Innovation Farms

Digital agriculture innovation on a full-scale farm

Innovation Farms Powered by AgExpert is located on Rutherford Farms, a 5,500-acre full-scale commercial seed farm that provides industry and academics access to leading-edge equipment, technology, and production practices. Rutherford Farms is a multi-generational Manitoba farm with a long history producing, processing, and selling cereal grains, soybeans, canola, and – more recently – hybrid seed corn. Multiple years of historical data and on-farm trials provide a valuable benchmark for future trials and demonstrations, making it an ideal space to foster innovation.

Creating space for collaboration and innovation in a real-world setting allows us to develop viable solutions to the diverse agronomic and technological challenges and opportunities farmers face. As we place sensors and conduct testing across 5,500 acres (including 100-acres set aside to test and validate new hard and software technologies) Innovation Farms will provide previously unavailable, and extremely valuable, insights on soil science, carbon benchmarking, weather data, and more.

Empowering people to succeed and advancing technology on a 5,500 acre fully-sensored seed farm

Economic resilience

Collaborating with industry and academia to spur innovation leads to technological advancement, new and expanded businesses, new well-paying jobs and the preservation of existing jobs. Empowering people to succeed in the digital agriculture industry and equipping them with the skills and tools to advance the agri-food industry has widespread benefits across the prairies.

Valuable insights

We use AgExpert Field and Accounting software to provide valuable insights as part of our testing, research, and technology development. With customers in every province, and all sectors in Canadian agriculture and food production, AgExpert simplifies the entire process of record keeping from field to finance - giving farmers the information they need to make the best business decisions.

Diverse connections

Our close connection to producers and industry experts puts us in a unique position to support innovative research and entrepreneurship centred around the day-to-day operations of a commercial farm.

Skills and knowledge

As agriculture  continues to adopt innovative technologies, people with diverse skills and experiences are needed to access the full potential of these tools. STEM programs, career panels, and work-integrated learning opportunities provide learners from diverse backgrounds with education, training, and work experience to meet the changing needs across the digital agriculture ecosystem.

Read about Innovation Farms Powered by AgExpert in the news

EMILI has been conducting research on Rutherford Farms since 2019. Working closely with University of Winnipeg researchers to develop innovative technologies such as a crop identification algorithm used to identify different varieties of plants. This algorithm was developed from the robust database of millions of labelled images of prairie crops and weeds imaged on Rutherford Farms. Launching Innovation Farms Powered by Ag Expert in Spring 2022 allows us to expand our capacity to support the adoption of new technologies to advance digital agriculture and grow the Canadian economy.

Poster image: Smart Farm innovations across North America
Planting Pixels
Winnipeg Free Press
Telling innovative farm stories
Between the Rows podcast
Photo of two men and one woman looking at a printed arial image on a wall
Innovation Farms
Manitoba Cooperator
Innovation Farms logo overlayed over image of farm
Federal and industry funding
Over $8 million invested to expand technology and education initiatives
group of EMILI staff members standing in field
EMILI tours Innovation Farms
EMILI staff gain insight into equipment, technology, and production practices
Innovative farm partnership
EMILI and FCC partner to advance digital agriculture
tractor with digital camera attached to it
Emergence initiative
EMILI and Bioenterprise partnership advances agriculture innovation
Podcast poster cover with two headshots on it.
Ready, Set Grow Podcast
Jacqueline Keena shares insights into the vision for Innovation Farms.

Collaborate with us

The continued success of Canadian agriculture relies on its ability to adopt new technology, attract a skilled and diverse labour force, and embrace sustainability. Working together, we can increase the integration of intelligent technologies, empower people with digital skills, support start-ups to grow in the prairies, and accelerate Canada's growth as a leader in digital agriculture. Email to learn about ongoing projects and partnership opportunities.
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