In 1982 John Naisbitt published his prophetic best seller entitled, Megatrends. His overall theme and prediction was that modern America was in the middle of a revolution. A revolution that would see an industrial-based economy upended by something called an information society.
He couldn’t have been more dead on. His predictions were amazingly precise especially considering that the Internet was basically in its infancy and no one had ever heard of an iPhone or Google.
One of the industries that’s in the middle of one of the final battles of this revolution is agriculture. There was a time only a few short years ago that the coffee shop talk centered around the horsepower of Farmer Joe’s new 4-wheel drive tractor or seeing Tom’s 24-row planter in the field for the first time. Today as you listen in on these conversations the horsepower and big machinery talk has been superseded by discussions about Internet Service Providers, bandwidth and mobile Mi-Fi’s.
There is no doubt that farming is not what it used to be and it will be transformed in ways that we have yet to comprehend. The biggest issue at hand is how will producers on the farm – the place where agriculture originates – adjust to this sea change in the agricultural landscape? Getting used to the space-age controls of a new tractor is one thing but managing mountains of streaming agronomic and economic data is an entirely separate skill set.
There are certain to be casualties in this revolution and it will change the landscape and demographics of agriculture in its wake. Prediction: farms will get bigger. Older producers will choose retirement rather than to fight this new battle. Bandwidth and connectivity will become the new horsepower on the farm. And alongside the farm manager and your trusted agronomist will be your new information manager.
Who will train YOU for this battle? How do YOU even go about fighting such a battle? This is why Prime Meridian came to be. We saw this revolution looming on the horizon and we decided to act to help prepare producers with the services and skills that they would need in order to win in this brave new world.
Soon John Naisbitt’s prophecy will be complete. Agriculture has shifted its focus to the information age and data is becoming the farm’s most important crop. The final question is whether you and your farm are prepared to fight this new battle? If you’re waiting for a modern-day Paul Revere to warn you about the information age – take note – that horse rode about 30 years ago.