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Ohio Ag Connection - 09/13/2017

Meister Media Worldwide, Willoughby, Ohio, announced a final agenda for its second annual PrecisionAg Vision Conference, complete with an expanded track and timely, pre-conference field tours Oct. 10-12 in Phoenix, Ariz.

"This is the second year for this highly informative, senior-level conference," said Paul Schrimpf, executive editor, PrecisionAg. "Responding to feedback from last year's attendees, we broadened our agenda in three ways: Direct perspective from farmers sharing real-world case studies and experiences; an expanded dual track to add more content from the specialty crop markets; and a lineup of heavy-hitting presenters that will address the needs of suppliers and service providers."

The addition of the specialty-crops track is a key distinction this year from the inaugural Vision Conference in 2016. "Precision technologies are coming on strong in horticulture crops," said Richard Jones, executive editor of Meister Media's U.S. Horticulture Group. "We're excited to have industry leaders discuss robotics, sensors, and real-world needs that growers have for new technology."

The robust agenda includes presentations from:

- Aidan Connolly, CIO & VP, Corporate Accounts, Alltech

- Matthew Brown, Director of Business Data, International Farming Corporation

- Ranveer Chandra, Principal Researcher, Sr. Director, Microsoft Corporation, and

- What's Now and What's Next for The Big Three Equipment Manufacturers, featuring:

o Eric Hansotia, SVP, Global Crop Cycle and Fuse Connected Services (AGCO)

o David Larson, VP, Global Precision Solutions & Telematics -- Technology Systems and Services (CASE IH), and

o John Stone, SVP, Intelligent Solutions Group, (Deere & Company)

- Jorge Heraud, CEO of Blue River Technology, which recently was acquired for $305 million by John Deere, will share additional insight on the deal and where machine learning and robotics in agriculture is headed

- Bill Schmarzo, CTO Global Services, Dell EMC, who returns for another blockbuster presentation on "big data"

- Danny Royer, Vice President of Technology, Bowles Farming Company, Inc.

- What Growers Want panel, featuring:

o Alan Boyce, Executive Chairman, Materra Farming

o Josh Ruiz, Vice President of Ag Operations, Church Brothers Farms

o Bob Pitzer, CTO/Engineering Manager, Harvest CROO Robotics

Also new this year, pre-conference tours include a trip to the University of Arizona to see the world's largest sensory robot, the "Field Scanalyzer," at the Maricopa Agricultural Center, a Research and Extension facility of the University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The robot's unique sensing system moves along rails, scanning sorghum crops 24/7 in an area the size of a football field. The system's advanced sensor pack measures the growth and development of a collection of diverse germplasm sorghum with unprecedented resolution, speed and accuracy, while the imaging systems scan the field and generate large data volumes used to develop predictive models for plant growth and development.

Stop two along the tour ---- Ak-Chin Farms Enterprise ---- will take attendees inside this Southern Arizona operation and show how this enterprise has incorporated a wide range of technology solutions and equipment to reap the benefits of using precision agriculture. Cotton, barley, potatoes, alfalfa, and corn are among the crops grown on 16,000 acres.

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