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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Organization Bringing Technology to Agriculture

February 17, 2004

ADA, Ohio — Technology and agriculture are becoming more of a common bond and the Ohio Agricultural Technologies Association (OATA) continues to find ways of making a perfect match for technology users.

The organization, developed in 2002, will revisit the Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference at Ohio Northern University in Ada on Feb. 26 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 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.

Nathan Watermeier, technology program leader for Ohio State University Extension, organized the start of the effort.

"There is currently no other organization in Ohio handling these needs," he said. He mentioned that there are about 40 members in the association who have vested interest in the advancement of technology use in agriculture.

"The group felt that participating in the Conservation Tillage Conference last winter fit a needed area of learning about how technologies can benefit users in agriculture," said Harold Watters, Ohio State Extension agriculture and natural resources agent in Miami County. "We had a captive audience so the location and timing was good for this educational event."

Topics this year will be on Internet bandwidth capabilities in rural areas, wireless technologies in agriculture, handling and organizing data, computer viruses, Windows XP, "Webinars" for meeting across the Internet and updates from OATA.

There are currently 12 OATA Board members including four officers who provide leadership to the new organization. The newly elected officers include President Jim Wolf of, Vice President David Sever of Sever Consulting, Secretary Harold Watters of Ohio State Extension, and Treasurer Scott Metzger of Metzger Farms.

The board proposed dues collection of $10 each year to become a member. If you are interested in becoming a member feel free to visit the organization's Web site at More information on the OATA agenda for the Conservation Tillage Conference is also on the Web site.

The Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference will be held Feb. 26-27. The event is designed to bring together speakers from land-grant universities, the farming sector and agricultural industries and organizations to discuss a wide range of topics including agriculture-related panel discussions, precision agriculture, soil fertility, water quality, insect and disease management, strip-till research, value-added farming, crop management and producer programs. Over 65 sessions will be offered over the two-day conference with nearly 70 different speakers.

The tillage conference is being sponsored by Ohio State University Extension, Northwest Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Districts, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA Farm Service Agency and the Ohio No-Till Council.

Early registration is $25 per day or $40 for both days. Registration after Feb. 18 is $35 a day or $50 for both days. For a copy of the agenda, registration information, or directions to Ohio Northern University, visit the Web site at or contact the Hancock County Ohio State Extension office at (419) 422-3851 or the Allen County Soil and Water Conservation District at (419) 223-0040.

Candace Pollock
Nathan Watermeier