194: The Power of AI Farming – Interview with John Deere


Matt interviews Sarah Schnickel, Director of Emerging Technologies at John Deere, about how machine learning is changing the future of farming. This is tech that will affect us all in the coming years.

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Hey everybody, in this episode of Still to be Determined, we’re going to be talking about receiving a Dear John letter. No, wait, I misread that. We’re going to be talking about John Deere tractors. Hey everybody. As usual, I’m Sean Ferrell. I’m a writer. I write some sci fi. I write some stuff for kids, including my on the bookstore shelves recently released The Sinister Secrets of Singe.

Please take a look for it at your local bookstore. And with me as always is my brother, Matt. He’s that Matt of Undecided with Matt Ferrell, which takes a look at emerging tech and its impact on our lives. Matt, how are you doing today?

I’m doing great. How about yourself?

I’m doing well. It’s been a rainy, windy weekend, but I think we’re weathering it and.

It looks like the sun is actually out right now, so let’s get to recording so I can go outside.

In today’s episode of Still to be Determined, it’s going to be a break from our normal pattern. We occasionally have these long form interviews that Matt conducts, and when they are of particular interest or dive deep into a subject, we like to share the entire conversation with you all. In this one, Matt is going to be talking with Sarah Schnickel.

Who is the director of emerging technologies at John Deere. We are all of course, familiar with John Deere as one of the leaders in a tractor and farming equipment manufacturing. And I mean, I don’t know about most of our listeners and viewers globally, but it’s not uncommon for us in the U S as kids to actually have toy John Deere.

Tractors. It’s something We did!. Yes. I remember. Even ones that kind of worked, like little levers to move the different parts. And so it’s a kind of a flash from the past for me in introducing this conversation. Matt and Sarah talked about what John Deere is planning with automation and machine learning.

Something that’s on everybody’s radar. It’s bubbling up in literally every field, including farming equipment. So think of self driving tractors. Think of self driving combines. Do not think of Stephen King’s movie Maximum Overdrive.

Think about see and spray technology. And this one I think is fascinating. Technology where the machines would spray the crops that are only showing signs of bugs or disease, as opposed to blanket. Carpet bombing of a field. And they’re also going to discuss the fears around this kind of technology, taking jobs from people.

So on, we go to

the conversation with Sarah. So to kick things off, I just want to say, thank you so much, Sarah, for, for joining me today, um, to kick things off, I was hoping you could just kind of give me a little information about yourself. Like, what is it that you do at John

Deere? For sure. Yeah. So great to be here.

Thanks for having me. Uh, my name is Sarah Schnickel. My title is Director of Emerging Technologies at John Deere, which I think means I have maybe one of the coolest jobs at John Deere. So I lead a team of technologists, and we basically look at new and emerging technology. And try to understand it. But then we also build lots of prototypes and proof of concepts to see how does this work in our applications?

How might it work for our customers? How might it benefit our equipment? And so I’ve got over 18 years at John Deere. I’ve always been in our technology. So I started in embedded software and then kind of just moved into different roles always in our technology stack. And so working on technology that was either in the cab or in our web and mobile devices.

And now I have this super cool job where we, where we experiment with new tech. That is

awesome. Yeah. One of the reasons I reached out to John Deere and hoping to talk to somebody like yourself is that. When you think about agriculture and something like John Deere tractors and things like that, you don’t think of cutting edge technology, but it does sound like John Deere has been always pushing that envelope, um, especially since there’s a group that’s dedicated to this exact thing.

Yeah, absolutely. And it’s one of my favorite things is to talk to people who aren’t familiar with all the technology that’s in our equipment, um, because they’re always surprised and it’s really fun to kind of share our journey with them. And so we’ve been putting technology on equipment for over 20 years.

So a lot of people are surprised to learn that over 20 years ago, we introduced our AutoTrack product. Which is hands free steering while you’re going up and down the field. So for 20 years, farmers haven’t had to necessarily drive while they’re in the field. We have, we use GPS and the onboard technology to do that steering for them.

And then over that 20 years, we’ve just been adding more and more technology to make things easier for farmers, to help them do their jobs better, um, and do jobs more precisely. Farmers work really long, really hard hours. And so we’ve found, uh, over the past, you know, couple decades, The more we can automate what’s happening in a cab, the more we can help that farmer do their job and do it well.

Farming is fundamentally a hard job. There’s not… The growth rate of farmers is like 1 percent over the next few decades, and the population is expected to go, I think, from 8 billion to 10 billion people, and so we’ve got to grow a lot of food, but in the U. S. we don’t have a lot of farmers, that growth isn’t there, that labor force, and so bringing technology onto our equipment has been one of the ways we’ve helped farmers be more productive, more efficient, but then also, Help them just get through their really long, hard days.

There’s a lot of concern. There’s, there’s excitement and concern around when you talk about, um, uh, AI and machine learning and applying these technologies. You brought up the autonomous tractors, like being able to kind of like steer itself, um, to help the, to help the driver out. There are concerns that this will end up taking jobs, but from everything I’ve been seeing, the farming market is kind of shrinking.

There’s not enough people to fill all the roles. So what is, what is your position or John Deere’s position on how you’re trying to alleviate those concerns that this might end up taking jobs?

Yeah, so I think there’s a statistic. I think the average US farmer is over 55 years old and working a 12 to 18 hour day.

And then, like I said, I think the farm labor force has been growing at like 1%. It’s really, it’s not growing is kind of the short story there. And so, you know, Like most of us, a to do list is always a little bit longer than we really have time to do, and on a farm, I think that’s, that’s very true. There’s always more work than there is people to get the job done.

And so what we’ve been really focused on is how do we help those farmers do the job that they need to do under really tight. Uh, windows for being in the field. So if you think about weather conditions that are totally out of control of the farmer, when a, when it’s planting season, you have to plant and you maybe have a two week window before the weather turns or it gets too warm.

Same thing with harvest. When it’s time to get the crop out, you’ve got to get the crop out. You’re working against weather. You’re working against time. And so anything we can do with technology to help farmers be really productive in those windows of time that they have to do their job, it just benefits them.

So to me, it’s really about how can technology help farmers get their job done. And that’s really where we focus on that productivity and that efficiency. So, Sarah, why don’t you,

could you walk us through the basic steps of the farming practice? Just kind of give us a overview of how it works. Yeah,


So I’ll speak for us, farming and, and the way it really works is there’s, there’s four main steps. So first, a farmers are gonna plant their crop. And so that happens usually in the US in the spring. And it’s a really tight window. So the, the soil has to be warm enough for the, the seed to grow, but you’ve gotta work around spring weather and you’ve also gotta go get the crop in that soil early enough that the crop’s gonna have enough.

Sunlight and enough growing time through the summer. And so planting is a really important time of year for farmers. Um, they use a tractor and they, the tractor pulls what’s called a planter and that’s how they get the seeds in the ground. And then in summer, they’ll do a spraying operation or a spraying passes.

And what that is, is it’s really nurturing the plant. So if you think about if you have a garden or grow plants. You know, you can’t just leave them alone and hope for the best. And so during spring, we’re looking at weeds, we’re looking at pests, and we’re really making sure that the plants have all the nutrients, all the space, all the opportunity to be as healthy as they can as they’re growing.

Once the crops have grown, and it’s fall usually in the U. S., we come into harvest. And harvesting is done with a machine called a combine. It’s a huge, basically a factory on wheels, and it takes the crop out of the field. Sorts it and it puts it into a bin and then that’s what’s going to go into storage or to be sold.

And so this harvest is a super busy time at the field because you’re trying to get all the crops out before they get too mature, before the weather comes in, before everything freezes. And then at the same time, you want to do a tillage operation, which is where you prepare the soil for the next year’s planting.

And again, especially in the northern U. S., you’ve got to get that done before the ground freezes. And so that. Harvest and tillage time of year can be really busy for farmers. And so because of all that stress and the importance of that time of year, tillage is where we started with autonomy because can we take an operator out of that cab and free them up to do a different job during that really busy season was really the goal there.

So it was kind of like the low hanging fruit of the entire process. It’s like the busiest part where you were trying to

help first. Absolutely, yeah. Can we make that tractor pulling that tillage equipment be autonomous so that somebody can remotely monitor it while also doing a different job to keep harvest going and harvest efficient?

Because the logistics and the busyness of harvest is, it’s really amazing to see, to be out on a farm during harvest. It’s just constant movement, constant work.

How long ago was that that you kind of started focusing on the tillage

part? Well, we introduced the Autonomous Tractor in 2022, and so we’ve been working on it, obviously, before that, but it started to go out with customers in 2022, and it’s still with customers now.

So, um, it’s, you know, early in the adoption curve, but we’re getting a lot of positive feedback, and it’s really been amazing to see. I mean, there’s really something to be said for seeing a tractor out in a field, and there’s no one sitting in the cab. Yeah, I was

going to ask you about the feedback. Uh, I’m assuming they’re really liking it.

The extra hands. Yeah, the

feedback has been really positive. Uh, just continued interest. And then frankly, a lot of curiosity about it too is it is it’s something novel, it’s something different. And so, um, it’s really fun to see the interest kind of just gain momentum as we continue to work on this.


So talk about a couple of different specific pieces of technology that you are doing. Like one of the ones that caught my attention. It was earlier this year was the see and spray technology. Could you kind of walk through what that is and how it works? Yeah,

absolutely. So I’ll start with maybe, um, what the job of spraying is for farmers.

So After you’ve planted your crops and they’re growing and they’re healthy in the field, you’ve got to manage those crops and keep them healthy. And so there’s things like insects, there’s weeds, all of these things can attack plants on top of just you need the right weather conditions for the plant to grow.

And so farmers will go through their fields and historically they’ll go through and they’ll spray the whole field with maybe an herbicide to control weed pressure. Well, what See and Spray does is we’ve added, so sprayers too, if you haven’t seen a sprayer, a self propelled sprayer, they’re really cool machines.

They’re really tall. They’re probably I’m a little over five feet. They’re just almost as tall as I am, is where the wheels go. That’s how tall the wheels are, the tires, and, um, and they go through standing crops. And so there’s a boom, which is where all of the nozzles are for the sprayers, and it can be 120 feet wide.

So that’s, um, Almost half a football field and on that boom, we have put 36 cameras and they’re looking forward and they use machine learning to say, am I seeing crop or am I seeing weed? And if they see weed through the embedded systems on the machine, they tell the sprayer turn on and it’ll turn on and spray only that weed.

And so rather than spraying the entire field, we’re looking at probably like we think about a two thirds, 66%. Savings on herbicide if customers use these See and spray machines, because the, the machine learning, the AI can see just the weeds and spray only those, so huge benefit to the farmer from a cost savings, but also just a huge benefit across the board too on overall herbicide savings.

Yeah. I was going to say that’s beneficial for the environment. It’s beneficial for the pocketbook of the farmer and for those of us that are concerned about overuse of pesticides, it benefits us as well. Exactly. Yeah. So it’s over 60%. You said.

Yeah. That’s, that’s what our research so far tells us. Our feedback is 67%, 66%, I think.

Right. So, so for the AI, for these, for these models that you’ve created for being able to detect the weed, to be able to spray it. Are you constantly improving that? Like from the See and spray that are in the fields, are you collecting more data that you’re using to refine the model to make it better and make it even more?


absolutely. So yeah, so we’ve trained this on, you know, millions of images. And then as we collect more data from fields, we’re continuing to train and refine it. And you can also think about too, as we move into different crops, you know, those will take, we’ll have to learn those crops and differentiate a weed from some other crops too.

So it’s just this continuous. Engineering puzzle from my standpoint, being an engineer is, you know, the job is never done. We’ve got it working in the field. Now we’re getting great feedback, but we can keep making it better. We can keep making it more exact. For another

product, going to the autonomous tractor thing again, how autonomous are they today?

Like how much can they actually do on their

own? So right now we’ve supported an autonomous tractor with tillage. So tillage is where we prepare the soil for planting. And so you usually do it in the harvest season. And today we have it with customers in the field and there is no one in the cab, so autonomous tilling is happening with John Deere Autonomous Tractors.

Um, you can monitor, the farmer can monitor the operation. We have a John Deere Operations Center mobile application, so through that they can monitor the tractor, they can see, you know, if the tractor pauses because it sees something, they can see what the tractor sees on there, and they can say, nope, that’s just some trash, go ahead and keep going.

Um, and so, yeah, those are in the field now. And then we have a roadmap where we, we think we can get to an autonomous farm by 2030.

Do farmers typically have multiple of these running or do they just have one and they just keep an eye on it? I

think today, because we’re really early in the adoption of autonomous tractors, I think usually farmers just have one right now, but you know, I think that’s one of the things that we’ll learn as adoption grows and we’ve seen adoption grow with automation in the tractor.

So we expect autonomous. tractor adoption to grow as well. Um, I think we’re, we’re going to learn how do farmers use autonomous tractors on the on their farms as especially as we introduce more, um, autonomous functionality.

Well, between, between all of those technologies, are there any specific crops or farming conditions that benefit the most from these technologies?

Or is it kind of just Goodbye now It applies to pretty much all kinds of farming.

Yeah, that’s a really good question. I think right now we’re focused mostly in corn and soy and cotton as crops, but a lot of our automation technology works in regardless of the crop you’re in. So if I think back to AutoTrack, which is that hands free steering, that works in any crop in any conditions.

And a lot of the sensors that we use on our equipment We’ll work measuring, you know, yields or rates that we’re applying regardless of, of what crop we’re in. And so that’s the benefit of a lot of the technology we’re working with is that it works for all farmers regardless of what they’re doing. Um, the, the benefits and the efficiencies are there for everyone.

Obviously with greater technology comes more complexity sometimes. So from a farmer’s perspective, farmers wear so many hats. They’re an accountant, they’re a business operator, they’re an engineer. ’cause they have to fix the tractors when they break. How much of this are they able to set up on themselves, by themselves, how much hand holding do they need from John Deere, if there’s training that they have to go through to be able to do this?


absolutely. That’s a really great question. I think one of the things that makes John Deere really special is our dealer network and our dealer channel. So, um, and it’s a little bit different. So you maybe know like car dealers and think about how you work with your car dealer. It’s really different for, for John Deere dealers and customers.

So dealers are really. Um, they’re there to help our customers all the time and so they understand, they usually have a personal relationship with a given farmer. Um, they understand that farmer’s business and then they’re there, um, to help support, help diagnose, um, help repair, but also, you know, teach the farmer how to use some of this stuff as well.

So a lot of times those dealers are, are one of our first lines of, of both getting technology to our farmers, but then also supporting that technology with our farmers. And it’s really amazing. Like if you’re out at a farm during harvest season, which is one of the busiest times of year for farms, those dealers are just as busy as the farmers are going out and helping out and taking phone calls.

It’s pretty impressive to watch. So it’s really, it’s a partnership. Absolutely. Yes. I love that word.

Okay. Are there, I don’t know if you’ll have any details in this, but do you have any kind of success stories or case studies? of customers that have used these technologies and how it’s changed how they farm?

Absolutely. I think we’ve, I mean, we’ve just got so many. So because automation has been in the hands of our customers for over 20 years, there’s just a lot of farmers that are using this successfully and to the point where they don’t want to run without using it. So just like maybe, uh, you know, farmers used to be able to farm without air conditioning.

And now they really want air conditioning in a cab, just like you or I would want it in our car. Um, Autotrack is that way. They don’t want to have to steer through their fields anymore. They’re used to the benefits of Autotrack. They’re used to that hands free experience. They’re making phone calls.

They’re running their business from their cabs. And so all of those farmers that have adopted Autotrack and use it regularly, that’s become a must have for many of our farmers. Another really cool example is our Combine Advisor project, or product. And what it does is it senses what’s happening in a combine, so the machine that’s used during harvest is called a combine, and it goes through and it harvests the crops from the field, and it’s a really huge, complex machine.

And it’s hard to get all of the settings exactly right, and there are expert operators who know exactly how to, like, tune in all of those settings and get it to operate exactly how they want it to operate for their fields, for their crops. And Combine Advisor is a window for farmers to see. what is happening in my combine and then they can adjust those settings themselves and it gives maybe an average operator some extra insights to help them have that expert operator capabilities.

This is something I’ve heard a bunch of times from different companies I’ve talked to, but when it comes to machine learning, it takes somebody who might be average at being, understanding how to do something. And it like gives them superpowers. It like accelerates them to be able to do it. Exactly.

And when you think about the labor shortage that we have in agriculture, that’s really important because the person driving the equipment might not be an expert operator.

They might be somebody that was just available today. You know, a lot of times on, at least on family farms, it’s kind of phone a friend, like Hey, we’re down a person today. Can you come help out? And that person, you know, doesn’t farm full time. And so anything that we can do with technology to make that operator more productive and more efficient, whether it’s the expert operator and giving them superhuman powers, or whether it’s a less experienced operator and helping them get into a more of an expert range, technology is really helpful.

So how do you see this is going to be kind of a, put on your, uh, uh, progressive, uh, like. Prognostication hat, like this is not specific to John Deere, more of the industry. How do you see AI machine learning evolving in the agricultural industry over the next decade? For, for all

there. Yeah. That’s a really great question.

And it’s one, you know, myself and my team think about a lot. All of John Deere thinks about that a lot. I think we’re just going to keep seeing growth in automation and in autonomy. So like I said, we have a 2030 goal to get to an autonomous farm. So that means autonomous planting, autonomous spraying, autonomous harvest in addition to the autonomous tillage we already have.

And if you think about. What is going to take to achieve that goal? It’s going to be more sensors, more AI, more machine learning, because we really got to understand what is a human doing in those machines. And then we have to be able to automate everything that human is doing, or give them visibility to it through technology on a remote device.

And so, um, it’s. If you have my job, it’s just a really exciting place to be because there’s no end of really great, useful challenges and problems to solve for our customers. And so if I think about going from where we are today, where we can, you know, spray weed by weed, what’s the future? What can we do plant by plant?

Can we get to a place where, where we’re managing each individual plant in that field and using technology to do that and helping each. Farmers say, you know, we’re going to make sure that this plant needs nutrients and give it just the nutrients it needs. It’s lots of interesting problems out there and technology will help us solve a lot

of them.

Can you discuss any of the challenges that John Deere is facing at implementing this new technology as it’s rolling out?

Absolutely. You know, other than just general technology advancement and adoption, which isn’t necessarily a challenge, but an opportunity, one of our biggest challenges is probably around connectivity.

So if you think about an autonomous tractor, and I talked about, you know, we have the John Deere Operations Center that’s on a mobile device. Well, that needs connectivity to that tractor so that the farmer can see what’s happening, can monitor the operation, can see the status of the operation. And there’s just a lot of parts of rural America that still don’t have great connectivity.

Um, I was looking at some stats and I think, I’m looking at my notes here. Yeah, I’ve got a statistic that says over 14 million Americans still don’t have, rural Americans don’t have access to broadband access, and that extends into the field. And so for data to share between equipment, for data to flow into our operations center so that we can do this remote monitoring and do autonomous activities, we’ve really got to have that connectivity.

And so, um, in 2022, we announced actually, uh. Request for proposal for a satellite connectivity. So looking for a partner there. And we plan to have something in the market by 2024 to help address that because connectivity is just essential for a lot of these technology products.

Yeah, that’s a, that’s a really good highlight.

I hadn’t, I’ve been, I just moved into a new house and I’ve been experiencing the same thing where I am. There’s internet connections, but it’s more of a monopoly, and there’s very limited things I can get. And so it’s like, I can totally understand that if you’re, I have family that was in Iowa and Nebraska, and I know that when you get remote, it is remote.

So it’s like, getting a connection like that can be difficult.

Yeah. And it’s just really important for the future of what we see happening with precision agriculture is you’ve got to be able to share data. You’ve got to be able to have that connectivity. And so, um, that’s just a really big challenge that we’re constantly looking at and trying to figure out how to work.

Well, it does raise a very techie kind of question. It’s like, is, is it, is the actual machine learning, it’s like it’s happening on location, but I’m assuming it needs the connection to kind of phone home to share what it’s been experiencing to update. Right, so yes. Does it need it in real time or is it okay that it can be disconnected for short periods?

Right, so something like See and Spray, the machine learning is happening on the machine and all of that is happening, you know, near real time. For something like Autonomy, we definitely do need the connection because we need the farmer to be able to see, you know, the operator is remote. Um, not even an operator at that point, right?

The farmer is remote and needs to be able to have that connection to see what’s happening. Another, you know, current example of a product that’s out there running is we call it infield data sharing. And so if there are two machines operating in the same field, which can happen pretty frequently on large farms, they need to know where the other one has been in the field.

And so that again, that real near time data sharing happens up through the cloud and connectivity is needed there. And so, you know, if you and I were in the same field farming, we’re harvesting this fall. You know, you’ve got a computer basically in your cab showing you a map of where you’ve been. I’ve got a computer in my cab showing me a map of where I’ve been, but really we need to know where both of us have been.

And so infield data sharing allows us to share those maps, but we’ve got to have connectivity to do that. Ah, I

gotcha. Okay. So, uh, kind of going to the, I don’t know how much details you have on like costs and benefits, but when, uh, farmers implementing these, I’m assuming some of this tech, that newest technology typically is a little more expensive, uh, than Non smart technology, but the benefits that you get out of it should offset those costs.

Um, do you have any kind of stats on like how much, uh, a farmer benefits from like the See and spray from the autonomous tractor that can help them with like, you can do more with less. Are there any kind of stats that you have around that?

Yeah, probably the best stat that I have is that 67 percent savings on See or sorry, 66 percent savings on See and Spray.

Um, you know, that’s an immediate kind of payback, right? There is just less input costs. And then I think the other thing that we see a lot is the efficiency gains as well. So, um, you know, being able to have an autonomous tractor doing tillage in a field frees up that operator to go be doing something else on the farm.

And if you think about, um, Like I said, harvest time can be just such a busy time on a farm. There is a value to having an operator free to maybe go run a different piece of equipment while that field is being autonomously tilled. Um, so that’s how we think about it with our farmers. The other big piece of that too is just The efficiency of, of how a machine goes through a field to, um, you know, with Autotrack, with Autotrack turn automation, which helps a machine turn around at the end of the field, we can just be really efficient about how we go through a field, and again, freeing up that farmer in the cab, even when somebody’s still in the cab, to be doing all the other jobs that a farmer is doing all of the time, taking phone calls, running their business.

I don’t

know why it’s popping in my head. It makes me feel like, um, to relate it to somebody like at your house, you have a robot vacuum cleaner. Yes. It seems very similar

to that. It’s a lot like that. I, like, I kind of love that analogy because it is, it’s, you’ve, you just set it up and you let it go. And if something happens, it beeps or it notifies you and you come resolve it and then you go about your day.

And so it’s not that you’re sitting around necessarily, but maybe you’re cleaning the kitchen while the robot vacuum vacuum. So

that’s awesome. Yeah. I love that. It’s, you have to be aware of what it’s doing. It might need a hand, but it frees you up to do other things while it’s working. Absolutely. Yeah.

Yeah. So we’ve talked about autonomous tractors. We’ve talked about see and spray technologies and the combine. Are there other technologies or advancements that, uh, you’d want to touch on from John Deere? Like, is there anything around zero emissions tractors or anything like that that you can touch on?

Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, one of the big things is just our vision for this 2030 autonomous farm. And so if I think about How do we get to an autonomous farm? It’s really about automating a lot of things that are already happening in equipment today. And one of the things I love about that is as we automate our existing equipment to get to this autonomy goal.

There’s immediate value in a lot of that, that automation. So again, if I go back to Combine Advisor, you know, understanding what’s happening in the combine and being able to say, this is, this, this setting needs to be adjust. Well, that’s going to have to be there for autonomy. Well, we’ve already given that capability to our farmers today so that they can be adopting automation, learning to trust the automation, but also making their jobs easier today.

And so, as I look at our goals as a company, Um, there’s just all these interesting stops along the way that we’re going to be able to make our current equipment that much more useful, that much more efficient and productive for our, our farmers. And at the end, we’re going to get to this place where, where the farmer can make that choice to be in the equipment or to be out of the equipment, remotely monitoring it.

One of my final questions I have for you is. Okay, so agriculture is not like a sexy topic that grabs people’s attention when you’re talking about autonomy and AI and machine learning. People tend to focus on, you know, Tesla’s self driving cars and things like that. Why should the average person on the street really care about this?

What is the message that you want them to understand that they need to take away from this?

I mean, at John Deere, a lot of times we talk about feeding and clothing the world and it’s true. Farmers feed and clothe the world. So whether you’re talking about corn or soybeans or cotton, we all care about what farming farmers do.

Farmers do for us. And so, um, I think it’s, it’s really fun to talk to people who don’t know about agriculture because it seems kind of disconnected and not, not something really related to a lot of us. But then you stop and you think about, well, so what did you have for breakfast today? I had yogurt and some berries.

And so that yogurt came from cows. The berries were obviously grown somewhere. Like all of that started. In farming. And so farming actually impacts all of us. And we all at some point are very invested in farmers being successful because we want to go to the grocery store and we want to buy food. We want to have, you know, clothing.

And so the more we can educate people, one, about Frankly, how cool the technology is in farming, um, I think that’s just interesting for a lot of people and surprises them when they hear about it. But then too, like, we’re all really invested in farmers being successful. And so I think when, when we get to talk to people and explain that to them and slow people down and have them really think about where their food comes from, where their clothes come from, then it’s a really obvious jump for a lot of people to say, oh, wow, but you’re right.

We’ve got to have that moment to stop and talk with people about it.

Yeah, it’s, it’s abstracted away because we go into a grocery store, we just get the stuff we want to get and we

don’t think about the words. Right, it’s just there, which is, you know, a sign of how successful our farming farmers are in the US.

Um, but we’ve got to make sure we keep helping them be successful.

That’s awesome. So is there anything else you wanted to touch on

while we’re talking? No, I mean, I’ll just, I’ll just kind of maybe go back to like, you know, farming is a super hard job. There’s the labor shortage, there’s the weather, um, there’s the growing population that we’ve got to feed.

And then technology is really going to be the answer for those farmers. So whether it’s automating existing equipment, automating existing functionality, but keeping someone in the cab, or it’s this 2030 goal that we have of autonomy where a farmer can choose to be out of the cab, technology is going to help farmers keep feeding the world.

That’s fantastic.

I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me today.

Well, I appreciate you taking the time. We’re, like I said, we’re always excited to share this message with people. So thank you for being interested in it. All right.

So Matt, in your conversations with Sarah, I’m curious about it.

One particular thing, the scale that they’re talking about, they’re talking about, Industrial farming, large scale farming. They’re talking about machines that are going to like roam around a field of crops and spray for bugs. The combines are going to harvest, the tractors are going to plow, all of that sort of thing.

Are they also working on smaller scale for the homeowner? That’s a really

good question. We didn’t talk about that. Uh, part of the reason for that was they don’t talk about, they weren’t talking about like unannounced advances that they’re working on. Okay. But it would not surprise me if some of their smaller sized equipment eventually down the road starts to get some of these advances for I wouldn’t say homeowners like for me, but maybe for a very small little itty bitty family farm, that kind of scale, it wouldn’t surprise me if this trickles down.

But on that note, even for homeowners now, it’s like, for me, it’s like, I have a robot lawnmower already. It’s like, it goes out and tools around by itself and mows my lawn. So it’s, that’s kind of already here for homeowners. Yeah, that’s the

kind of thing I was thinking about. And I just didn’t know if, I mean, that’s, that’s a very different market from where we traditionally think of that company.

So it’ll be interesting to see where they land in a few years. So thank you to Sarah for taking the time to speak with Matt. It was a very interesting conversation and I hope all of you listening or watching enjoyed it. Please jump into the comments. Let us know what you thought. What did you think about what Sarah had to say?

And if you had any follow up questions that you think Matt Could or should try to follow up on, put them in the comments below. We love to hear what everybody has to say. As always, if you enjoyed this, please go back to wherever it was you found this. That might be YouTube, it might be Google, Spotify, wherever it was you found us, go back there, leave a review.

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