Farmer 4.0: Update from the Rural Development Institute

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The Rural Development Institute was pleased the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) extended an invite to participate in the conversation surrounding their new report, Farmer 4.0: How the Coming Skills Revolution can Transform Agriculture. This work comes out of the 2018 report Humans Wanted: How Canadian Youth can thrive in the Age of Disruption
Utilizing agriculture as the example, RBC was able to show how technology is shifting the field from a jobs economy to a skills economy. This new vision for agriculture demands new technologies and skills, a fresh management mindset, and a more global outlook than previous generations of food producers have grasped. An ambitious skills agenda is needed. 
By utilizing the skills clusters that were created in the Humans Wanted model, Farmer 4.0 was able to access what skills and experiences the new generation will need to succeed within agriculture. The report is directly related to the Rural Development Institute’s strategic directions of rural infrastructure and services, regional economic development, and rural innovation. Rural Development Institute was especially interested in some of the calls to action from the report: 

  • convening a national skills strategy for agriculture with all those involved (i.e. employers, workers, educators, industry groups); 
  • reducing barriers for high skilled immigration to agriculture, and consider a dedicated service channel under the Global Skills Strategy; and, 
  • providing high-speed internet to the remaining 1.5 million rural and remote households within 10 years, giving them access to online learning and cloud computing. 

Further information about the Rural Development Institute at Brandon University can be found at

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