ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - "If we don’t bring something to the table, tomorrow’s grower will be willing to fire our industry,” said Garrett Lofto, president of the Simplot AgriBusiness Group, in his keynote presentation to the AgGateway Annual Meeting and Conference.

Ag retailers and suppliers to farmers must be able to bring value to those growers who will be bigger and replacing the 40 percent of farmers older than 55 years of age. One of the major ways of assisting farmers by ag retailers and members of AgGateway is to assist those high-tech farmers in getting through the regulatory environment easier and faster, said Lofto.

He noted that the ag industry can be as innovative as any other industry when it comes to high-tech solutions to every aspect of doing business.

Farmers should focus on land improvements through technology to increase yields and meet environmental challenges. Because of limited land, improving the land they already own is more important than spending big dollars to add additional unimproved land.

To serve the farmer, ag industry competitors need to find ways to collaborate to keep up with grower demands. Technology is the key to our future and collaboration for faster technological solutions is necessary, Lofto contended.

“To conclude, scientific advances can bring forward technologies and increase productivity while still taking resource scarcities and the environment into account. Even so, we need to work together,” Lofto told the room full of ag industry officials in Albuquerque, N.M. “We need to rely on discoveries and share them. Share the ones that make sense to share. This is how we are going to increase productivity. If we all go against each other we will fail. Of course, there needs to be competition; competition is healthy. That said, there are areas where we can collaborate as an industry in whole, and we need to identify where those are.”

Lofto gave credit to AgGateway and its e-business solutions as helping bring down barriers while in a competitive environment. “We’ve seen where we were, and the walls that were there and how they have come down with e-business.”