ITiP Symposium Feature Keynote
Digital Agriculture – Application, Adoption & Transformation

Simon Y. Liu
Associate Administrator, U.S. Agricultural Research Service

Rapid population growth, shrinking farm land, depleting natural resources, erratic climate changes, and shifting market demands are pushing agricultural system out of its traditional limits. The future agricultural system must become more productive in outputs, efficient in operations, resilient to climate changes, and sustainable for future generations.

Weather conditions, soil health, variety selection, planting dates, water requirements, pet control, processing and distribution, and marketing management are only a few of the decisions that agricultural stakeholders must make. Taking all the variable factors into consideration requires a new paradigm – a shift toward digital agriculture.  Digital agriculture leverages advanced technologies to collect, organize, and analyze the massive amount of data from weather, soil, seeds, agricultural equipment, food technologies, and others to enable producers, processors, distributors, and consumers within the agricultural value chain to make informed and timely decisions.

At the United States Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the premier agricultural research institution in the world, we apply and integrate knowledge from biology, ecology, engineering, food technologies, computer science, informatics, business, and social science to develop a digital agriculture enterprise that enables timely response and informed decision making at farms, communities, and industries. This presentation discusses ARS’ digital agriculture initiative and offers insights into how it was developed and realized through a few signature research projects.

The ITiP Symposium is co-sponsored by IT Professional.

Simon Y.  Liu
Associate Administrator, U.S. Agricultural Research Service

Dr. Simon Y. Liu is the Associate Administrator of Agricultural Research Service, a research agency with 2,000+ research scientists. He previously served as Director of the National Agricultural Library, world’s largest and most accessible research library specializing in agriculture. Before that, Dr. Liu served as Associate Director of the National Library of Medicine and Chief Information Officer. He also served as the Director of Information Management & Security at the Department of Justice and the Chief IT Architect of Treasury Department. Dr. Liu attended 10 universities in 3 countries and holds 2 PhD and 3 Master degrees in Computer Science, Education, Government Management, Business Administration, and Mathematics. He was an adjunct faculty member of Johns Hopkins University and University of Maryland and an editor-in-chief of the IT Professional Magazine published by the IEEE Computer Society.