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10 Things Grand Farm Will Do For Growers

Grand Farm is meant to solve the biggest problems in agriculture but we recognize that unless we’re solving problems that growers are facing, we’re wasting our time. That’s why we’re building Grand Farm around growers. Here are 10 things Grand Farm will do for growers.

  1. Connections
    Grand Farm was borne out of the idea that great things happen when people come together to celebrate innovation and discuss real problems. By creating a public space with a number of events, Grand Farm hopes to be a neutral ground for growers, industry professionals, academia, government officials and curious individuals to come together and discuss ideas.

This year, we have a series of events where people can make connections. To view our full calendar of events, go to grandfarm.com/events.

  • Grower Roundtables
    • Mission: Identify pain points facing growers and give the ag industry an opportunity to listen to these pain points. 
    • Audience: Growers and ag industry leaders
  • Field Days
    • Mission: Highlight the work being done on the test site this summer and the mission of Grand Farm.
    • Audience: Grand Farm partners and those interested in Grand Farm mission
  • Innovation Days
    • Mission: Highlight innovation being done in agtech, connect policy makers with industry, grow the innovation ecosystem and make the Red River Valley an innovation hub. 
    • Audience: Ag-tech companies, policy makers and growers
  1. Identification
    From sustainable practices to an aging workforce to grower profitability, we know that there are a number of real world problems facing growers everyday. While Grand Farm is focused on solving some of the biggest problems in agriculture, we recognize it’s all for naught if we aren’t solving problems growers face everyday.

    That’s why we’ll work with growers to source pain points and identify real problems they are facing. The main way we’ll do this is through our Grower Roundtables. These events are designed to bring industry and growers together around a specific topic in a discussion around problems facing growers. We’ll take those pain points and publish a report that will be shared with industry and the public as well as help steer the direction of Grand Farm. 
NDDOT’s first autonomous vehicle will be used in the workplace to enhance safety by removing workers from hazadous areas and using the driverless vehicle in its stead.
  1. Get Involved
  2. This summer, Grand Farm will host five Grower Roundtables around the following subjects. Go to grandfarm.com/events for dates and information. 
  • Farm of the Future Design
  • Autonomous Systems
  • Crop & Soil Management
  • UAS/UGS
  • Sustainable Practices
  1. Input
    Growers deserve a voice. That’s why all partners at Grand Farm will have access to Grand Farm’s grower network. By connecting growers with the Grand Farm network, we hope that industry will receive real-time input on the work they’re doing to ensure that the solutions they’re creating are applicable to growers.

    One of the biggest feedbacks we’ve heard from conversations with growers is that growers often feel that industry is not solving real problems and are out of touch with grower needs. By creating this input loop, the goal is that growers can help shape the work being done in the field.
  1. Appreciation
    As we know, growers have a demanding and important job. Despite this important work, the work growers do is often misunderstood, scrutinized and overlooked. This is exasperated by the fact that, according to the U.S. Census of Agriculture, almost 70 percent of growers are over the age of 45 and almost 30 percent are over the age of 65. Simply put, the current workforce is aging out of the job.

    Knowing this, we want to celebrate the important work growers are doing. By elevating and highlighting their mission, Grand Farm aims to showcase the good growers are doing for the world. By creating more exposure and awareness of growers, we hope that more people will be attracted to getting into farming.

    Future Plans
    Grand Farm’s ultimate vision is to create a campus where real world trials can happen, people can gather and educational tours will take place. (Think EPCOT Center for agriculture.) We envision every third grader coming through this campus and getting hands on experience with farming.
  2. Real world applications
    Last year, Grand Farm hosted more than 40 projects from nine different partners. These trials ranged from creating augmented reality maps of Grand Farm to research around corn husk enzyme and soybean fertility with induced salt burn. All these projects will have real world impact and applications. Innovation can be a slow process but by creating a space for collaboration to occur, we recognize that this innovation will trickle down into work being done throughout all of agriculture.
  3. Demonstrations
    We are on a path to have more than 1,000 acres for Grand Farm. This space will not only give us the space for numerous trials and an innovation campus but will also allow us to host a number of demonstrations. Through our global network of agtech companies, we hope to bring the most exciting technology and equipment to Fargo for hands-on demonstrations. This will give growers the opportunity to experience the newest equipment that will be in the fields in a couple years.

    Real-Life Example
    On Oct. 8 last year, ND Dept. of Transportation demonstrated their first fully autonomous, which is used in road construction, truck at Grand Farm. Senator John Hoeven took the first ride in the truck. After the demonstration, Grand Farm hosted an event connecting policymakers with the autonomous industry on how North Dakota can become the most autonomous friendly state in the country.

    DESIGN NOTE: INCLUDE PHOTOS FROM DOT DEMONSTRATION
  4. Collaboration
    It is our hope that innovation and collaboration will not only occur at Grand Farm. By connecting growers with the Grand Farm network, we hope collaboration will occur with growers. This can take the form of industry listening to growers needs or even for growers to host trials and projects at their own farms.
  5. Industry and Commodity Growth
    Last year, soybeans, corn, sugarbeets, sunflowers and wheat were planted at Grand Farm. Each one of these test plots had trials and research being done on it. This work will trickle down into advances made in these commodities. We are also fostering relationships with the major checkoff groups to ensure that North Dakota’s main commodities are being focused on at Grand Farm.

    See if for yourself
    If you’re interested in seeing what was done at Grand Farm in 2020, go to grandfarm.com/grand-farm-innovation-site and you’ll be able to see a 360 tour of the farm and click on each field to learn more about the projects that occurred there.
  6. Economic development:
    Innovation always creates more opportunities. This will be true for economic development as more companies are attracted to the region through work being done at Grand Farm. New businesses will also pop up because of collaboration and ideas that take place at Grand Farm. This will create a trickle down effect that will create new jobs, better livelihoods, impact other industries and create more opportunities for everybody in the region.


    Plug and Play
    A real life example of economic impact is that Grand Farm helped actively recruit Plug and Play – the world’s largest accelerator – to open an agtech branch in Fargo. They will bring in dozens of new startups to our community every year for several months as they go through the program. While no startups were able to physically be in Fargo in 2020 due to COVID-19, the hope is that by bringing these startups to the community and engaging them in the ecosystem, they will remain in our community.
  7. Get Involved this year
    This is going to be a busy year for Grand Farm. We have plans to host more than 60 events, host 50+ projects and increase the exposure of Grand Farm. Here are a few specific ways growers can get involved with Grand Farm this year. 
    1. Events: There will be more than 60+ events that occur at Grand Farm, many of which will be free to attend. You can view the full schedule at grandfarm.com/events. Here are a couple you should be aware of. 
      1. Grower Roundtable (see topics in item 2)
      2. Cultivate Conference (Conference around innovation in agriculture. Hope to have half growers, half industry professionals in attendance. 
    2. Storytelling: Grand Farm is always looking for innovative farmers to tell their stories by highlighting them at events or sharing their story via Grand Farm channels. If you are interested in sharing your story, please reach out to Andrew Jason (andrewj@emergingprairie.com).
    3. Grand Farm Tours – Grand Farm hopes to expand its reach by bringing innovation and ideas to other fields. We hope to expand our outreach across the region by bringing events and activity to other farms. If you are interested in working with Grand Farm on hosting an event, demonstration or trial at your farm, please reach out to Andrew Jason.

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