After every growing season, Grand Farm produces an End of Season report that encapsulates an entire year’s worth of projects, events, and activity on the Grand Farm. This report is important for the organization to inform the partners and community members on the incredible research and innovation that occurred that year, summarizing a years’ worth of work in just a few documents.
Detailed in this part of Future Farmer are snippets of different sections of that report. For more information on the activities at Grand Farm, visit www.grandfarm.com
Grand Farm Projects
Grand Farm’s Innovation Site is home to AgTech projects in industry and higher education conducting demonstrations, applied research and product development. To organize projects, Grand Farm utilizes a typology of AgTech innovation verticals.
This typology has 12 segments: Inputs; Sensors and IoT; Unmanned Aerial and Ground Systems; Satellites; Heavy Equipment; Data Management Platforms; Supply Chain, Traceability, and Agriculture Markets; Connectivity; Edge and Cloud Computing; Autonomous Systems; Sustainability; and Crop Variations. This year, the Grand Farm Innovation Site was home to 320 projects across these different verticals.
“William Aderholdt, Andrew Jason and the whole team at the Grand Farm are truly pushing the envelope when it comes to furthering advancements in AgTech. Soiltech Wireless is honored to be a part of these efforts.” – Ehsan Soltan, Founder and CEO at SoilTech Wireless
Signature Initiatives on the Grand Farm are aimed at creating energy in the ecosystem around hot topics in agriculture technology. This is accomplished through engaging thought leaders, growers, industry, higher education, and government in roundtable discussions, workshops, events, conferences, and projects.
Starting in 2020, ACReS is a signature project focused on bringing autonomous technology and logistics to the agriculture industry. Developed to solve the pain point of diminishing workforce at peak times in agriculture, ACReS utilizes autonomous systems providers to demonstrate and test their equipment.
ACReS is a collaboration between organizations in sensors and IoT, autonomous systems, heavy equipment and supply chain. KratosDefense and the North Dakota Department of Transportation held a demonstration on the Grand Farm in October 2020 to demonstrate North Dakota’s first autonomous truck–this was used as the foundation of ACReS. 2021’s season concluded with the donation of a fully autonomous tractor and the announcement that Kratos Defense would be working with CHS on developing autonomous logistics in CHS’ supply chain.
Starting in 2019, HarvestTrace works to energize the supply chain and traceability segment, providing ecosystem partners a framework to engage. HarvestTrace was the first signature initiative of Grand Farm and started as ProjectX.
In 2021, Genesis Feed Technologies launched Seed-to-Feed which is a central project within HarvestTrace bringing together partners across the entire agriculture supply chain. HarvestTrace engaged a global audience through a virtual event in early 2021 to discuss traceability and blockchain solutions in agriculture.
Events & Conferences
Grand Farm aims to be a thought leader in agriculture by bringing people together to discuss innovation, highlight the risk-takers and amplify the work being done in the industry. Through our events, we hope to connect people, facilitate problems around pain points and amplify the message of what’s being done.
Through small-scale gatherings like our weekly Harvest Happy Hours to large-scale conferences like Cultivate, we were able to bring people together in a safe manner during a challenging time due to the coronavirus pandemic.
By the Numbers (across all events; in-person and virtual)
– 2,805 TOTAL ATTENDEES
– 232 PRESENTERS AND SPEAKERS
– 58 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES
“This past year’s events at the Grand Farm, to me, have been very enlightening and informative on the new and existing technologies coming to the agricultural industry. The Grand Farm has given us the ability to explore where ag technology is moving and has allowed these ag-tech companies to experience a field setting and collaborate with growers and others in the industry to build their companies and ideas while also opening the public’s eyes to how we will be managing our food resources in the future!” – Lanny Faleide, Founder of Satshot
Cultivate Conference 2021
As one of the signature Grand Farm events, the Cultivate Conference’s mission is to connect growers with the ag-tech industry and highlight the work happening in the ag-tech industry. During the full-day conference, there was discussion on a wide array of topics, including software applications, precision agriculture, drones, alternative farming methods and more.
“I was very impressed by the breadth of topics while having the space for conversations with others in the industry.” – Rebekah Carlson, Nori
“Amazing workshop and great conference-awesome to connect with industry experts and leaders.” – Adam Williams, University of Minnesota
“The event was an incredible learning experience and an amazing opportunity to make new connections and partners. Having the governor of North Dakota take part and provide a keynote was extremely inspirational.” – Hal Holmes, Conservation X Labs
“My experience was excellent. I still find myself frequently reflecting on the presentations, discussions, and possibilities.” – Sonia Hall, BioKansas
Autonomous Nation Conference 2021
Autonomy is no longer a dream, but a reality. At the Autonomous Nation Conference, we believe in the impact that autonomous systems can have across our region, solving issues such as workforce shortages, inefficiencies and technology gaps. Our mission is to be a catalyst and converge, government employees, industry leaders, and entrepreneurs to set North Dakota as the most cutting edge and autonomous-friendly region in the world.
This full-day conference focuses on the autonomous industry and how it relates to these key sectors-energy, agriculture, urban air mobility and unmanned systems. City employees, policymakers and industry leaders converged at Grand Farm to share and discuss innovations, autonomy and technology
“The Autonomous Nation conference was the first event I’ve attended which addressed the full spectrum of autonomous technology integration. I appreciated the focus on the evolution of business operations and the importance of an autonomous-literate workforce. The discussions and demonstrations at Grand Farm gave a clear picture on how we move beyond marketing splash and create real economic value for the upper Midwest and beyond.” – Aaron Sykes, National Center for Autonomous Technologies
Space Ag Conference 2021
Our world food production system is undergoing a dramatic shift towards sustainable food practices and increased food security. Space agriculture, and the technology it creates, could catalyze the development of high-yield crop production that requires less land and less energy, providing farmers with the ability to create more with less.
Space Ag Conference was a half-day conference exploring advanced agriculture technologies to elevate the future of the Agtech industry in space. This conference was held in person with a virtual option and engaged a global audience.
“This Space Ag Conference was really great and inspiring. I’ve developed many new ideas and identified key players new to me. I firmly believe this is a grand opportunity for both North Dakota and NASA. Someday we’ll all look back at this conference as being a key turning point for this interdisciplinary field!” – Jon Rask, Director of Astrobiology Operations, Office of the Center Director NASA Ames Research Center.