Recently, Idaho has recognized an opportunity to assist an emerging, joint-venture effort in the state. AgriTech, or agricultural technology, is not a new concept. Idaho’s agriculture industry has continuously remained on the cutting-edge of new technologies in order to keep up with the growing demand to feed the world. However, we have identified an opportunity to position our growing technology sector closely with our established agriculture industry to foster greater development of ag technology here in Idaho.
Agricultural technology is everything from GPS guided equipment, to scientifically-backed proprietary cattle breeding programs, to bio-engineered crops. Idaho’s AgriTech effort focuses not on the application of technology by the agriculture industry, which is already robust, but more on the development of the technology by Idaho companies. We are working to create partnerships between the two industries that are beneficial for both, creating the right kind of jobs that are high-paying and secure.
Idaho Commerce Director Jeff Sayer said, “Technology and agriculture have worked hand in hand for decades, but communities new to the discussion are taking notice, investing capital, and developing new technologies that could help make agriculture increasingly efficient and sustainable.”
As the State works to foster greater development of agritech in Idaho, we have identified several areas where we can play an appropriate and effective role. The Departments of Commerce and Agriculture plan to jointly organize publications to keep our agriculture industry, technology companies, and our universities closely in tune with developments and opportunities in this area. More specifically, the two agencies will also assist in coordinating meetings around specific topics like on-farm water efficiency with those most interested in problem-solving in the highlighted area. The objective of these informal meetings is to bring together those in agriculture with a need or problem with those in the tech and research communities best poised to problem-solve and innovate.