Session
Title: Valuing Data and Analytics
Date: Wed Jul 24, 2019
Time: 4:00 PM - 5:20 PM
Moderator: Debasis Dan
Microsoft Agriculture Engineering

Large scale Ag focused data collection and advanced modeling techniques have opened the flood gates of transformational changes in the entire Ag ecosystem. Data driven Ag insights are fundamentally derived from synergistic use of large amount of data collected from multiple devices, sources, locations and are also collected continuously over time. This convergence of geospatial big data, molecular biology driven big data, IoT and AI/ML and their effective use in an industrial fashion has a huge entry barrier. Microsoft through Azure cloud is developing a digital agriculture platform to specifically address all of the above challenges and thereby expedite time to market the entire gamut of data and analytics driven products/insights being conceived and developed by seed and agri commodity enterprises, agri-finance enterprises, agtech startups, and non-government and policy making institutions.   

Debasis Dan (speaker)
Principal Data Scientist
Microsoft Agriculture Engineering
Debasis Dan is principal data and applied scientist at Microsoft India. He currently leads the agriculture data and modeling program at Microsoft Azure Global team. He has more than a decade long industry experience in computational life sciences and digital agriculture. He graduated with PhD in Statistical Physics from Institute of Physics, India.
Length (approx): 10 min
 
FarmBeats

Andrew Nelson is a dryland farmer from the Palouse region of Eastern Washington. He is also a software consultant and has combined his passion for technology and farming knowledge to put FarmBeats to good use.  He will share his experience of using FarmBeats technology on his farm and how it fits with his pragmatic approach to farming.

Andrew Nelson (speaker)
Farmer/FarmBeats
Andrew Nelson is a 5th generation Farmer in the Palouse Region of Eastern Washington. Before moving back to the family farm, Andrew was a software consultant in the Seattle Area and led software teams in developing solutions for multiple Fortune 100 companies. Since he has moved back to the farm, he has increased the size of his operation by 50%. He continues to do software consulting for clients around the U.S. as well as manage his farm. His approach to technology on his farm is to make his operation run more efficiently, reduce costs, increase yield, or improve the ground for future generations. His farm has hosted numerous members of the U.S. Congress as well as International trade delegations. Andrew holds a dual degree from the University of Washington, a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.A. in Business Administration. He lives on the farm with his wife and two sons.
Length (approx): 10 min
 
Putting Precision Ag Data to Work with AI

Ag-Analytics® and Microsoft AI for Earth have joined together in a strategic partnership to enable quick, easy, and optimized cloud computing and precision agriculture for growers, analysts and agribusinesses. CEO and Founder, Joshua Woodard, will explore how Ag-Analytics®  is leveraging machine-learning on Microsoft Azure to develop and provide advanced data APIs and user-friendly interfaces to give farmers the insights they need to maximize yields, minimize environmental impacts, and lower costs.

Joshua Woodard (speaker)
CEO
Ag-Analytics
Ithaca, NY, NA 14850
US
Dr. Woodard is a professor at Cornell University in Agricultural Finance and Business where he specializes in risk management, ag-technology and insurance. He is the founder of Ag-Analytics.Org, a free suite of analytical tools for farmers, and is an expert reviewer for the Federal Crop Insurance Program
Length (approx): 10 min
 
Rural Digital Transformation for Small Hold Farmers

The combination of affordable broadband access and new technologies including cloud and data services, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning has helped unleash a wave of innovation relevant to rural communities around the world. Particularly in emerging markets, access to off-grid energy and internet has enabled solutions that materially impact rural productivity and livelihood in communities where small hold farming contributes a significant amount to household income. From solar-powered drip irrigation and water pumping to cloud-connected micro-weather stations leveraging artificial intelligence, these innovative solutions represent a new opportunity for affecting the digital transformation of rural communities across the globe where small hold farming is a critical element of livelihood.

Kevin Connolly (speaker)
Director
Airband International
Redmond, WA 981052
US
Kevin Connolly is Director of Airband International at Microsoft. Microsoft’s Airband initiative develops partnerships to expand access to broadband in rural communities around the world with the intent of increasing productivity and livelihood through rural digital transformation. Prior to joining the Airband team, Kevin managed the Windows and Devices businesses across Sub-Saharan Africa while based in Kenya, and led business development initiatives focused on education and public health scenarios across Middle East & Africa region while based in South Africa. Kevin currently lives in Seattle with his family.
Length (approx): 10 min
 
Last Mile Digital Services for Smallholder Farmers

At the Gates Foundation we focus on innovations that help smallholder farmers leapfrog many systemic constraints they face in raising their productivity and incomes. We believe that digitally-enabled technologies and services can rapidly increase our ability to create and use smallholder data, scale relevant information and knowledge, provide soil health and crop nutrition insights, and increase access to financial services and connect farmers to markets, helping farmers move from subsistence to farming as a business. Our goal is that within 10 years, at least half (50%) of the smallholder farmers in our focus geographies are benefitting from digitally-enabled services. We make riskier investments to advance cost-effective technologies and business models and support scaled platforms that harness the interests of the public sector, the private sector, and smallholder farming communities.

Stewart Collis (speaker)
Gates Foundation
Stewart Collis is Senior Program Officer for Digital Agriculture at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation where he focuses on effective digital farmer services, smart farming and agricultural data in developing countries across Africa and South Asia. Mr. Collis has over 20 years’ experience in agricultural information technology and was co-founder and CTO at aWhere, a Benefit Corporation providing global ag-weather content, agricultural modeling and analytics to both developed and developing country ag-tech markets. Previously Mr. Collis worked on climate-driven spatial crop simulation modeling and ag-data management tools at the International Center for Research in Agroforestry and Texas A&M University. Mr. Collis has a Masters of Engineering Science in Geomatic Engineering from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
Length (approx): 10 min
 
Microsoft Panel
Debasis Dan (speaker)
Principal Data Scientist
Microsoft Agriculture Engineering
Debasis Dan is principal data and applied scientist at Microsoft India. He currently leads the agriculture data and modeling program at Microsoft Azure Global team. He has more than a decade long industry experience in computational life sciences and digital agriculture. He graduated with PhD in Statistical Physics from Institute of Physics, India.
Andrew Nelson (speaker)
Farmer/FarmBeats
Andrew Nelson is a 5th generation Farmer in the Palouse Region of Eastern Washington. Before moving back to the family farm, Andrew was a software consultant in the Seattle Area and led software teams in developing solutions for multiple Fortune 100 companies. Since he has moved back to the farm, he has increased the size of his operation by 50%. He continues to do software consulting for clients around the U.S. as well as manage his farm. His approach to technology on his farm is to make his operation run more efficiently, reduce costs, increase yield, or improve the ground for future generations. His farm has hosted numerous members of the U.S. Congress as well as International trade delegations. Andrew holds a dual degree from the University of Washington, a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.A. in Business Administration. He lives on the farm with his wife and two sons.
Joshua Woodard (speaker)
CEO
Ag-Analytics
Ithaca, NY, NA 14850
US
Dr. Woodard is a professor at Cornell University in Agricultural Finance and Business where he specializes in risk management, ag-technology and insurance. He is the founder of Ag-Analytics.Org, a free suite of analytical tools for farmers, and is an expert reviewer for the Federal Crop Insurance Program
Stewart Collis (speaker)
Gates Foundation
Stewart Collis is Senior Program Officer for Digital Agriculture at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation where he focuses on effective digital farmer services, smart farming and agricultural data in developing countries across Africa and South Asia. Mr. Collis has over 20 years’ experience in agricultural information technology and was co-founder and CTO at aWhere, a Benefit Corporation providing global ag-weather content, agricultural modeling and analytics to both developed and developing country ag-tech markets. Previously Mr. Collis worked on climate-driven spatial crop simulation modeling and ag-data management tools at the International Center for Research in Agroforestry and Texas A&M University. Mr. Collis has a Masters of Engineering Science in Geomatic Engineering from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
Kevin Connolly (speaker)
Director
Airband International
Redmond, WA 981052
US
Kevin Connolly is Director of Airband International at Microsoft. Microsoft’s Airband initiative develops partnerships to expand access to broadband in rural communities around the world with the intent of increasing productivity and livelihood through rural digital transformation. Prior to joining the Airband team, Kevin managed the Windows and Devices businesses across Sub-Saharan Africa while based in Kenya, and led business development initiatives focused on education and public health scenarios across Middle East & Africa region while based in South Africa. Kevin currently lives in Seattle with his family.
Length (approx): 30 min