GFM Network News


Alberta’s Lakeland to offer ag tech degree

College to launch first-in-Canada program in September

East-central Alberta’s Lakeland College is set to offer what’s billed as Canada’s first degree program in agriculture technology, as a two-year post-credential program, starting in September. The program, announced Wednesday, will consist of full-time studies at Lakeland’s campus at Vermilion, about 180 km east of Edmonton, plus “experiential learning practicums” off campus, en route to

Farms collect a large volume of data these days and this data
is expected to grow exponentially in the near future.

Artificial intelligence plays critical role in precision agriculture

Greater adoption means creating new technology alongside farmers

Artificial intelligence (AI) applications in agriculture continue to grow, driven by the increased demands of precision farming. This growth is due to increasing demand for agriculture produce, real-time livestock monitoring, and the need for enhanced decision-making to optimize farm management. Other factors contributing to the rising interest in precision farming solutions are growing food demand and government assistance to farmers. India, for


VIDEO: Coding camp for kids aimed at building interest in ag tech

Teresa Vallotton of FarmFemmes is aiming to pique the interest of kids for future careers in agricultural technology. Vallotten’s “AI in a Day” coding camp sessions recently held at Manitoba Ag Days in Brandon gave kids a quick introduction to artificial intelligence (AI) and allowed them to play around with aspects of the technology. Here,

“We don’t even know what the potential is when we let people do what they’re good at and what they enjoy.” – Teresa Vallotton.

Ag tech needs farm kids

Our younger generation needs to know its skills are needed in more areas than just a combine cab. This is where Teresa Vallotton’s coding camps come in

In a room overlooking a bustling trade show, 20 kids huddle over laptops. They’re trying to catch a thief. Teresa Vallotton flashes pictures across the screen at the front of the room and asks them — is this the person who’s been stealing fuel from the tank on her yard? The kids run facial recognition

Comment: Expect data to be at the heart of 2020 trends

Automation, machine learning, consumer transparency and even the weather will mean data this year

Canada’s growers certainly had more than their share of challenges in 2019. Dramatic and unpredictable weather, farm costs, labour shortages, trade wars… all combined to make 2019 a year to remember (or forget). Hopefully, there’s more to look forward to in the coming year. Here are four trends I think will shape the industry in


Teresa Vallotton teaches the class how to use the text-to-speech program 'Polly.'

Coding camps teach kids to consider careers in agriculture technology

Sisters Teresa Vallotton and Karen Hildebrand have brought their hands-on AI camps to Manitoba for the first time.

The tinny babble of three electronic voices fills the hotel conference room. Three young students bend over laptops, where a program is reading them instructions for how to change a tire. “What is she reading to you in?” Teresa Vallotton asks one teen. “Icelandic,” she says. The student beside her makes her computer speak with

Opinion: Liability hampers autonomous ag

For farmer and inventor Brian Tischler, the question isn’t whether autonomous tractors are cool, possible, or useful — it’s how to overcome the liability risk. Tischler told farmers attending CropConnect in Winnipeg recently it’s possible to build your own self-driving vehicle for around $1,000. He’s done it. That’s made the Manville, Alberta farmer a popular

Technology will have to be balanced against ethics when it comes to ‘smart farming,’ according to British researchers.

Responsible innovation key to ‘smart farming’

Researchers urge counting all the benefits and costs of new technology

Responsible innovation that considers the wider impacts on society is key to smart farming, according to researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA). Agriculture is undergoing a technology revolution supported by policy-makers around the world. While smart technologies will play an important role in achieving improved productivity, critics have suggested that consideration of the


Geospatial analyst Chigo Ibeh reviews a land-cover map of Baltimore at the office of the Chesapeake Conservancy in Annapolis, Maryland.


Can artificial intelligence aid conservation mapping?

Microsoft is betting it can speed up this labour-intensive process with modern tools

Thomson Reuters Foundation – In December 2016, environmental group Chesapeake Conservancy unveiled one of the largest, high-resolution land-cover maps made in the United States. It analyzed every square metre of satellite data in the 207 cities and counties that touch the watershed of the Chesapeake Bay on the U.S. eastern seaboard. The bay, North America’s

A new funding competition aims to jump-start high-technology agri-food projects.

Feds open agriculture tech competition

The federal government is offering up to $50 million in funding for agri-food automation and digital technology projects

If you’ve got a bright idea for bringing artificial intelligence and advanced digital technology to the agri-food sector, you could find a lot of federal funding support. Jean-Claude Poissant, parliamentary secretary for agri-food, recently announced a funding competition for national-scale initiatives in automation and digital technology applications in the agri-food sector with between $10 million