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John Deere CEO to address technology's role in feeding the world at CES 2023

John May will discuss why the opportunity for technology and sustainability to positively impact the world is most present in agriculture.

When John Deere first debuted at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in 2019, many were scratching their heads as to why an ag company would exhibit at the world's largest technology show. As Deere continues to build technology into its DNA, it has become clear this strategic move is a critical step in not only advocating for farmers but also highlighting how it is developing technology with a purpose.

At CES 2020, Doug Sauder, director of applied intelligence for John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group, said, “It allows us to educate the technology industry because most people in urban environments aren’t connected to the source of their food and don’t necessarily have an appreciation for the role technology plays in agriculture to solve some of the big challenges we face.”

Showcasing Innovation in Agriculture

Each year it attended CES, Deere has highlighted the importance of innovation in agriculture from planting to harvest.

In its first year, the company focused on harvest and the technology in the combine. It talked about tools like Combine Advisor and how sensors and other capabilities make a combine smarter, so no grain is left behind.

In 2020, Deere talked about smart spraying and how Blue River’s See & Spray technology, with its cameras and artificial intelligence, will drive plant-level management.

Because CES went virtual in 2021, John Deere took 50 technology reporters to the farm through a hands-on experiment and virtual reality. Each reporter was sent a corn seed, a soybean seed, cotton seed, dirt, and planting instructions. The idea was to show him or her what it’s like to grow a plant. Now imagine if you were a farmer doing that with millions of seeds across thousands of acres.

In addition, a computer-generated simulation provided a unique perspective on how a crop is planted and the technology integrated into the machine. Outfitted with virtual reality goggles, the reporters were taken into a soil pit to learn about the importance of uniform spacing and seed depth. 

Jahmy Hindman, the company's first Chief Technology Officer, was also introduced at the 2021 event. As Hindman explains, his new role has two different dimensions to it.

"The first is identifying technology we can bring to bear that will solve a customer’s problems to make him or her more profitable and sustainable. The second part of my role is to accelerate the adoption of that technology into John Deere’s product portfolio, so it reaches customers in a timely manner and impacts their businesses as quickly as possible," Hindman said in an interview with Successful Farming.

For 2022, Deere unveiled its fully autonomous 8R tractor. “The autonomous 8R tractor is doing something that was once thought impossible,” says Julian Sanchez, director, emerging technology for John Deere.

As the company prepares for CES 2023, it is marking another milestone for agriculture. For the first time in CES history, an agriculture technology company executive will take the main stage as a keynote speaker. John Deere Chairman and CEO John May will share how purpose-driven sustainability and advancements in technology are feeding a growing global population.

“The opportunity for technology and sustainability to positively impact the world is most present in agriculture, where farmers continue to be challenged to feed our growing population,” May says. “John Deere is focused on developing technology with a purpose, to make our customers more efficient and sustainable. The work they do affects every single person and we’re honored to have the opportunity to help tell their story on the main stage.”

About CES

The first CES launched in 1967, with 250 exhibitors and 17,500 attendees in New York City. Since then, the show has grown more than tenfold. It now encompasses both traditional and nontraditional tech industries. 

CES 2023, which takes place in Las Vegas from January 5 to 8, is the world’s largest technology event showcasing companies of consumer technology hardware, content, technology delivery systems, and more.

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