While the technology that has arrived on the farm in the last few years has helped farmers, it comes with concerns about data use, privacy and security. The Indiana Agricultural Law Foundation is offering a seminar on Aug. 14 to help farmers understand big data issues and how big data can be used for practical purposes. “Farmers understand that by adopting new technologies, they also create more data on their farms,” said John Shoup, director of the IALF. “They need to ask a number of questions. Who owns the data? Is it secure? Who can access it? How can I use the data to increase my bottom line?”


Big data refers to data whose scale, diversity and complexity require new systems to manage and extract value and knowledge from it. Attendees of the day-long event will hear from Jay Akridge, Purdue’s Glenn W. Sample dean of agriculture, on emerging trends and university’s engagement; attorney Todd Janzen, who will discuss data privacy agreements and transparency; attorney Kathleen Rice, who will give an overview on data security, data privacy and risk management.


The afternoon focuses on information that will help farmers increase profitability using data. That segment features representatives from the Pig Improvement Company, who will talk about data in swine breeding, and Ryan White of Beck’s Hybrids will share how that company uses data to increase productivity. Dr. Mike Schutz from Purdue Extension will talk about data use in the dairy industry.


Indiana Farm Bureau is a sponsor of the workshop, which will be held at INFB’s home office in Indianapolis. The registration fee is $50 if registered by July 17. Registration increases to $75 after that date. Space is limited and the seminar includes lunch. Registration and details are available at