US Senate Testimony: Technology in Ag: Data-Driven Farming

On November 14, 2017, I will be testifying before the US Senate's Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance and Data Security.  Here is an excerpt from my testimony:

Good afternoon Chairman Moran, Ranking Member Blumenthal, and members of the Subcommittee.  My name is Todd J. Janzen, I am the president and attorney with Janzen Agricultural Law, LLC, a law firm based in Indianapolis, Indiana that serves the needs of America’s farmers, ag technology providers, and agribusinesses.

One of the reasons we founded Janzen Ag Law in 2015 was that we wanted to be at the forefront of the changes that have been occurring on the farm for the past few years.  Farms are becoming more digital every day, and together with that digitalization is a movement of agricultural data stored on computers in the farm office to cloud-based data storage devices. Agricultural data (ag data) can be many things, including yield data, soil data, planting information, weather data, financial data, etc. This marks the first time in history that the majority of the information that farmers generate and use on their farms has been moved into the hands of companies outside the farm.

As a result, we are seeing a digital land-rush occurring across the United States. The past few years have seen millions of dollars pour into ag data startups from Silicon Valley, to Kansas City, to North Carolina. Historic legacy agricultural companies, such as John Deere, are also at the forefront of this movement by expanding their product offerings to include cloud-based data storage platforms.  All of these companies are scrambling to get the most acres of data into their platforms so that when consolidation of ag technology providers (ATPs) begins, they are in the strongest position.

In the race to the cloud, we must also be cautious so that the American farmer is not left behind.  Today I will address the issues facing farmers as digitalization occurs and how the industry has begun to address these issues. 

Read my entire submitted testimony here: Technology in Agriculture: Data-Driven Farming

Other witnesses include: 

Dr. Shannon Ferrell, Associate Professor, Oklahoma State University
Dr. Dorota Haman, Professor and Chair, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Gainesville, FL
Mr. Todd J. Janzen, President, Janzen Agricultural Law, LLC
Mr. Justin Knopf, Farmer, Gypsum, KS
Mr. Jason Tatge, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Farmobile

Visit the Subcommittee's website for more information.