A key announcement coming out of the Manitoba Beef Producers AGM.

The Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives will be joining the Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network.

The network of smart farms (led by Olds College) shares data and expertise to help all aspects of the ag sector better understand, use, and develop smart agricultural technologies.

The overall goal is to accelerate the development and adoption of these  technologies across Canada. 

The network was launched in 2021 and includes the Glacier FarmMedia Discovery Farm at Langham, Sask., Lakeland College located at Vermilion, Alta., and University of Saskatchewan (USask) Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence (LFCE) located near Saskatoon, Sask.

For Dr. Joy Agnew, Associate Vice-President of Applied Research at Olds College, the network's continued expansion and collaboration across different agricultural zones and land bases brings more depth to the projects and technology evaluations that will benefit farmers and developers.

"We are pleased to announce our second expansion site and welcome the Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives Inc. into the Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network.  With additional partners come additional opportunities in applied research and education that will help producers maximize technology and data when they’re making those sometimes tough farm management decisions."

Agnew says independent validation of ag technologies is critical, and so is ensuring that validation is done using more than a single smart farm and more than one agro-climatic zone. 

Linking smart farms across the country multiplies the learnings and increases the value of data generated to connect farmers with industry and research partners to find practical solutions to ag challenges.

Dr. Mary-Jane Orr, General Manager, Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiatives Inc. says this network of smart farms creates opportunities for broader discussions on technologies, risk management and knowledge sharing.

"Joining the network is an impactful way to amplify our investment in evaluating livestock and crop monitoring equipment made possible through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership grant funding. We want to both support sustainable production and help producers maximize technology and data. We look forward to what we can achieve as the network continues to grow with more infrastructure, technology, laboratories, facilities and pastures.”

With funding from the Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN), the Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network initiative will accelerate the development and adoption of ag technologies and systems, helping producers manage their risk of production to improve the productivity and sustainability of their farms.