The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) is touting technology as a way to help consumers feel comfortable with the rapid innovations in agriculture. They are talking directly to the tech community.
The USFRA, a coalition of farm organizations including the American Farm Bureau Federation, last week introduced a new communications concept. But instead of going to a big farm show, the group introduced the concept at CES, the largest consumer electronics show in the world, held each year in Las Vegas.
The new concept, called the SMART farm, is aimed at bridging the gap between the acceptance of innovation that’s a part of consumers’ everyday lives with the science and technology happening on today’s farms and ranches.
“Science and technology are embraced by consumers in all aspects of their lives,” said Brad Greenway, USFRA chairman and a South Dakota crop and pig farmer. “We want to demonstrate that farmers and ranchers are using similar technology to produce food in a way that is good for the soil, air, habitat and water on and around our farms and ranches — without compromise on cost, quality or taste.”
Just like people in other forward-looking industries, farmers use technology to be more efficient, nimble, and more equipped to protect the planet’s resources while producing food.
While at the big technology trade show, USFRA and its partners showcased a few examples of these innovations that, for example, result in better care for animals, fewer trips across the field and more precise application of water and crop inputs like fertilizer and pesticides.
“Media, influencers and consumers all understand the notion of ‘smart’ as a descriptor for the innovation and technology that helps improve their lives — the smart phone, the smart home, the smart classroom,” said Randy Krotz, USFRA Chief Executive Officer.
In the coming year, USFRA will incorporate programs and activities, such as 360° videos, infographics, events, speaking opportunities and more, to demonstrate SMART Farming practices.