Session
Title: Robotics in Agriculture Today
Date: Tue Jul 23, 2019
Time: 3:40 PM - 5:40 PM
Moderator: Paul Hishmeh
Automated Row Crop Operations

The Laird corn and soybean farm in NW Indiana has evolved from men managing mules to men watching automated machines perform field operations at a distance over the span of two generations.  Kyler Laird will present his experience with developing driverless farm equipment and discuss the future that he is pursuing in his new company, Sabanto, co-founded with Craig Rupp.

Kyler Laird (speaker)
CTO and Farmer
Sabanto
, IN, NA
US
Kyler grew up on his family's corn and soybean farm in NW Indiana. He worked alongside his father and grandfather, and spent long hours thinking about automation as he drove tractors and grain trucks in middle and high school. Kyler left the farm to study Computer Science at Purdue University. Toward the end of his Bachelor's, he noticed that ag needed the embedded computers he most enjoyed. Kyler eventually completed a Master's in Ag Engineering while working for the Engineering Computer Network. Kyler veered away from ag again to help found the University of California Merced, where he still works today.
Length (approx): 40 min
 
Let’s Talk Business: How to Optimize for Efficiency & Value Creation

What do you care about most in your business?  If you are anything like us, it’s providing more value to clients, doing that as efficiently as possible, and growing your business.  We will be using what we have learned in robotic soil sampling as a case study for this conversation on finding hidden efficiency and value opportunities.  We will have some fun with longstanding industry “traditions” and you will be challenged to look at things from a different angle. You will come away from this talk with practical strategies to increase your value and efficiency to your clients, in turn helping you grow your business.  

Drew Schumacher (speaker)
President
Rogo Ag LLC
US
Drew's passion is adding enough structure to launch ideas into orbit and keep them there. His current focus is on growth and execution at Rogo, an Ag-Tech startup helping farmers apply fertilizer more efficiently by using autonomous robots. Prior to Rogo, he turned around an Ag-safety training company, invested in real estate, designed large engines at Caterpillar, and earned a 4.0 Purdue BS in Mechanical Engineering. Drew lives with his wife Taryn in West Lafayette, IN, and in their spare time, love spending time with friends - especially when great food is involved.
Length (approx): 20 min
 
From Field to Barn: What We Have Learned 40k Robots Later

Technology in the dairy barn has evolved over the years from a desire to become more efficient and provide a more stable environment for dairy livestock. In the past 25 years we have seen a strong uptake in the field of dairy automation especially in all sizes of operations. From these early innovators we have begun to truly revolutionize dairy management from the data we have gathered, and has been able to give insight as to the direction our industry is heading. With dairy automation, we have found a way to manage the needs of an individual animal in a group setting.

Steve Sweet (speaker)
Senior Farm Management Support Advisor
Lely, North America
I was raised on my parents’ Dairy in Central Michigan. Growing up I was active on the dairy and after high school I attended and graduated from Michigan State University’s Institute of Agricultural Technology with a degree in Dairy Management in 2003. After MSU, I decided to continue my education at Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo, CA where I graduated in 2005 with a degree in Dairy Science with an emphasis on Dairy Management and Agribusiness. After college, I went to work for a large feed company as a Dairy Nutritionist and Consultant, after 3.5 years of working there, I transitioned to becoming a Independent Dairy Nutritionist and Consultant. Until 18 months ago when I went to work for Lely, North America as their Senior Farm Management Support Advisor. Currently, I have been married for 8 years to my wife Jill and have two sons, Henry age 6 and Jack age 4. Today, we live just “down the road” from the family farm.
Length (approx): 20 min
 
Autonomous Tractors Are in the Fields Today!

Smart Ag is a company that has developed a state of the art Autonomous Platform that will be commercial released in April of 2020.  Their system is in the final round of Beta testing this summer and fall.  Tim Norris Business Director for the Eastern Region of Smart Ag, will share the path that the company has taken to get to where they are today, some of the obstacles that they have had to overcome, their vision for the future of their platform and some obstacles that they have to figure out in order to obtain that vision.  

Tim Norris (speaker)
Eastern Region Business Director
Smart Ag
Tim Norris has has always had a passion for Agriculture and Technology. He had his eyes opened the first time he saw a Variable Rate Fertilizer Spreader in operation in Central Illinois in 1995. He has been involved in Precision Ag ever since. He helped start the Precision Ag Departments at 3 different, Central Ohio Co-op's and started his own Precision Ag Business, Ag Info Tech in 2004. Ag Info Tech was named 2015's Most Valuable Dealership by Precision Farming Dealer Magazine in 2015. Tim grew Ag Info Tech from a one man operation in 2004 to 12 team members that sold over $3 million of Precision Ag Technologies and Services per year. Tim believes in providing Precision with a Purpose. Helping his customers solve problems with technology has been his driving force. Tim has since sold Ag Info Tech to two Co-op's and two of his Team Members. Tim is excited to have taken on the challenge of developing the Eastern Region Business unit for Smart Ag. Smart Ag has developed an autonomous platform to help with one of agricultures greatest needs, labor. Tim is taking his experience and helping develop Smart Ag's dealers to be able to bring autonomy to farmers in a safe, beneficial, and professional way.
Length (approx): 20 min
 
Robotics in Agriculture Today Panel
Kyler Laird (speaker)
CTO and Farmer
Sabanto
, IN, NA
US
Kyler grew up on his family's corn and soybean farm in NW Indiana. He worked alongside his father and grandfather, and spent long hours thinking about automation as he drove tractors and grain trucks in middle and high school. Kyler left the farm to study Computer Science at Purdue University. Toward the end of his Bachelor's, he noticed that ag needed the embedded computers he most enjoyed. Kyler eventually completed a Master's in Ag Engineering while working for the Engineering Computer Network. Kyler veered away from ag again to help found the University of California Merced, where he still works today.
Drew Schumacher (speaker)
President
Rogo Ag LLC
US
Drew's passion is adding enough structure to launch ideas into orbit and keep them there. His current focus is on growth and execution at Rogo, an Ag-Tech startup helping farmers apply fertilizer more efficiently by using autonomous robots. Prior to Rogo, he turned around an Ag-safety training company, invested in real estate, designed large engines at Caterpillar, and earned a 4.0 Purdue BS in Mechanical Engineering. Drew lives with his wife Taryn in West Lafayette, IN, and in their spare time, love spending time with friends - especially when great food is involved.
Steve Sweet (speaker)
Senior Farm Management Support Advisor
Lely, North America
I was raised on my parents’ Dairy in Central Michigan. Growing up I was active on the dairy and after high school I attended and graduated from Michigan State University’s Institute of Agricultural Technology with a degree in Dairy Management in 2003. After MSU, I decided to continue my education at Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo, CA where I graduated in 2005 with a degree in Dairy Science with an emphasis on Dairy Management and Agribusiness. After college, I went to work for a large feed company as a Dairy Nutritionist and Consultant, after 3.5 years of working there, I transitioned to becoming a Independent Dairy Nutritionist and Consultant. Until 18 months ago when I went to work for Lely, North America as their Senior Farm Management Support Advisor. Currently, I have been married for 8 years to my wife Jill and have two sons, Henry age 6 and Jack age 4. Today, we live just “down the road” from the family farm.
Tim Norris (speaker)
Eastern Region Business Director
Smart Ag
Tim Norris has has always had a passion for Agriculture and Technology. He had his eyes opened the first time he saw a Variable Rate Fertilizer Spreader in operation in Central Illinois in 1995. He has been involved in Precision Ag ever since. He helped start the Precision Ag Departments at 3 different, Central Ohio Co-op's and started his own Precision Ag Business, Ag Info Tech in 2004. Ag Info Tech was named 2015's Most Valuable Dealership by Precision Farming Dealer Magazine in 2015. Tim grew Ag Info Tech from a one man operation in 2004 to 12 team members that sold over $3 million of Precision Ag Technologies and Services per year. Tim believes in providing Precision with a Purpose. Helping his customers solve problems with technology has been his driving force. Tim has since sold Ag Info Tech to two Co-op's and two of his Team Members. Tim is excited to have taken on the challenge of developing the Eastern Region Business unit for Smart Ag. Smart Ag has developed an autonomous platform to help with one of agricultures greatest needs, labor. Tim is taking his experience and helping develop Smart Ag's dealers to be able to bring autonomy to farmers in a safe, beneficial, and professional way.
Length (approx): 20 min