With the launch of EMILI’s Fundamentals of Farm Data program, farmers interested in building foundational knowledge and skills around agriculture data and farm data governance have a new resource to turn to.

“The course was developed for growers interested in building their data literacy skills. We hope that it equips farmer with the right questions to ask when it comes to farm data and digital technologies,” said Dan Lussier, Director of EMILI’s Canadian Agri-food Data Initiative (CADI). 

In addition to being accessible for free online, EMILI is actively working with partner organizations to deliver online webinars and in-person events.

“We know that live delivery of training – both in-person and via webinar – is an incredibly valuable way to bring the content to life,” said Lussier. “Not only does it allow for customized content, it also allows participants to ask real-time questions and engage with their peers.” 

He emphasizes that while geared to farmers, the course content should also be valuable to anyone who is interested in agriculture data including agronomists, crop advisors, and policy makers. Each module contains hands-on exercises and worksheets designed to show how the information presented can be applied in practice.

As of January 2024, EMILI has published four modules including a set of three introductory modules:

  • Module 1: Data 101
  • Module 2: Data in Agriculture
  • Module 3: Working with Your Data

A more advanced module on cybersecurity (module 6) is also available for growers interested in going deeper into this important digital agriculture topic. Subsequent modules addressing key topics such as privacy, ownership, interoperability, data governance, artificial intelligence will be released throughout 2024. 

“The course content is non-technical so you don’t need to be an expert in precision agriculture or a data science to learn and benefit from the material,” said Lussier.

EMILI worked closely with key partners from post-secondary institutions and the non-profit sector to develop this data literacy course including:  Assiniboine Community College, Lakeland College, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, and the Community Safety Knowledge Alliance (CSKA). Funding for this work was provided through Protein Industry Canada’s Capacity Building Program.

To learn more about the course, join EMILI on February 27 during Manitoba Tech Week for an informative webinar on putting agtech and farm data to work. During this session, panelists will share information on the Fundamentals of Data Literacy training as they discuss the role data literacy plays in technology adoption in the agriculture sector and supporting the use of farm data.

While materials are available free online at data.emilicanada.com/data-literacy, EMILI encourages agriculture associations, post-secondary institutions, or other organizations working in the agriculture sector to email data-literacy@emilicanada.com to discuss options for in-person events or webinars.