Attendance at EMILI’s annual Agriculture Enlightened conference increased by more than 30 per cent this year with some saying it was the best year yet.

The event took place at the Fairmont Winnipeg on October 26, 2023.

EMILI was thrilled to welcome more than 230 agri-food and technology experts, industry leaders, decision-makers, researchers and students from across Canada for a full day of expert speakers and panel discussions exploring the changing landscape of agriculture in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) era. Attendees gained fresh insights on smart farms, AI, raising agtech capital, the future workforce, and more.

The date is set for Agriculture Enlightened 2024. If you’d like to join us on November 7, 2024 we encourage you to save your seat to be the first to know when early-bird registration opens.

More than 26 engaging speakers shared expertise

The day kicked off with a panel discussion between Chuck Baresich, Joe Dales, Rick Rutherford, Ray Bouchard and Jacqueline Keena celebrating how the vision for Innovation Farms in Manitoba led to a similar initiative launching in Ontario.

Next up, Chelsea Gray and Bryan Prystupa from AgExpert shared details of their work with EMILI on Innovation Farms and the  impact of syncing existing on-farm data with AgExpert Field to increase productivity and profitability.

A conversation between Adrienne Levay, Blake Weiseth, Danielle Berard, and Darcy Harouf centred around the importance of fostering collaboration across the Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network, and their vision of sharing data and expertise to help growers, industry and developers better understand, use and develop smart agricultural technologies.

The last session of the morning brought Jennifer Flanagan, Katherine Cherewyk, Mairead Matthews, and Brenna Mahoney on stage to discuss how vital it is to engage students in STEM and digital agriculture career pathways.

Attendees gain new insights into innovation, data, and AI

After lunch, attendees were privy to an “unplugged” discussion between Farm Credit Canada Chief Economist J.P. Gervais and VP of Marketing and Digital Agriculture Fred Wall. They provided insight into the current state of the economy and other factors concerning innovation in Canadian agriculture.

Next up, Jacqueline Keena and MLT Aikins Lawyer Danielle Graff discussed innovation, data, and technology from a legal perspective.

Dan Lussier followed this discussion with a presentation on interoperability, providing an update on what he has learned interviewing 25+ agtech stakeholders to figure out the state of play for interoperability in digital agriculture technology, both on the farm and in the value chain.

He was then joined on stage by Celia Wanderley and Chris Bunio to talk about responsible use of AI. As AI finds its way into a growing number of applications in the agri-food sector, this panel looked at how to implement AI to comply with legislation and regulation, and how to avoid risks and potential harms caused by unintended effects of AI technology.

For the final session of the day, Lasha Glennie, Richard Tuck, and Marlise Hunter dove into the current state of capital-seeking activities in Manitoba, providing a window into the dynamic capital ecosystem of Manitoba.

Recommended reading

We are thankful to the media who were present sharing stories about the work taking place to advance digital agriculture. Here are a few articles that provide a snapshot of the day’s learnings:

Agriculture Enlightened 2024 will take place on November 7, 2024. Save your seat to be the first to know when early-bird registration opens.

View more photos of Agriculture Enlightened 2023.