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Farming in the Age of Big Tech

December 8, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Join us for a forum and interactive conversation exploring the complex topic of Farming in the Age of Big Tech: The Digital Revolution, Your Data & the Future of Family Farms.

This talk serves as the opening reception of the Small Farm Tech Expo, which takes place the following day, Monday the 9th, which will focus more on practical tools and workshops for the small-scale farm.

Mechanization and the digital revolution has transformed our lives. Just as the “internet of things” has digitized everything from watches to refrigerators and mechanization has upended entire industries, these technologies are also changing the face of agriculture. Mechanization continues to scale up, consolidating the industry. Farm equipment is becoming increasingly digital and many new technologies collect massive amounts of data from farms and farmers, which some say gives growers more precise control over their operations while others fear a loss of control.

As with other industries, tough questions arise as these technologies zoom us into the future faster than our society can adapt. Join us to learn about the history of mechanization and more recent issues related to digital agriculture. Who owns the data collected by digital farming technologies? What kind of farming practices are encouraged by newer forms of mechanization and digital technologies? Who do these technologies leave behind? And do farmers have the right––and the abilities––to repair their digital equipment?

Admission will get you entry to either or both days, Sunday evening’s Forum and/or Monday’s Expo (though no one will be turned away from the evening forum for lack of funds). Wine and other libations included.

Come early, between 3 and 5pm, to check out the Expo Hall & tool display.

$30 Admission
$20 Student & New Farmer Discount



Ildi Carlisle-Cummins is Executive Director of the California Institute for Rural Studies. She started the Cal Ag Roots Project, a storytelling project that produces podcasts about the history of California farming. Ildi holds an M.S. in Community Development from UC Davis, where she also worked as a researcher, studying community food systems and California agriculture.

Laura Mann is an Assistant Professor in the Dept of International Development and a research affiliate of the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa. She is sociologist whose research focuses on the political economy of development, knowledge and information and communication technologies in Africa. Before joining the LSE, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute and at the African Studies Centre in Leiden.

Chris Bross was born in Wisconsin, where his father worked for Allis-Chalmers, one of the biggest manufacturers of agricultural tractors in the past century. His first job at 12 years old was working on a small local farm picking crops and going to sell at Saturday market. Now Chris manages strategic partnerships at iFixit, creators of the free repair guide for everything, written by everyone. iFixit is a founding member of, leading the Right to Repair movement by authoring legislation to change state and international laws enabling the right for everyone to repair everything they own.


December 8, 2019
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


The Farmers Guild & CAFF
View Organizer Website


Shone Farm
7450 Steve Olson Ln.
Forestville, CA 95436 United States
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