Stanislaus County’s oldest industry is ripe for integration of technology, which will allow the agricultural economy to grow in scope and efficiency. So say the organizers of Adapt or Die: Sowing the Seeds of an Innovative AgTech Ecosystem, a symposium slated for Thursday, Feb. 7 at the Ag Pavilion at Modesto Junior College. The event is sponsored by Opportunity Stanislaus, Better Food Ventures, Assemblyman Health Flora, The Mixing Bowl, National Ag Science Center, Modesto Junior College, and Bay Valley Tech Coding Academy with the intent of making the agriculture community aware of opportunities for sustainability and increased profitability through technology and introducing the industry to potential tech partners.
The event, which will run from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m., is focused on four solutions: actively engaging industry and education in conversations with actionable outcomes; preparing an industry-ready workforce; applying technology to real challenges in food and farming; and creating avenues that bring high-skilled, high-wage careers in AgTech to the Central Valley, an area with an international reputation for success in agriculture.
“With increasing pressure to use resources more efficiently, manage regulatory requirements, and respond to changing consumer demands, it has never been more important for ag to integrate modern technology into day-to-day operations,” said Seana Day, a Partner at Better Food Ventures. “The old adage ‘you can’t manage what you don’t measure’ is particularly true as ag producers adopting technology to be more productive are now also becoming more profitable, even in tough times.”
Day noted that as of 2018 an impressive $1.6 billion has been invested into AgTech to create solutions for producers and processors but the amount represents only a small segment of local companies/commodities.
“We are at a crossroads in terms of being a part of the conversation and growth or being left behind,” added Day. “This event is a great opportunity to learn, share and put Stanislaus on the AgTech map.”
Speakers include Assemblyman Heath Flora; Head of Research and Development for E. & J. Gallo Nick Dokoozlian; Chief Executive Officer of Hilmar Cheese David Ahlem; and California State Controller Betty Yee. The event will also feature information and demonstrations from a wide variety of vendors.
General tickets for the event are just $30. For more information or to register, visit agsciencecenter.org.