The 50th annual World Ag Expo kicked off Tuesday, February 14, in Tulare, California. Here are some of the top five moments heard and seen at booths and sessions throughout the first day of the show.
1. Let Sensors Do the Work
Looking for sensors for your dairy cows? AfiMilk’s Amir Ben Yehoshua touched on some of their sensors’ great perks in his session “Where Precision Dairy is Going in the Future.” The sensors can handle numerous tasks ranging from calving detection to anything that might be wrong in the barn. A farmer doesn’t even have to be in the area because it’s all done through a smartphone app. Yehoshua said there are three simple thumb rules to remember for sensors:
- “We can’t afford one-trick ponies, we have to prefer hybrid sensors for our dairy cows. We must be flexible and have sensors that do many things.”
- Select sensors that are game-changers for your farm and are diverse.
- Have multiple sensors but a single management tool.
2. Get Social!
In her presentation “Agriculture Needs Your Voice! Power It Up on Social Media,” Arleana Waller of Rich Girl Entertainment said social media is growing at a rapid pace and farms must keep up. Even if you’re just starting out with social media or you have been on it for a while, there are five rules of brands on social media that you should apply to your farm:
- Be diligent
- Be consistent
- Be relevant
- Be intentional
- Be yourself
3. BioFlora: Sustainable and Mighty
Promoting its line of sustainable agricultural products, BioFlora’s senior plant nutritionist Stephen Pavich said his company puts the grower first. “We want growers to know that this is the place to go for organics,” he said at the World Ag Expo. Pavich was there to tout BioFlora’s latest case studies with strawberries, grapes and wheat. The company provides soil treatments for nearly 75 crops and plans to push the envelope further. “We have a strong team and we back our work with science,” Pavich said. “We constantly test our products and want to make a difference with growers. We’re not a big company, but we’re small and mighty.”
4. Millennials: Stand Out When Entering the Workforce
Hosted by the Women in Agriculture for Mentoring and Empowerment, the Women in Ag Seminar kicked off the first day of the World Ag Expo with a “Career Hunt Essentials for College Students” session. Led by Shannon Douglas of CalAgJobs, the seminar dealt with the vital tools needed to get into the agriculture industry workforce. “For millennials coming into the workforce, don’t be afraid to show up (to a potential employer) in person,” Douglas said. “It’s a nice way to stand out.” Douglas continued the theme of standing out when discussing résumé building. “Do not copy or use templates when making your résumé,” she told the upper-class college students in attendance. “Be original.”
5. AeroVironment: The Simple Drone
A growing presence in the last several years of the World Ag Expo has been the drone industry as it continues to make waves in the ag arena. Unmanned aircraft systems manufacturer AeroVironmet premiered Quantix, its latest fixed-wing/multirotor hybrid drone. Quantix is built for a fully automated takeoff, flight and landing. The simple operations and innovative data analytics capabilities are what makes this unmanned system stand out, said Mark Dufau, director of sales for AeroVironment.
“Most systems offer an a la carte tray of services, but Quantix is a complete package based off an easy concept out of the box,” he said. Dufau explained that the drone uses RGB (red, green, blue) and NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) imagery to provide growers with actionable data insights. He stated that AeroVironment will continue testing with area growers and is expecting Quantix to enter the market by this year.