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Idaho Announces First Statewide AgTech Summit as Global Interest in AgTech Events Continues to Grow

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Idaho is the latest state to announce a new agtech event, among a slew of local, national and international events cropping up across the globe.


On June 16, 2015, Idaho will host its first-ever AgriTech summit featuring local agricultural and technology sector leaders. The goal of the summit is to explore ways to work together to innovate and create employment opportunities throughout the state. Sponsored by Idaho Governor Butch Otter, the summit is part of Department of Commerce Director Jeff Sayer’s vision to make Idaho a Silicon Valley of agricultural technology. According to Sayer, both agriculture and technology lead the state’s economy, creating an ideal opportunity for burgeoning agtech opportunities in the region.


“The summit is an opportunity for Idaho to initiate the conversation around the state on how we can solidify a leadership position in the ag technology marketplace,” said Sayer. “By bringing the two sides together, it is going to answer some questions the ag sector has never thought of and it’s going to raise some questions the technology sector has never thought to ask the ag sector,” said Governor Otter. “I think it’s a huge opportunity.


Over the past months, on a regional level, we’ve been tracking developments. For example, in November 2014, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center’s AgBiotech Initiative and North Carolina State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences combined their typically separate annual events into a two-day conference designed to highlight cross-sector issues and opportunities. Speakers and guests discussed a range of topics, including technology commercialization, regulation, production, public acceptance, and ag biotech products.


Colorado featured its Summit on Advancing the Agriculture Economy Through Innovation conference in March 2015, providing insight into what the industry may look like in the next 10, 20, or even 50 years. Topics covered included the integration of big data in traditional farming practices and the potential for “Climate Smart Agriculture” to combat many of the environmental issues facing our current food production system.


In March 2015, for example, the Monterey Bay Chapter of the CA Association of Pest Control Advisors (CAPA) hosted the 2nd Annual Salinas Valley Agricultural Technology Summit, providing access to a wide variety of speakers, presentations, and networking opportunities.


At the international level, we’ve seen strong attendance at agtech events and also a few new events added to the roster. Abu Dhabi hosted the Global Forum for Innovators in Agriculture (GFIA) in March 2015. Held in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, GFIA 2015 presented the world’s largest showcase of sustainable agriculture solutions and hosted over 4,500 of the world’s brightest minds to show the world how game-changing technologies can change the way the world grows food forever.


According to the post-conference report, this year’s event saw 40% more visitors than the previous year’s event and drew attendees from 85 countries. The conference featured over 250 exhibits from 41 countries. At least 3 out of 4 attendees reported visiting the conference in order to find new sustainable agriculture innovations, and almost 80% of those attendees reported finding the answers that they were looking for.


Israeli, the infamously entitled “startup nation,” hosted its 19th annual Agritech Israel conference in April 2015, which featured one of the world’s largest exhibitions in the field or agricultural technologies. The open-invite affair welcomed manufacturers, marketers, R&D specialists, and researchers from a wide variety of agriculture and technology subsectors.


Also during March 2015, the United States hosted the World Agri-Tech Investment Summit following two highly successful events in London. The summit was designed to accelerate the adoption of sustainable, resource-efficient agricultural technologies through knowledge sharing and the formation of new partnerships and alliances between key stakeholders. Key topics discussed at the summit included achieving sustainability, data integration, opportunities for horizontal collaboration, and water-smart agriculture. Two hundred delegates from 25 countries attended the event.


Global AgInvesting’s (GAI) Annual Conference in New York has continued to balloon with over 700 investors in attendance this year for its 7th annual event held in April. For the first time this year, GAI is expanding to the west coast. From June 22 to June 24, Global AgInvesting (GAI) and the Larta Institute will host an AgTech Week in San Francisco, CA. The conference will provide two and a half days of keynote presentations by industry leaders, thought-provoking panels, innovative company presentations and interactive workshops. Each component is designed to educate and inspire investors and entrepreneurs with a broad range of investment opportunities in the food and agriculture technology sectors worldwide.


In July 2015, Forbes will host the “Forbes Reinventing America: The AgTech Summit” in Salinas Valley. In partnership with Silicon Valley Global Partners and the Steinbeck Innovation Cluster, the invite-only event will foster discussions about how new technologies can help America’s storied agriculture industry into the 21st Century. The event will host over 300 executives, entrepreneurs, academics, and elected officials. The second edition to the series will host Silicon Valley’s brightest minds in addition to many industry leaders from Salinas, CA, which ahs been dubbed the de facto agtech capital of the U.S.


This list features only a handful of the many agetch conferences, summits, and events taking place in the coming months. Check back with AgFunderNews for more updates and coverage of agtech summits and conferences around the globe and be sure to look at our events section for all upcoming events.


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