The Ag 4.0 Summit has already produced its first innovative ag-tech advancements. Dexter Fichuk and Laura Mann took home the top prize in Grey County’s Apps for Ag competition on November 2 at the Ag 4.0 Summit in Meaford, Ontario. Their app idea called “LIVEstock” will allow farmers to use smartphones in the barn or field to see all of their animals’ data from birthdates to medical and breeding history. Fichuk and Mann were awarded $500 for their idea.
Tayler Black was the Apps for Ag runner up. Black’s web application idea called “Weed ID” makes it easier to identify common Ontario weeds by uploading photos of plants. Using artificial intelligence, the picture is analyzed to classify the species. Black was awarded $250 for second place.
“We’ve been really impressed with the quality of ideas that came in for the Apps for Ag competition and by the incredible support we’ve received from industry leaders. We asked developers to solve a problem facing local food producers and they opened their minds to come up with impressive solutions,” said Ashleigh Weeden, Project Lead for Grey County’s Connected County Initiative.
Now it’s up to the developers to refine their applications and prepare them for public releases. Ag 4.0 provided a great opportunity for the finalists to meet with experts from the ag-tech field, including specialists from AgNition and Palmer Andersen. Georgian College and the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre provided expert resources and sponsorship support for the competition.
The Apps for Ag competition opened on September 12, 2016, and included a full-day ‘hackathon’ at Georgian College in Owen Sound. This event was part of Grey County’s larger “Ag 4.0: The Next Big Thing” initiative which focuses on rural entrepreneurship and technical innovation in agriculture and food. Ag 4.0 peaked with the Summit and Innovation Tour on November 2-3.