2023 Ag Tech Awards of Excellence

Cindy Zimmerman

Tech Hub LIVE 2023 honored industry leaders this week with the CropLife Ag Tech Awards of Excellence, part of the Global Ag Tech Initiative. CropLife Media editor Eric Sfiligoj presented the annual awards.

Legacy Award – Clark Bell, Aqua-Yield

Clark Bell of Aqua-Yield was presented with the Legacy in Ag Tech Award. Under his leadership, Aqua-Yield has developed a technology unlike anything else in the market, having created its own segment in the world of crop inputs. The company’s award-winning nanoliquid solutions leverage sophisticated nanoparticles to make liquid agricultural products more effective at plant absorption and dramatically increase crop-yield and profits for farmers while enhancing the sustainability of the soil.

Precision Farmer – Skip Klinefelter

Precision Farmer of the Year Skip Klinefelter is a lifetime farmer in central Illinois who entered the ag technology business with Precision Seeding Technologies. He then purchased Linco Equipment Company and merged the two companies that created Linco Precision, LLC. Skip has worked with industry leading innovators such as Precision Planting in its early days and Trimble as well as newer technology companies such as Sabanto Autonomy, LeafTech, Farmwave and Augmenta. All these technologies have either been tested, implemented or introduced on Skip’s own farm. Besides using these technologies to advance his own farming enterprise, he has always brought growers to his home farm to share these advances with anyone that has interest, either through group meetings or one-on-one consultation

Precision Crop Advisor/Entrepreneur – Erich Eller, Forefront Ag Solutions

The Precision Crop Advisor/Entrepreneur of the Year is Erich Eller. Erich has been involved with production agriculture for most of his life and he started ForeFront Ag Solutions with his wife Jennifer to share new ag technologies with growers to lower costs and improve yields. ForeFront Ag Solutions focuses on helping growers make informed business decisions by providing progressive, science-based data. Located in northeast Indiana, the team focuses on improving production at all points in the season to help lower costs and maximize yields.

Not present to receive his award in person was Simerjeet Virk with the University of Georgia, who was named Ag Tech Educator/Researcher of the Year. Assistant professor and Extension precision agriculture specialist at UGA, Simerjeet has been involved in research on ag tech in row crops since he arrived in the US in 2010 to pursue his MS at Auburn. His current research is evaluating performance of application technology on sprayers and VRT on fertilizer application equipment to improve application accuracy and placement of pesticides and nutrients.

Listen to the awards presentation and comments from the winners here:
2023 Tech Hub LIVE awards presentation (14:31)

Instead of Tech Hub LIVE, Dr. Simer Virk was at the Southern Peanut Growers Conference last week where he talked about some of the precision ag research he is doing.
Dr. Simer Virk, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension precision agriculture specialist
2023 SPGC - Simer Virk, University of Georgia (4:09)

2023 Tech Hub LIVE Conference and Expo photo album

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