BROOKINGS – SDSU Extension and area partners will host the 16th Annual Precision Ag Conference in Aberdeen on Feb. 17. The event will be held at the Ramkota Exhibit Hall (1400 8th Avenue NW, Aberdeen) and begins at 8:15 a.m. with registration.

Event Schedule

8:15 a.m. Registration and Trade Show open

8:45 a.m. Welcome

9 a.m. Counting On or Countering the Weather, presented by Dennis Todey, South Dakota State Climatologist & SDSU Extension Climate Specialist.

9:50 a.m. Farmers First, presented by Mark Fering, Founder, Farmers Business Network

10:40 a.m. Break/Trade Show

11:10 a.m. Data on the Farm: the Pain, the Promise, and a Path from Here to There, presented by Aaron Ault, senior research engineer with the Open Ag Tech Group at Purdue University.

12 p.m. Lunch and Trade Show

1 p.m. On-Farm Practical Decisions Using Agronomic Site Specific Information is (Unfortunately) About the Numbers, presented by Gregg Carlson, SDSU Professor/SDSU Extension Specialist-Rural Clean Water and Precision Farming Agronomist

1:55 p.m. Industry Update Sessions provided by Ag Leader, John Deere/RDO, CNH/Titan, Raven and Trimble/Butler Machinery.

2:45 p.m. Break and Trade Show

3:15 p.m. Industry Update Sessions provided by Ag Leader, John Deere/RDO, CNH/Titan, Raven and Trimble/Butler Machinery.

4:10 p.m. Adjourn/Door Prizes (must be present to win).

Speaker Profiles

Dennis Todey has been the state and SDSU Extension Climatologist since 2003. He is also an Associate Professor in the SDSU Department of Agricultural & Biosystems  Engineering working with SDSU Extension and the ag experiment stations. He directs the SD Mesonet, an automated weather stations network, and the South Dakota State Climate Office. His research includes long term climate trends and climate-yield relationships throughout the Midwest.

Mark Fering retired from John Deere Company after 35 years. He was part of the first agricultural information services group that was organized within JD Precision Farming and played a key role in creating the VantagePoint Network, the first “big data” play ever created within the ag industry. He believes ag would benefit greatly if farmers had access to better information and that it’s the solution needed to be an independent and unbiased business. He became a founder of the Farmers Business Network nearly 3 years ago. FBN has offices in the Silicon Valley in CA and has a data operations center in Davenport, IA.

Aaron Ault received a MS degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering from Purdue University. He has contributed over the past 15 years to projects across the computing spectrum, including signal processing, data mining, embedded systems, and web applications. He is currently the senior research engineer with the Open Ag Tech Group at Purdue, spearheading the development of several open source ag-related initiatives: the Open Ag Data Alliance, the Open Ag ToolKit, and ISOblue. Aaron is also VP of Ault Farms, Inc, a Widwestern family farming operation with 3,200 acres of corn, soybeans, and wheat, and 3000 head of beef cattle.

Gregg Carlson has held a research, teaching and/or SDSU Extension appointment as an Agronomist/Soil Scientist at SDSU for more than 40 years. He has taught SDSU’s Precision Farming course since before the introduction of commercial GPS. He has served as Interim Head of SDSU’s Plant Science Department and as the Interim Director of SDSU Extension. He believes that the greatest (and obtainable) of South Dakota’s economic development opportunities is increased production through precise and intense agronomic management. He can be reached at or 605-688-4761.

The conference planning committee includes Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension Climate Field Specialist; Katie Oliver, High Yield Consulting; Jason Warrington, New Horizon Ag Tech; Brent Weisenburger, SD Wheat Growers; Gregg Carlson, SDSU Plant Science; and Curtis Jandal, North Central Farmers Elevator.

Pre registration is $30 per person if received prior to Feb. 10. After Feb. 10 or at the door, registration will be $35 per person. Registration can be found at