Just as Teresa writes about conferences and I write about women in STEM and agriculture a new door opened for us! FarmFemmes received the opportunity to speak at the Global Big Data Conference in January in Santa Clara, California.
If you are in the Santa Clara area, or would like a reason to go to a warm place in the winter, I'd love to meet you there. The more faces of agriculture we can bring to a Big Data conference the better! The summary of my session is below.
Agriculture connects us all, we all eat, and that food was produced for us ensuring quality, sustainability and safety. At FarmFemmes we champion what agriculture is now, and what agriculture can be in the future. We focus on sharing our message through visually seeing and experiencing what farming looks like, telling the story through our families farms and those we work closely with. In this session you will see and experience what modern agriculture looks like and how that has advanced in the past 20 years. The difference innovations like GPS, smart equipment and IoT have made is changing the landscape of farming. Farmers can now use features like self-steering equipment that drives straight, optimizes routes and ensures efficiency which has resulted in reducing chemical overlap, lowering emissions from tractors and improving the efficacy of the food production. As GPS has changed the lives of farmers, big data and artificial intelligence continue to push the boundaries of how geo-spatial data can be used. Variable rate fertilizer applications are enabled to meet the needs of the land, ensuring a long term view of sustainability, while simultaneously ensuring that unnecessary nutrients are not affecting waterways. Soil testing enables field mapping at granular levels, identifying the needs very specifically, and in combination with big data technology and GPS can guide how the farmers equipment is calibrated to release seed and fertilizer. Chemical applications can be guided by advanced imagery, aided by satellites and machine learning algorithms focused on recognizing and identifying problems in the field that cannot always be scouted by land. Finally, harvest data can be collected and overlayed to understand the productivity of the land, enabling the farmer to make the best decisions for land management and production. Modern agriculture is rich with opportunity for artificial intelligence and machine learning. Farmers are innovative, problem solvers who are forward thinking, care about their land and want to ensure the sustainability for the next generation. If we as a community of Data Scientists and Artificial Intelligence programmers could focus our attention to what universally connects us all - our food - we might just be able to ensure that everyone in the world has enough to eat. I cannot think of a more exciting reason to be a part of modern agriculture.