Digital Agriculture

2019 - ongoing

In recent years, the use of digital and computational technologies has expanded into the field of agriculture. These technologies, framed under “digital agriculture,” can include sensors and internet-connected devices that provide real-time information about field conditions such as crop health and soil moisture. While this technology is seen as a potential future for farming, it also raises questions of who will have access to and will benefit from digital agriculture tools. These digital systems are often built for industrial and conventional farm practices. I study how these tools are used and can be designed to support and build farm communities that use sustainable and regenerative agricultural approaches.

In 2019, I received an inaugural Summer stipend research award from the Cornell Initiative for Digital Agriculture (CIDA). My research project examined the adoption and maintenance of digital agriculture tools in upstate New York. The research included interviews with farmers, growers, and extension agents, and I visited farm sites throughout the summer. Some initial findings that came from this research include understanding the challenges of integration and scalability in introducing these digital systems. I presented my findings at the Maintainers III Conference in D.C., the annual CIDA meeting, and as part of the weekly Science Studies meetings at Cornell’s Science and Technologies Studies department.