The Internet of Things is increasingly taking root into the New England food economy, fool proofing it against some of the challenges that the 21st century farming faces. The Internet and technology are coming together with old fashioned farming, striving to make farming more productive, profitable, and qualitative.
Three technology companies The Cornucopia Project, ripe.io, and Analog Devices, Inc., are working together, teaching farmers on how the Internet of Things and blockchain technologies could help them track the movements and overall condition of produce from the farm to the consumer.
Erick Olsen, who is working with Analog Devices, a company that develops measurement technology and sensors, in the company’s Smart Agriculture team, said that the company was just looking for applications to use their technologies at first and eventually found out that the agriculture sector could be a good fit.
The Cornucopia Project, which is a Peterborough-based nonprofit organization, is dedicated to the promotion of healthy eating by growing organic food. Since its inception, the company has accomplished its vision through three education program areas: School, Community, and Farm to Fork. The Farm and Fork is the project’s entrepreneurship and agricultural initiative that educates students on planting crops as well as the farming business. As a part of the project, Cornucopia hires and trains sophomores from regional high schools, developing a business plan and managing a year round operation.
This year, the project took on the Internet of Tomatoes project. In the project, one of the project’s goal is to use Analog’s sensors to analyze the tomatoes that the Cornucopia team was growing to gather data on whether or not local tomatoes tasted as compared to commercial tomatoes. Attempts like this to connect technologies with the agricultural sector could help increase transparency for farmers, the accountability and efficacy of the food system, and help farmers improve their practices and make more profit.
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