An Apple may be in your apple: the story of technology in food

What's in your hand, your purse or your child's paws? The device you can't live without? From taking pictures to making business calculations to connecting with the world to entertaining our kids - technology is constantly at our fingertips.

Love it or hate it, technology is with us nearly every hour of every day. It's prevalent in every part of society, from schools and doctor's offices to grocery stores and tractor cabs. How can technology help you bridge the gap between food and farming?

Consider the really cool tech stories in agriculture. If we can learn to tell those stories in a way that relates to the rest of the world, technology can be a connecting point to consumers. Consider these examples from farmers covered inFood Truths from Farm to Tablethrough their own story.

- Robots milking cows, tracking their steps, pushing their feed to them and even feeding calves. Cows decide when they get milked and love it, while 120 data points are collected on each animal. (Chapter 5)

- GPS drives tractors and combines with auto-steer and stores data about each field down to a specific row. (Chapter 29)

Drones fly over fields to monitor plant and soil health, allowing for more accurate application of products. (Chapter 35)

Genetics have removed seeds from watermelon, made higher protein milk, a leaner meat, reduced insecticides in corn, and a whole lot more. (Chapter 13)

Precision agriculture allows us to carefully monitor what we put in fields, the harvest we take out and keep amazing data on everything in between. (Chapter 43)

Cover crops are an "old-school" technology allowing for better soil health to help with sustainability. (Chapter 42)

Computer-controlled irrigation and harvest systems (think cranberries) carefully control and monitor water usage to reduce environmental impact. (Chapter 16)

Environmentally controlled barns regulate temperature, feed availability, humidity, air filtration, water quality and waste systems. (Chapter 7)

Look closely at what is happening on the farms and ranches you know…there are SO many stories involving technology. Do you get frustrated that the same people who stand in line for the latest iPhone will question technology in food? Look at as an opportunity. Use that Apple product in their hand (or other brand) as a way to help them see technology behind their apple.

Connect with consumers on a commonality like technology to illustrate how it adds to the safety, sustainability and story of their food.  The key is to not start with the science, but relate to them where they are. You may consider the tools used daily in your business to be mundane, but how do they look to the 75% of the population who have not visited a farm in the last five years?

What technology is happening in your corner of the world that you can share with others?

Michele Payn lives on a small farm in west central Indiana, where she and her daughter enjoy all things pink while working with their Holsteins. Michele speaks from the intersection of farm and food, helping thousands of people around the world through her keynotes, books and training programs. Her second book, Food Truths from Farm to Table, was just named a #1 Best Seller on Amazon. Visit  or connect with @mpaynspeaker  on social media channels.

Copyright© 2017 Cause Matters Corp. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction granted for

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