Episode 14: Chris Sounness on the digitization of Australian agriculture

Chris Sounness is the CEO of Birchip Cropping Group, a not-for-profit agricultural research and extension organisation led by farmers from the Wimmera and Mallee regions of Victoria. Chris has been working at the intersection of ag and agtech for many years, and has strong views about what is and isn’t working, as well as just how critical digitization is for Australian agriculture. In this episode chat about: 

  • The role of membership organizations in agricultural R&D 
  • Challenges for tech adoption in agriculture, and new models for tech + ag connectivity and engagement 
  • The importance of problem definition, trust, and investing in travel to get farmers and agtech startups in the same room 
  • Data ownership and usage concerns (and why farmers say “show me the money”) 
  • Lessons from failed and successful partnerships, opportunities to partner with BCG, and new models in the works for supporting beta testing of agtech products

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