55 episodes

We tell the stories of innovators at the intersection of agriculture and technology to answer the question: what really is agtech and why should you care?

Agtech - So What? Sarah Nolet

    • Technology
    • 5.0, 14 Ratings

We tell the stories of innovators at the intersection of agriculture and technology to answer the question: what really is agtech and why should you care?

    Regen Ag Series #2: Sam Trethewey on applying startup business model insights to produce carbon positive beef

    Regen Ag Series #2: Sam Trethewey on applying startup business model insights to produce carbon positive beef

    Sam Trethewey believes 'regenerative agriculture' is not a dirty word - but simply the future of farming. Astonishingly, he produces wagyu beef in Tasmania without actually owning any cows. He does this by combining insights about business models from startups such as Uber and Airbnb with the farming practices of regenerative agriculture.

    Sam grew up on the family farm in Tasmania before working in corporate agribusiness and marketing. In 2016, he co-founded SproutX, the first agtech accelerator in Australia.

    But in the last few years, he has returned to his first passion - the land itself. Sam runs the Tas Ag Co with his wife, Steph. After seeing increasing demand from consumers who are more conscious about what they eat, they've taken on the challenge of producing 'carbon positive beef'.

    In this episode, Sam shares his insights on:

    • Tas Ag Co's innovative business model that avoids traditional finance and allows them to produce beef without owning cows.
    • How the marketing and branding of their product as 'carbon positive' is a major driver for the business.
    • The debate over what regenerative agriculture actually means and where it is headed in the future.

    Want to know more? Check out our blog for insights and additional resources.

    • 35 min
    Regen Ag Series #1: Mark Wootton on carbon-neutral farming at Jigsaw Farms

    Regen Ag Series #1: Mark Wootton on carbon-neutral farming at Jigsaw Farms

    Mark Wootton is well-known in the Australian agriculture industry as a pioneer in carbon-neutral farming. In 2011, Jigsaw Farms, his family property in south-west Victoria, achieved carbon neutrality - undergoing a process he openly admits was at the time, both "arduous and not necessarily commercially rewarding".

    Yet, Mark and his wife Eve Kantor operate a very successful mixed grazing farm where they run 20,000 sheep for fine wool and prime lamb as well as 500 cows. The farm also incorporates a 600 hectare hardwood timber plantation and indigenous plantings for biodiversity.

    Mark was instrumental in the creation of the Climate Institute - a not-for-profit focused on climate science and policy in Australia. He remains a champion of finding new ways to lower methane emissions on farms - through both feed efficiencies and new technologies.

    His latest venture is a "Super Ewe" - where he's using genetics to create a dual purpose sheep through focusing on muscle and fat in the selection process.

    In this episode Mark Wootton shares his insights on:

    • Using Sheep Freeze Brand (liquid nitrogen) as an alternative to mulesing.
    • Turning sustainable agriculture practices into a driver for productivity and profits.
    • The importance of flexibility in farming operations.
    • Finding the right times to make big decisions for your business.

    Want to know more? Check out our blog and additional resources from the episode on our website.

    • 37 min
    Ep 70: Karmen Mehmen on growing a family farm through 40 years of change

    Ep 70: Karmen Mehmen on growing a family farm through 40 years of change

    Karmen Mehmen is a corn and soybean farmer in Iowa alongside her husband Stan and their son Kyle and daughter-in-law Kerri. Their farm, MBS Family Farms, has grown from 160 acres and 40 cows back in the '60s to an operation that today supports 20 families.

    In this episode, Karmen talks about:

    • How technology has enabled them to manage through substantial growth
    • Learnings from transitioning the farm to the next generation
    • How structured coaching and support has helped them become better farmers & business owners

    For more insights from the episode and links to resources Karmen mentions, check out our write up here.

    • 28 min
    Ep 69: Renée Anderson "Cotton Farm Girl" on social media and social license

    Ep 69: Renée Anderson "Cotton Farm Girl" on social media and social license

    Renée Anderson is a farmer in Emerald, Queensland, Nuffield Scholar, agronomist, and overall champion for the cotton industry. In this episode, she shares her insights from Australia and around the world on social license, science communications, and the role that tech can play in helping farmers both improve production and change the narrative about agriculture.

    Visit our website for our top five insights, Renee's favorite science communicators, and the resources on racism in agriculture mentioned at the end of this episode.

    • 33 min
    Ep 68: David Carter on becoming the world's only carbon neutral fishing company

    Ep 68: David Carter on becoming the world's only carbon neutral fishing company

    David Carter is the CEO of Austral Fisheries, one of Australia's largest integrated commercial fishing companies. Austral Fisheries is notable for being the only commercial fishing company in the world to be certified Carbon Neutral, offsetting their emissions to zero since 2016.

    In this episode we talk about:

    • David's path from deckhand to CEO
    • Austral's journey from commodity to branded, premium product
    • The bold goals that Austral have set on issues like bycatch and carbon emissions
    • How technology is helping Austral respond to consumer demands and address social license issues
    • The 'unlikely alliances' powering Austral Fisheries' market leading position

    For the resources mentioned and more on David, visit our website:
    www.agtechsowhat.com/agtechsowhatepisodes/david-carter-carbon-neutral-fishing

    • 36 min
    Ep 67: tips from three leading farmers using tech everyday (live from evokeAG)

    Ep 67: tips from three leading farmers using tech everyday (live from evokeAG)

    This episode, live from the 2020 evokeAG conference in Melbourne, features three innovative Aussie producers: Brad "Jonesy" Jones; Sue "Chilla" Middleton; and Mark "Mort" Mortimer.

    We also cover:

    • the different techs being used in their businesses today
    • their tech wishlists for the future
    • what's driving adoption of agtech and what's preventing it
    • where to look for the best agtech solutions
    • how they're getting involved as more than customers of agtech

    For links to additional resources (and all the agtech mentioned), check out our website: www.agtechsowhat.com/agtechsowhatepisodes/tips-from-leading-producers

    This is yet another live episode- do you like it? Hate it? Let us know on twitter @agtechsowhat or reach out on our website.

    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

Tim @ AgGrad ,

Thoughtful Exploration of Agriculture

This show tackles the most important topics in agriculture and agtech. The format is engaging and insightful. Highly recommend.

Gdegreg ,

Intelligent, engaging, absolutely love it!

Sarah is a star in her field and is way ahead of her time in thinking about these extremely important issues!!!

Kikker3 ,

Excellent information, gets to the meat of it!

Sarah does a fantastic job of continually bringing the conversation and insight back to the so what? An excellent resource. Thank you!

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