Farmers to founders of precision technology

Ground up approach for farmer start-ups

On Farm
PADDOCK TO PLATE: Entrepreneur and CEO of the Food Futures Company Dr Christine Pitt has co-launched a new venture called Farmers2Founders.

PADDOCK TO PLATE: Entrepreneur and CEO of the Food Futures Company Dr Christine Pitt has co-launched a new venture called Farmers2Founders.

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A ground up approach will help drive precision agriculture

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Entrepreneur and chief executive officer of the Food Futures Company, Dr Christine Pitt, launched a new venture earlier this year aiming to turn farmers into technology company founders.

The aptly named Farmers2Founders program aims to deliver a start-up program that works for farmers.

"It was obvious to us there are a bunch of producers out there who are really innovative, they have great ideas, there are also a lot of problems they need solving and opportunities they can see," she said.

"But there was nothing that really suited their needs to take those ideas forward.

"Most of the work with farmers is about extension and telling them what to do, rather then listening to what they want to say."

Ms Pitt said involving farmers in technology companies could make the industry attractive to younger entrants.

"This program is helping to attract young people back onto the farm, because it is exciting. It's a whole new business opportunity for producers themselves to get involved in the tech side of the business," she said.

Ms Pitt said when talking about agricultural technology, people needed to broaden their definition.

"Digitisation is what everyone is talking about, and there is no doubt that is an important area," she said.

"But there are a lot of other really sophisticated technologies that can be deployed on farm, these include genetic technologies, sensing technologies, robotics and automation.

"It doesn't really matter how you define it, as long as we understand that all of these things are what we are trying to build, grow and support and that we are looking at other industries and bringing technology platforms from there."

Dr Pitt said the program was supported by Meat & Livestock Australia, Grains Research and Development Corporation, Australian Wool Innovation, AgriFutures Australia and Wine Australia and more information could be found on the Farmers2Founders website.

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