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Montana's first ag-tech summit claims success

The event in Great Falls drew more than 100 attendees.

Farm Press Staff

March 9, 2023

2 Min Read
A drone is prepared for takeoff.Tim Hearden

Montana state officials welcomed individuals representing the various fields of agriculture, technology, capital investment and entrepreneurship recently for the the inaugural Montana Ag Tech Innovation and Investment Summit in Great Falls. 

The event was put together by the Montana Department of AgricultureMontana Agricultural Business Association, and the Montana State University College of Agriculture.

The event saw 100+ attendees that included presenters, panel discussions, networking sessions, and ten teams that had the to chance to present their Ag Tech product or solution in the “Montana Agricultural Speed Pitch Competition” that ended the day.

The Montana Agricultural Speed Pitch Competition was planned to distinguish and provide funding assistance to innovative ideas supporting or contributing to Montana agriculture. Each of the ten selected projects was pitched to those in attendance in a one-minute presentation. Winners were selected by summit participants. The top three projects were awarded funding of $25,000, $15,000, and $10,000, respectively.

Finding success at this year’s summit were MSU’s Brandon Tillett (doctoral student) and Mike Giroux (professor and department head), who walked out with the 1st place prize after presenting research centered on identifying genetic traits in durum wheat to make firmer pasta that resists over cooking that they called “Al Dente Forever.”

Following “Al Dente Forever”, was a team from Aizy Tech that pitched their first ever product: the Whitehawk drone specifically designed to assist in precision agriculture. Claiming third place was 406 Agronomy, who presented their “Field Analyzer”, a plug and play device that can be attached to most any tractor to determine real time fertilizer, fungicide, and pesticide amounts in the soil.

Ag tech is the future

Lance Lindbloom of 406 Agronomy is convinced that ag tech is the future. After attending the 1st annual Montana Ag-Tech Innovation & Investment Summit, he was amazed by the passionate people and innovative ideas that were discussed and demonstrated. Lindbloom believes that investing in ag tech is essential for the success of the industry, and he is determined to keep pushing for its advancement.

“Ag tech has the potential to revolutionize how we do things in agriculture; from the way we produce and market our products to how we manage the land. It's an exciting time for the industry, and I'm confident that our continued investment in ag tech will lead to a more successful, efficient, and sustainable agriculture industry,” said Lance.

Other speakers included:

 The Montana Department of Agriculture is serving Montana Agriculture and growing prosperity under the Big Sky. For more information on department programs and services, visit agr.mt.gov.

Source: Montana Department of Agriculture

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