By Sam Watson Jones, Small Robot Company
Technology will change farming forever. The best farmers of the future will be those who understand technology, have a clear vision for their farming business and a plan to take advantage of change.
Robotics and Artificial Intelligence will enable new ways of farming, but these technologies are not simply replacements for the tractors that we have today – they will fundamentally change the role of the farmer.
There is no doubt that some farmers will see the arrival of new technology as a disruptive threat to their way of life, but the most forward thinking farmers will understand the potential and embrace change.
The best farmers that we have come across at Small Robot Company tend to adopt three key behaviours which separates them from the rest of the industry:
They embrace a philosophy of lifelong learning, maintaining a curiosity for new ideas and a fascination with technology throughout their careers.
They invest in themselves, their own thinking and learning, as well as in their businesses. This means that they think about how their behaviours and mindsets as business leaders need to adapt in the future, and they know that investing time and money in this training is a key determiner of success.
They are willing to adapt their business models, and to work to get their business partners onboard, to take advantage of the changing world. They know that what works for them in the future may be different to what worked for them in the past.
We are interested in working with farmers who have big ambitions for themselves and for their businesses, and it is for these farmers that we are launching the Farm Ambition Blueprint. This is a business coaching programme designed to help farmers create a future for their businesses and themselves which is easier, more profitable and more rewarding – both financially, and personally.
The programme is delivered as quarterly group workshops with other like-minded farmers. The process of taking yourself away from the farm for a day to work on your business rather than simply in your business, coupled with the network of other business owners grappling with the same issues will transform your thinking.
Through the course of the programme, you will develop more clarity about what you want the farm to become in the future, a greater appreciation of the technologies coming into farming and a more focused plan for the future than you have ever had before. We will help you to develop a clear pathway to long term success for your business.
Also at Groundswell we will be launching our 100 Club. This is for our first commercial customers – for the time when we are ready to grow beyond our 20 trials farms. Prior to the service being commercially available, our 100 Club will form a wider advisory panel of farmers, who are regularly consulted as the technology takes shape, working with us to shape the future of arable farming. Join us, and become farming pioneers.
Finally, we need your help! Do you have any old tractor parts lying around? Could you bring them to Groundswell and donate them to an intriguing creative – and slightly subversive – project? An area will be set aside by the inverted plough at the entrance to Groundswell. All contributions very welcome…and watch this space to see what we do!
Come and see us on our stand in the Old Dairy to find out more!