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Commitment to innovation driving success and sustainability

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Cory Reed

Deere & Company

Leadership Insights from Cory Reed, Chair of America’s Cultivation Corridor Board of Directors

As I prepare to wrap up my term as chair of the America’s Cultivation Corridor board in January, it is a great time to reflect on the innovations, collaborations and opportunities that are driving this exciting time to be involved in agriculture, especially in Iowa and the Midwest.  

I am most excited about the potential for accelerating innovation and technological advancement in the ag sector. The rapid pace of technological change presents unparalleled opportunities to enhance productivity and sustainability in agriculture. The Corridor is in a position to take a leading role in facilitating the adoption of cutting-edge technologies, enabling individuals and businesses to innovate more effectively, and generating greater value for the industry. This environment of innovation and collaboration will play a key role in advancing agricultural progress and addressing the evolving needs of the sector. 

Farmers are some of the most innovative individuals I know. They are constantly testing and adopting technology to solve their operation's challenges head on, like eliminating inefficiencies and waste on their farms and managing every input to maximize the yield.  

Technologies that will continue to drive advances in sustainability are biotechnology, automation, and sense and act aided with artificial intelligence. These technologies help farmers produce more with less, creating higher yields while minimizing the impact on the land and environment. At Deere, this includes GPS, automation and robotics which have been present on farms for decades, in addition to newer advancements in machine learning, AI, computer vision, autonomy and advanced sensors which work together to provide intelligence and precision at a scale on the farm today. Combine these technologies with the data collected, farmers can gain new insights and make better decisions year after year to grow more with less while utilizing the most advanced biotechnological solutions. 

I have been fortunate to have participated in a lot of meaningful conversations throughout my tenure on the Corridor board. One that continues to stick with me is a conversation on the importance of Iowa to the ag industry.  

The Midwest region, including Iowa, offers a distinct competitive advantage when it comes to agriculture. It serves as a hub where various entities such as universities, seed companies, animal welfare businesses, equipment manufacturers, energy companies and more come together. This collaboration brings together some of the brightest minds in the industry, fostering innovation and technology advancement for a more sustainable and productive agricultural sector. 

From animal proteins to biofuels, every aspect of the industry is interconnected in the Midwest. This connectivity creates a unique opportunity to generate ideas while leveraging expertise, resulting in groundbreaking solutions. The Midwest not only contributes its own innovations but also serves as a solid testing ground for new technologies originating from outside the region. Furthermore, it plays a crucial role in evaluating the viability of technologies developed for other industries and adapting them to the agricultural sector, ultimately bringing value to the end-user. 

Perhaps the most significant aspect of the Midwest's contribution is its commitment to intentional innovation and to delivering purposeful technology. By staying at the forefront of advancements, the region has the power to address the pressing needs of our ever-growing global population. Whether it is meeting the demands of food production or finding sustainable solutions, America’s Cultivation Corridor stands poised to make a substantial impact. 

Cory Reed is President of Worldwide Agriculture & Turf Division: Production and Precision Ag, Americas and Australia at Deere & Company and serves as chair of the America's Cultivation Corridor Board. 

Published December 2023. 

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