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Friday, September 23, 2022

Using AI to Improve Agricultural Yields

Impressive outlines, Podcast: 

Big Data in Agriculture

August 30, 2022 / The farm-to-fork cooperative uses artificial intelligence to improve agricultural yields.

You might have seen Land O’Lakes’ dairy products on store shelves without giving much thought to how they got there, but that’s something CTO Teddy Bekele thinks about every day. While the farmers and agricultural retailers of Land O’Lakes work to produce the cooperative’s products, starting from the seeds used to grow animal feed, Teddy Bekele is focused on supporting agriculture’s “fourth revolution” — one that’s embracing technologies like artificial intelligence. On this episode of the Me, Myself, and AI podcast, Teddy explains how Land O’Lakes uses predictive analytics and AI to help farmers and other agricultural producers be more productive and make better decisions about the business of farming.

Teddy Bekele, Land O’Lakes

Teddy Bekele is the CTO of Land O’Lakes, leading the organization’s digital transformation by leveraging existing and emerging technologies to discover, implement, and deliver solutions and ecosystems. Previously, Bekele served as vice president of ag technology for WinField United. Bekele holds an MBA from Indiana University and a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University. His community leadership includes serving as chair of the Minnesota Broadband Task Force and the Federal Task Force on Precision Ag Connectivity, and as a board member for Stella Health, Genesys Works Twin Cities, and the Minnesota Technology Association.

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Sam Ransbotham: You may have used the phrase “bet the farm,” but if you don’t work in agriculture, you might not fully appreciate what that means. On today’s episode, find out how technology can support successful farm production.

Teddy Bekele: I’m Teddy Bekele from Land O’Lakes, and you’re listening to Me, Myself, and AI.

Sam Ransbotham: Welcome to Me, Myself, and AI, a podcast on artificial intelligence in business. Each episode, we introduce you to someone innovating with AI. I’m Sam Ransbotham, professor of analytics at Boston College. I’m also the AI and business strategy guest editor at MIT Sloan Management Review.

Shervin Khodabandeh: And I’m Shervin Khodabandeh, senior partner with BCG, and I colead BCG’s AI practice in North America. Together, MIT SMR and BCG have been researching and publishing on AI for six years, interviewing hundreds of practitioners and surveying thousands of companies on what it takes to build and to deploy and scale AI capabilities and really transform the way organizations operate.

Sam Ransbotham: Shervin and I are talking today with Teddy Bekele, chief technology officer at Land O’Lakes. Teddy, thanks for joining us. Welcome.

Teddy Bekele: Thank you for having me. I’m very excited to be here.

Sam Ransbotham: I think we first met back in 2018, when you were at WinField United and we did a webinar together about data and analytics. Now you’re at the parent company, Land O’Lakes. Can you tell us about your current role?  .... 

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