Agricultural technology and innovation workshops will take the spotlight Saturday, Jan. 10 in San Diego, during the IDEAg Innovate Conference. The conference is one of the highlights of the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 2015 Annual Convention and IDEAg Trade Show, Jan. 9-14, at the San Diego Convention Center.

IDEAg Innovate Conference

The IDEAg Innovate Conference will feature topics such as managing agricultural big data, the use of drones for farming purposes, precision agriculture and Internet strategies for farmers and ranchers. The day’s events and exhibits will be open to all farmers, ranchers and agricultural professionals, not just Farm Bureau members.

There is no fee for Farm Bureau members to attend but they are encouraged to register online at Non-members may attend the special one-day conference by paying $75, in addition to $10 to attend the trade show, by registering online at

The Innovate Conference opens at 8 a.m., Pacific Standard Time, with Paul Schrimpf of PrecisionAg Magazine introducing the speakers and setting the stage for an exciting morning that will focus on the latest technology related to drones and unmanned aerial vehicles; big data and what it means for the future of agriculture; and the role of irrigation in California agriculture.

Conference sessions include: “Connected Precision Irrigation—The Next Leap in Productivity” with Andy Smith, director of industry relations at Valley Irrigation; “Technology and the Internet of Things in Agriculture” with Lance Donny, founder & CEO of OnFarm; and “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, the Future of Agriculture” with Kyle Miller, farmer and Unmanned Safety Institute ambassador, and Aaron Greenwald, president, chief operating officer and co-founder of Waypoint Global Strategies and USI.

Educational workshops

The Cultivation Center on the IDEAg Trade Show floor serves as the educational centerpiece of the trade show. Located in the middle of the show floor, behind the AFBF booth, the Cultivation Center allows attendees to gather information on various topics. The theater seating area provides the perfect opportunity for exhibitors, sponsors, educators and ag enthusiasts to each present 15-minute sessions. Those sessions will highlight exhibitors’ newest and best ideas and will provide education on technological developments in the agriculture industry.

In addition, Farm Bureau members will be treated to two dozen workshops covering a variety of topics and issues during the AFBF Convention on Sunday, Jan. 11 and Monday, Jan. 12. Topics covered will include how to become a more effective advocate for agriculture, big data, the latest technology trends, updates on economic issues affecting today’s farmers, and skills and ideas leaders can take home and apply at their county and state Farm Bureaus.

Full workshop descriptions will be available in the program available on-site in San Diego.

AFBF Convention kickoff

The convention kicks off with the opening general session on Sunday morning, when AFBF President Bob Stallman will share Farm Bureau’s direction for 2015. At the general session on Monday morning, Commander Rorke Denver will provide insights on teamwork and courage when faced with pressure-filled situations.

Members attending the convention are encouraged to support ag literacy by bidding on items in the online/onsite auction and purchasing tickets to attend the Flapjack Fundraiser, the golf outing or the Foundation’s Night Out event. Learn more at


Before registering online at, farmer and rancher members should check with their state Farm Bureau office to see if they have already been registered. The full Farm Bureau member convention registration fee is $100 and includes the IDEAg Trade Show and Young Farmer & Rancher competitive events (Saturday, Jan. 10 through Monday, Jan. 12), general sessions, workshops and the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture Silent Auction. Non-members may pay $10 in advance for a one-day registration to attend the IDEAg Trade Show and Foundation Silent Auction on Saturday, Jan. 10, plus an additional $75 to attend the IDEAg Innovate Conference.

For more information on the IDEAg Trade Show, contact Raymond Bianchi at: (847) 969-2915.