Speaker "Karen Hildebrand" Details Back



Modern Agriculture: How Farmers use AI & Big Data to Feed the World


​Agriculture connects us all, we all eat, and that food was produced for us ensuring quality, sustainability and safety. At FarmFemmes we champion what agriculture is now, and what agriculture can be in the future. We focus on sharing our message through visually seeing and experiencing what farming looks like, telling the story through our families farms and those we work closely with. In this session you will see and experience what modern agriculture looks like and how that has advanced in the past 20 years. The difference innovations like GPS, smart equipment and IoT ​have made has changed the landscape of farming. Farmers can now ​use features like self-steering equipment that drives straight, optimizes routes and ensures efficiency​ which has resulted in reducing chemical overlap, ​lowering ​emissions from tractors and ​improving the ​efficacy of the food production. As GPS has changed the lives of farmers, big data and artificial intelligence continue to push the boundaries of how geo-spatial data can be used. Variable rate fertilizer applications are enabled to meet the needs of the land, ensuring a long term view of sustainability, while simultaneously ensuring that unnecessary nutrients are not affecting waterways. Soil testing enables field mapping at granular levels, identifying the needs very specifically, and in combination with big data technology and GPS can guide how the farmers equipment is calibrated to release seed and fertilizer. Chemical applications can be guided by advanced imagery, aided by satellites and machine learning algorithms focused on recognizing and identifying problems in the field that cannot always be scouted by land. Finally, harvest data can be collected and overlayed to understand the productivity of the land, enabling the farmer to make the best decisions for land management and production. Modern agriculture is rich with opportunity for artificial intelligence and machine learning. Farmers are innovative, problem solvers who are forward thinking, care about their land and want to ensure the sustainability for the next generation. If we as a community of Data Scientists and Artificial Intelligence programmers could focus our attention to what universally connects us all - our food - we might just be able to ensure that everyone in the world has enough to eat. I cannot think of a more exciting reason to be a part of modern agriculture.


Karen Hildebrand co-founded FarmFemmes with her sister Teresa in September 2017, focusing on providing a platform for a modern view of agriculture. Karen grew up on her parents farm in southern Manitoba, where her family continues to farm. Her co-founder Teresa operates a large grain operation in western Manitoba. Karen has worked off the farm in Data Science and leading Data Science teams across industries learning how big data can provide unique competitive advantages. She holds an undergraduate degree in Business Administration, Management and Marketing as well as a Masters in Information Systems and a Doctorate in Information Systems specializing in Data Mining. Classroom education combined with on the farm experience has shaped Karen's career, and with a focus on how data can be recombined and utilized to drive change. Finding new data that makes a difference to farming operations motivates Karen and was a key reason for the formation of FarmFemmes.