The inaugural IDEAg Interconnectivity Conference delivered on its goal of bringing together thought leaders from different backgrounds to share their insights on how interconnectivity can make progressive farm operators more efficient. The conference took place June 25 through June 27 at the Prairie Meadows Conference Center in Altoona, Iowa.
More than 300 people including farm operators and professionals from ag technology service providers throughout the Midwest as well as Canada, South America and Europe heard speakers with backgrounds as diverse as a farmer with operations in Indiana and Argentina to a senior executive from wireless communication leader AT&T.
In support of the “interconnectivity” theme, the schedule purposely included ample break time between each speaker session. With the more than a dozen exhibitors representing leading ag technology providers staged in the conference room, these break times offered participants ample time for conversations with exhibitors, and with each other.
This planned informal networking time between speakers resulted in many extended conversations at the conference participants’ tables as they shared insights on common challenges. The audiences’ mix – producers and technology providers – helped these conversations become their own mini-conferences as attendees discussed how to select and apply the next level of interconnected technology.
“It’s as much about the break time as it is about the conference,” says attendee Matt Danner, of Templeton Family Farms in Templeton, Iowa. “The speakers stir an idea, and then there’s an immediate break to talk with people you’ve worked with in the past and new people you’ve met here,” he says.