Belinda Clarke, Director of Agri-techE, joins Dennis Donohue and Candace Wilson on this week’s Voices of the Valley to share her knowledge about the many ways science works with growers to adapt and respond to environmental and political changes.

Clarke describes the work that Agri-techE does as creating “an innovation ecosystem for agtech bringing together growers and farmers, technology developers and researchers.”

Kara Timmins

Civil Eats put out an interesting Op-Ed on January 23 entitled “Want an Agtech Revolution? Center Farm Workers’ Expertise. It’s primary narratives are: (1) Agtech robots are coming to take all the farmworker jobs; (2) Agtech startups are targeting farmworkers for replacement and will eliminate tens of thousands of jobs across rural America; and (3) farmworkers should be part of the discussion process around AgTech innovation.

Walt Duflock

Labor remains a top challenge for specialty crops, and it’s getting harder to find. U.S. farmworkers decreased by 70 percent in 70 years, regulatory costs increased 795 percent in 12 years, and U.S. H-2A labor increased from 48,000 in 2005 to 300,000 in 2021—which add transportation and housing costs. Innovation remains the best solution to turn manual tasks like planting, weeding, thinning, harvesting and spraying into automated tasks with mechanization and automation.

Walt Duflock

Pages

Ag Tech

Join Western Growers

Western Growers members care deeply for the food they grow, the land they sustain, the people they employ, and the community in which they live.