Members of Congress and their staff looking for a break this week from intense budget discussions were treated to a Capitol Hill show-and-tell of high-tech farm equipment.
Seen throughout a room in the Rayburn House Office Building were congressional staff and policymakers donning virtual reality headsets, engaging with robots and touching interactive displays.
The event, sponsored by the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and entitled “Keep Agriculture Moving,” provided insight into the uses and need for sophisticated agriculture equipment, pathways for lawmakers to support precision agriculture, and how agriculture technology complements conservation efforts.
“It is important that our nation’s leaders understand that a great deal of innovation goes into precision agriculture and this technology allows for environmentally friendly agricultural practices,” said Minnesota farmer and National Corn Growers Association President Harold Wolle. “Innovative equipment and technology allow corn growers to maximize yields, reduce labor input and protect the land and environment.”
NCGA and AEM share support of the Precision Agriculture Loan Act, the Producing Responsible Energy and Conservation Incentives and Solutions for the Environment Act and the Next Generation Fuels Act, which were all promoted at the event. These pieces of legislation would open opportunities and markets to further develop and optimize precision agriculture technologies.