COLUMBUS, Ohio - As the adoption of technology into agricultural and natural resource environments grows, so does the importance for farmers and industry leaders to remain abreast of issues, new developments and research advances that may impact the way they do business.
A new Ohio organization, driven by a range of individuals and industry representatives who recognize that need, has been developed to establish across-the-board relationships to share, inform and educate how agricultural technology can work to the user's favor. Known as the Ohio Agricultural Technologies Association, the organization brings together producers, consultants, agri-businesses, agri-retailers, dealers, state and federal agencies, educators and researchers to collaborate on a variety of technologies including precision agriculture, remote sensing, software, the Internet, e-businesses, GPS and GIS systems and biotechnology.
"The organization is a grassroots type of association that addresses the overall need of how technology can be applicable and economically profitable in agriculture and natural resources," said Nathan Watermeier, an Ohio State University Extension Technology Program Leader and the organization's advisory board member. "Technology is not changing agriculture. Agriculture itself is changing and the technologies are just a set of tools used to deal with those changes and enhance natural resource and agriculture decision-making. This is beneficial to all who use such technology in the industry."
Ohio State Extension will hold information and discussion sessions throughout Ohio in Feb. and March to introduce the Ohio Agricultural Technologies Association to individuals and offer them the opportunity to participate in the organization.
The first session will be held during the Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference in Ada, Ohio, on Feb. 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.
The other sessions will be held from 9 a.m. until noon on March 8 at Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio and on March 22 at the Ohio State Extension district office in Findlay, Ohio. Registration is free.
The sessions will include a presentation addressing the need for a technology association, followed by open discussions on the organization's future plans and current technology issues, specifically in the area of precision agriculture.
"No other association in Ohio deals with new advancements in technology," said Watermeier, adding that other states like Nebraska, Kansas and Kentucky already have similar associations in place. "If we can work collaboratively in sharing ideas, identifying new research, and utilize existing technology, we can strengthen Ohio's future in agriculture and natural resources."