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Exploring the Role and Trends of Technology in Agriculture

This week's short episode packs a punch with themes from water and resource use, scale and trade to automation! We welcome Andrew Brooks, Business Development Manager of the Southeast region for Priva, the leading tech company in climate control industry.


Peter and I like to start from the roots! We ask Andrew to talk about his journey to Priva and the agriculture industry. He began on the Control and Ag team with ARCO/Murray, a large industrial builder in US. With a role to break the introductions between operators, growers and C-levels, he developed relationships and with Priva representatives. Their focus on horticulture drew him in and he is now responsible for domestic and international development, food creation to ornamentals, and overall educating the market.



Andrew defines state-of-the-art horticulture design, particularly in greenhouse and vertical farming operations, as controlling the 5 key elements - CO2, light, temperature, humidity, and nutrient intake. Peter moves the discussion to address the needs of small- and medium-sized growers and acknowledges that they may not be able to justify the investment in advanced technology like Priva's solutions. There is a significant difference between controlling the full degree, rather than Priva's precise tenth of a degree, which is probably about 5 years out for a small operator. Andrew responds that his role is to add value to existing operations and promote harmony between water conservation, agriculture, and people. Small growers that he works with are looking to go from farm to table. This is underscored by the regional trends in Southeast region!


"Priva believes that small- and medium- farms are a major component for our future."

Andrew attributes the growth in agriculture in the Southeast region to consumer awareness about food sourcing and strategic initiatives like land grants supporting controlled environment agriculture (CEA). This shift in consumer mindset happened during the pandemic when people noticed that local produce wasn't on the shelves. He discusses the cultural renaissance to support your growers. From an educational perspective, Priva strongly supports water conservation and a closed loop system.


"How can we best be stewards of our resources?"

Finally, we asked Andrew about any additional themes he is seeing in agriculture. He is excited about AI and autonomous growing and Priva's commitment to research and development.


To connect with Andrew Brooks, listeners can reach out via LinkedIn or email at andrew.brooks@priva.com.


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