The Intersection of Agriculture and Technology: 2018 AgTech Conference of the South

agriculture drone in green field agriculture technology

Georgia’s first conference dedicated to innovation and entrepreneurship that is shaping the future of agriculture

Imagine cows choosing when they want to be milked by robots, significantly increasing their milk production.

Imagine an app that allows a farmer to snap a picture of a blighted leaf, and then be able to obtain a pathogen diagnosis within seconds, instead of weeks, saving an entire crop.

Or imagine livestock emailing their farmer when they have a temperature, or are ready to give birth, saving lives and money, and reducing unnecessary antibiotics. 1 2

No longer “just your imagination…” (with compliments to The Temptations). These are breakthroughs in AgTech today, and just in the nick of time. Current estimates put over 9 billion people on this planet by 2050, and by God, these people will need to EAT.

The United Nations opines that we will need to increase food production by 70% just to keep up. Right now, current yearly growth rate of food production has stagnated at a low of 1.9%. 3  It is a good thing that data scientists now predict that agribusiness will be the new frontier of the innovation economy.

Farmers know that they must adopt data-driven insights and automation to increase yields in the future and combat labor shortages, rising costs, and uncertain climate. As a part of this new “predictive” agriculture, they will need to embrace imagery, sensors, and artificial intelligence platforms. 4

This summer, tech companies on the bleeding edge of this new frontier of innovation will be congregating in Alpharetta, Georgia for the first-ever AgTech Conference in the Southeast, July 23-25. The conference is the brainchild of Tech Alpharetta, a group of 15 technology CIO/CEOs who have been building our technology ecosystem for the 640 tech companies within Alpharetta’s borders for the past 5 years. As a founding member of Tech Alpharetta, I am excited to participate and hope you will sign up and join me at the beautiful Avalon Hotel Convention Center in the heart of Alpharetta.

One star presenter of the conference will be artificial intelligence pioneer Craig Ganssle, founder of CAMP3. During the conference, CAMP3 will be launching a breakthrough AI product called FARMWAVE.

My friend Craig likes to say that early failures in AI stem from weak databases: “Garbage in—garbage out.” So, by partnering with UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, FARMWAVE utilizes an extensive catalog of  over 35,000 plant and crop species, collected over 20 years. This database allows FARMWAVE to diagnose plant pathogens and recommend the right treatments with 95% accuracy, within seconds.  This puts FARMWAVE- developed for iOS, Android and web- 20 years ahead of the competition. 5

Let’s imagine—9 billion people, not only living in peace, but also eating well.

Bon appetit, my friends—and hope to see you AgTechSouth later this summer!