Convention Panel: Autonomous Farming and the Shortline Industry

If the traditional tractor is sidelined on the farm of the future, what might the equipment that has been traditionally hitched behind the tractor look like?

That is only one question in a myriad of questions around the future of farming, and that future is upon us.

The Marketing & Distribution Convention will bring together a panel of experts representing distinct pathways to the autonomous farm, and each will offer his perspective on what this emerging technology means for implement makers.

Meet the panel:

John Anderson is founder and president of JCA Electronics, which he began in his parents’ garage in 2002. He is an engineer with a background in mobile equipment design. JCA collaborates with manufacturers in developing complete control systems, from the physically installed components to software for equipment. This allows manufacturers to customize their requirements.

Cory Beaujot is managing director of marketing, sales and communications at SeedMaster Manufacturing and Dot Technology Corp. He is also an owner with the rest of the Beaujot family. SeedMaster features a line of application equipment from the Nova Cart to seeders that use metered seed flow rate, load cells, and controlled tank distribution. The Dot Power Platform is an autonomous farming apparatus designed to operate in conjunction with a variety of farm implements.

Colin Hurd has founded two agriculture companies. His first company developed the planting product TrackTill. He more recently founded Smart Ag, which offers plug-and-play systems for users in the field who are able to flip a switch for autonomous operation of their current tractors. Smart Ag also provides a software package to monitor and control autonomous grain carts.

Moderating the discussion will be Emily Smith, a customer service and marketing manager at Art’s Way Manufacturing. She is focused on spreading the news about machinery solutions that improve farm operations. Prior to joining Art’s Way, Smith worked with her dad developing farm equipment and entering new markets.

Also on tap are sessions on how to build an influential brand, presented by a speaker who is ranked No. 1 by Forbes, a look at what’s next in digital marketing, the state of the ag economy, and workplace policies on social media use and marijuana use in states where it’s legal.

Find out more about the convention, and register, at, or call (314) 878-2304. Register by Aug. 15 to save as much as $200.