Digital Transformation of Canadian Agri-Food
Agriculture in Canada is on the cusp of a dramatic transformation in large part due to the emergence of agri-food technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT). Through IoT we are experiencing a fundamental paradigm shift in the concept of precision agriculture which is expected to be a powerful driver that will transform agri-food into interconnected ecosystem of data and information.
Canadian farmers are operating in an every more complex, global reality and the race for access and control of on-farm data is escalating. Monetization of Canadian ag data begins at the farm, moving through the supply chain, ending with the consumer. Canadian farmers are under incredible pressure to provide proof of on-farm practices, are being tasked to meet societal demands and farm in an environmentally sustainable manner while remaining economically viable.
For Canada to be global leaders in digital ag, it is critical to consider an intelligent strategy concerning the adoption and use of disruptive technologies; to have a clear definition of disruption, to understand the ideas of exponential transformation, to identify concrete deliverables designed and implemented against specific business objectives and requirements in order to deliver tangible benefits and outcomes for all participants. To be global leaders, we as a community need to understand the challenges of data governance and good stewardship principles.
Dr. Karen Hand has recently been appointed as the Director of Research Data Strategy for the
Food from Thought program and will lead the strategic design, development and management
of the University of Guelph’s vision for a cross-sectoral online platform for research data and
analytics – Agri-food Data Canada
Karen received her PhD in biostatistics from the University of Guelph and for the past four years
has been active in CDAF (Canadian Digital Agri-Food). As Founder and President of Precision
Strategic Solutions, Dr. Hand has been involved in numerous research and industry projects
involving the analysis and management of Canadian agri-food data; and is keenly interested in
the establishment of a comprehensive digital transformation strategy for Canadian Agri-Food to
ensure our position as leaders in the global marketplace.