Center for Digital Agriculture

Center for Digital Agriculture Conference 2024

Future of Digital Agriculture

In Person Event • March 6, 2024 • iHotel and Illinois Conference Center

Conference Overview

We’re hosting our annual conference on March 6, 2024, at the iHotel and Illinois Conference Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Join us to celebrate the Center’s 5-year anniversary and to explore topics centered around the theme: Future of Digital Agriculture. The conference will bring together an interdisciplinary group of individuals from academia, industry, and government to explore the future of digital agriculture.

The conference is free to attend. Register by Feb. 25th using the form below:

Agenda

All events will take place in the Chancellor Ballroom at the iHotel and Illinois Conference Center. Please check back periodically for updates.

TIME
AGENDA

7:30 – 8:15 a.m.

Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:15 – 8:25 a.m.

Welcome and CDA’s First 5-Years
Portrait of Matthew Hudson
Dr. Matt Hudson
Professor, Crop Sciences, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Scientific Co-Director, Center for Digital Agriculture
Portrait of Vikram Adve
Dr. Vikram Adve
Donald B. Gillies Professor, Computer Science, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Scientific Co-Director, Center for Digital Agriculture

8:30 – 9:10 a.m.

Keynote Presentation
Coupling Resource Recovery with Digital Agriculture and AI to Enhance Urban Sustainability and Resilience
Portrait of Yongsheng Chen
Dr. Yongsheng Chen
Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

9:15 – 9:45 a.m.

Digital Transformation of Crop R&D

Most of the ways in which crops are bred and produced are being rapidly transformed by digital methods, leading to a data deluge from genomics to phenotyping, to yield monitoring. New scientific and technological approaches are needed to make full use of these rapidly advancing technologies.

The OATS/IoT4Ag Avena Project and Pivot+: Connectivity for Field Scale Agricultural Experiments
Portrait of James Krogmeier
Dr. James Krogmeier
Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University
Integrative Modeling and Visualization for the Development of in Silico Crops
Portrait of Amy Marshall-Colon
Dr. Amy Marshall-Colon
Associate Professor, School of Integrative Biology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

9:45 – 10:00 a.m.

Break

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Digital Optimization of the Agricultural Supply Chain

Agricultural supply chains achieve efficiency and safety by routing large quantities of goods through major hubs. However, efficient supply chains are also lean, and the lack of redundancy makes them vulnerable to internal or external hazards. This can cause postharvest losses and food supply shortages, especially during disasters. Advanced digital methods can both further optimize supply chains and make them resilient to the increasing stresses they are subject to on a crowded and changing planet.

Portrait of Yanfeng Ouyang
Dr. Yanfeng Ouyang
Professor, Civil Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Making Better Decision with Statistically Downscaled and Climate-sensitive Supply Chain Analytics
portrait of Sandy Dall'Erba
Dr. Sandy Dall'Erba
Professor, Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Fireside Chat
Portrait of Yanfeng Ouyang
Dr. Yanfeng Ouyang
Professor, Civil Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Portrait of Molly Jahn
Dr. Molly Jahn
Professor, Department of Agronomy, University of Wisconsin-Madison

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

AgTech to Catalyze a Circular Bioeconomy

Digital Agriculture technology enables looking at the productivity and sustainability of agricultural systems in new ways.  Accurate and accessible data can help a grower improve soil health, monitor water quality and deliver ecosystem services that the world needs to thrive. This session will introduce Ag Tech to catalyze a circular bioeconomy with speakers providing perspectives from academia, industry, and farmers.

Assessing Circularity of Agriculture and Food Systems
Portrait of Yuanhui Zhang
Dr. Yuanhui Zhang
Founder Professor, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Improving Circularity in Animal Production System
Portrait of Angela Green-Miller
Dr. Angela Green-Miller
Associate Professor, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Hearing the Voice of the Farmer
Portrait of Savannah Dieckhaus
Savannah Dieckhaus
Program Associate, GlobalSTL Early Adopter Grower Innovation Community (EAGIC)

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Lunch

1:00 – 1:50 p.m.

Machine Form & the Pathway from Automation towards Autonomy

Precision Ag has transformed productivity from a focus on productivity through mechanization to productivity through automation. Advancements in the technology readiness in ag robotics offers a pathway towards autonomous agriculture.

Ravi Yenduri
Chief Technology Officer, Sabanto
Increasing the Level of Autonomy in Agricultural Robots
Portrait of Katie Driggs-Campbell
Dr. Katie Driggs-Campbell
Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Automation and Autonomy in Crop Production Systems
Portrait of Cody Allen
Dr. Cody Allen
Assistant Professor, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

1:55 – 2:35 p.m.

Industry Keynote
Precision Farming & Autonomy – Supporting a Sustainable Farming Future
Portrait of Wilfried Aulbur
Dr. Wilfried Aulbur
Senior Partner, Roland Berger

2:35 – 2:50 p.m.

Break

2:50 – 3:35 p.m

Safety in Automation to Autonomy

Dr. Salah Issa reports on his research related to safety and accidents in Agriculture

Portrait of Salah Issa
Dr. Salah Issa
Assistant Professor, Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Integration of Safety, Automation and AI in Ag Equipment

Rick Weires and Alex Foessel covered the need for a “Safety Case” to drive product, process, and organization requirements, and the adaption of frameworks from automotive safety to serve ag applications of automation and AI, adaption resulting from the work of Balanced Engineering LLC and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign including professor Salah Issa, PhD and Roger Aby, and also showcasing tools by Edge Case Research.

Portrait of Alex Foessel
Dr. Alex Foessel
Managing Partner, Balanced Engineering
Portrait of Rick Weires
Rick Weires
Product Safety Manager, Balanced Engineering

3:40 – 4:40 p.m

Integrating Human-Centered Design in Agriculture Automation to Autonomy

An industry panel will explore the pivotal role of human-centered design in the evolution of agricultural automation towards fully autonomous systems. With a focus on digital technologies, we delve into how incorporating human-centric approaches enhances usability and accessibility, thereby ensuring that technological advancements are not only innovative but also practical and adaptable to the farmers’ needs.

Portrait of Mark Moran
Dr. Mark Moran
Head, John Deere Technology Innovation Center
Morgan Sweet
Senior User Experience Principal, Kin + Carta
Portrait of Alex Foessel
Dr. Alex Foessel
Managing Partner, Balanced Engineering

4:45 – 5:00 p.m

Closing Remarks and CDA’s Next Five Years
Portrait of John Reid
Dr. John Reid
Executive Director, Center for Digital Agriculture

5:00 – 6:30 p.m

Poster and Networking Session

Travel & Lodging Information

Lodging

Champaign-Urbana has many hotels near the University of Illinois campus. A dedicated room block is available at the Illini Union until February 20th. 

Online Booking Instructions: 
1. Go to https://illiniunionhotel.illinois.edu/
2. Enter the stay dates and click “Enter it now” for Promo or Group Code.
3. Enter your group’s booking code 24CDA and click update.
4. Select room type and book!

Reservation by phone:
Please call 217-333-1241 and mention group booking code: 24CDA

Illini Union Address: 1401 W Green St, Urbana, IL 61801

Getting Here/Around

Champaign-Urbana is not only easy to get to, it’s easy to navigate. Conveniently situated off three major interstates, we’re nearly equidistant from Chicago, Indianapolis and St. Louis. Transportation options include:

Once here, our award-winning mass transit district will help get you around, as will our rentable bikes and e-bikes, or walk in our connected districts! We also have taxi cab services and ride sharing services.

iHotel and Illinois Conference Center

All events will take place in the Chancellor Ballroom at the iHotel and Illinois Conference Center. 

How to get to iHotel and Illinois Conference Center:

IHotel and Illinois Conference Center address: 1900 S 1st St, Champaign, IL 61820

Where should I park for the conference?
iHotel and Illinois Conference Center offer free onsite parking. 

Click here for more info about the iHotel and Illinois Conference Center

Questions: Please contact digitalag@illinois.edu with any questions