Sydney, 13 & 14 June 2018


Digital agriculture is evolving rapidly. Recent industry discussions and conferences have focused on explaining the technology: what is big data, what is blockchain, how will the benefit be realised?

As awareness of available technology matures, it’s time to shift focus to the fundamental enabler in this revolution without which there would be no agriculture, let alone digital agriculture: people.

The Australian Farm Institute Digital Farmers conference on 13–14th June 2018 explored the role that people play in digital agriculture, and the impact of digital agriculture on people.

Each session focussed on how different groups of stakeholders interact with and become part of the developing digital agriculture landscape.

The Institute’s annual mid-year conference was held at Doltone House on Jones Bay Wharf in Pyrmont, Sydney, with a gala dinner at the Maritime Museum. The conference brought together the leading minds of Australian agriculture and agribusiness in a vital networking event for producers, supply chain providers, business managers and policy-makers.

This event is now completed.


Bringing AgTech to Life


Rural Communities

What non-agricultural benefits can agtech bring to communities?
The technology enabling digital agriculture is not bound within the farm gate and has broad application.


Is the rural workforce evolving along with emerging technology?
As ag technology becomes specialised and automated, the roles of farm workers are changing.

Technology Developers

How can agri and tech communities capitalise on mutual opportunities?
Opportunities for start-ups and developers are bringing new groups of people to agriculture.


What support is available to enable farmers to participate in digital agriculture?
Digital agriculture has developed so quickly that most farmers find it to be a confusing space – the benefits are understood but next steps are still unclear.


How is the education and training environment changing to accommodate digital agriculture?
As digital adoption accelerates, the knowledge required to support new practices must also change in order to future-proof the agricultural workforce.


How will digital agriculture change the relationship between farmers and consumers?
All agricultural produce eventually ends up the hands of a consumer. Digital agriculture is enabling new relationships with and pathways to consumers.


Matthew Pryor

Rocket Seeder

Matthew, who grew up in country Victoria, is Chair of Rocket Seeder, a not-for-profit, member-based organisation committed to supporting food and agriculture entrepreneurs. Matthew is also the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Observant, established in 2003 to use technology to manage scarce agricultural water in drought-hardened north Western Australia. Observant expanded to provide irrigation solutions for all types of farming operations throughout Australia and globally, leading to its acquisition by Jain Irrigation. Matthew is recognised for his expertise in building and scaling an agricultural technology business, from capital raising to exit through a trade sale.

Mick Keogh

ACCC Commissioner

Mick was appointed the founding Executive Director of the Australian Farm Institute in 2003, and resigned from the AFI in May 2018 to take up a full-time role as a Commissioner of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission with a focus on agricultural and small business issues. Prior to leading the AFI, he was General Manager Policy at the NSW Farmers’ Association. Mick has been Chairman of the National Rural Advisory Council; a member of the Emissions Reduction Assurance Council; and a member of the CSIRO Sustainable Agriculture Flagship Advisory Committee. Mick grew up on – and continues to be involved in – a mixed-farming enterprise based in southern NSW.