Linking farmers with tech whizkids

Linking farmers with tech whizkids

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PROBLEM SOLVER: Farmers2Founders co-founder Sarah Nolet

PROBLEM SOLVER: Farmers2Founders co-founder Sarah Nolet

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Farmers2Founders (F2F) has revealed the next iteration of its national entrepreneurial development program for producers, the Early Adopter Program, and is calling for innovative producers to throw their hat in the ring.

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Farmers2Founders has revealed the next iteration of its national entrepreneurial development program for producers, the Early Adopter Program, and is calling for innovative producers to throw their hat in the ring.

The program has been designed for farmers looking or tech providers to solve on-farm challenges and helps access hand-picked companies that are working on the very issues the farmers identify.

Murtoa grain grower Chris Delahunty believes his crop yield forecasting tool could provide a significantly positive impact for grain growers.

Having already experienced success using the tool on his own property, he is hopeful that the technology will help industry peers determine key on-farm decisions such as applicable fertiliser rates, grain marketing, set yields for insurance coverage and more which will ultimately improve business outcomes.

Over six months, the program addresses the exploration, design and engagement phases.

Through the virtual program and in-person workshops, producers and producer groups will gain expertise in technology management strategies, join a community of like-minded farming innovators and get hands-on support from F2F to engage with a curated group of technology providers and co-design effective pilots.

F2F founders Sarah Nolet and Dr Christine Pitt created the Early Adopter Program so that producers get to work alongside tech companies to help streamline the solutions to the issues they're facing.

"We started F2F because we saw that agtech businesses were often missing the mark in terms of solutions because often they didn't understand agriculture, farmers or where their products could fit in," Ms Nolet said.

"There are big, macro challenges facing agriculture and we know that producers are looking for solutions, but can sometimes struggle to filter between similar solutions.

"This program helps make sure technology development in agriculture starts with the problems, not the tech, and that producers are recognized for the contribution they make.

"The topics open for exploration are only limited by your imagination.

"We want to hear about the challenges you're facing and areas where you're looking for technologies; anywhere from virtual fencing, individual animal management and remote monitoring, to automation and precision agriculture."

A dozen recent graduates recently completed F2F's inaugural Ideas Program - an eight-week curriculum designed to help entrepreneurial producers nail a business idea for a new product or technology.

Applications are now open and close November 20, 2019 with spaces open to individual producers, groups of producers and consultants working with producers.

Travel to in-person workshops may be required, but subsidies will be provided.

The program's three phases will run from November 2019 to May 2020.

Farmers2Founders is proudly supported by AgriFutures Australia, Australian Wool Innovation, Grains Research and Development Corporation, Meat & Livestock Australia, and Wine Australia.

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