate himself and the company about the latest in precision agriculture and begin to develop working relationships with other companies. “What data or technology platforms exist or are being developed that could complement our soil data? What are the next steps to providing farmers with the ideal precision agriculture solution.?” Harmer considers.
Harmer says that the partnership with Climate FieldView was made possible because of previous precision agriculture conferences providing opportunities for both companies to understand that they had similar goals, and that they wanted to have a consistent offering to farmers.
“Practical, quality solutions at a fair price to farmers is the one goal all attendees will share at the 2019 Farms.com Precision Agriculture Conference and Ag Technology Showcase at the London Convention Centre, London, Ontario, February 5th and 6th," says Andrew Bawden, Strategic Advertising and Business Manager, Farms.com Media.
For more information, or to register for the 2019 Farms.com Precision Agriculture Conference & Ag Technology Showcase, visit farms.com/precision-agriculture/eastern-conference-2019/