Merriam-Webster defines artificial intelligence (AI) as “the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior.” It’s a straightforward definition (though heaps of valid questions and risks are being explored) and one that describes a rising sector of agriculture. While they haven’t taken over, robots have arrived in ag, as they have in many other consumer industries (think Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, self-driving cars, predictive technology from Netflix, behavioral learning from thermostat company Nest and more), and developers are identifying ways the technology can improve farming practices.
“Artificial intelligence … is increasingly being woven into agriculture, potentially making farming more productive, profitable and environmentally friendly,” writes John Walter in “The Faces of Ag in AI,” page 8. In that infographic, we share a few of the fascinating forms that enable AI as seen in fields, barns and food tech applications. Agriculture is poised to reap the benefits of recent AI advances in machine learning algorithms and computational power, says Brian David Johnson, a farm futurist. He anticipates that breakthroughs in the technology will help calculate what and where to plant based on big data and predictive analytics that take into account factors like weather, soil health and market conditions. Also, robotics will further automate our fields and barns.
Maybe your area of agriculture is already using AI, or maybe it will down the road. The possibilities are vast as we step into the future.
In this issue, you’ll also find articles about chapters that harvest their own maple syrup, an Iowa chapter that traveled to Haiti to build a Sukup Safe T Home for a family in need, tips for aspiring chapter officers, a quiz of 2017 Census of Agriculture statistics and more.
Enjoy and have a wonderful winter!
– Justin Davey
Editor, FFA New Horizons
3 Ways to Help Your Advisor in February
Quiz: Census of Agriculture Results
Tennessee Chapter is Living to Serve for the Holidays
FFA Members in California Make a Global Impact
Illinois Chapter Celebrates Golden Farmers
Winter 2019 National Officer Q&A
Ag 101: The Faces of Ag AI
FFA Members Help in Haiti
Alumnus Credits FFA for His American Dream
FFA Alumna Charts Her Own Ag Path
How to Become a Chapter Officer
FFA Members Harvest Sweet Success
Winter 2019: FFA in the USA
On the Record: Scott Stump
Ag Angle: Jim Falls, Wisc.