Agriculture, Central New York, Community, Environment

“The New York Farm Show: How is New Technology Affecting Farmers”

Video Transcript Farm Fairs
By Amorray Marcano Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News) — Having a successful farm in this day and age is hard, leaving many farmers wondering if their presence is included in the future of farming.

The New York Farm Show is the annual event where about 420 manufacturers from the United States, Canada and Europe come together to show the newest farm equipment, crop protection products and services that agriculture has to offer. Although new technology, including self-driving tractors and robotic cow milking machines may seem lucrative, it takes a toll on small farms that are struggling to compete.  

Spencer Meade, a 17-year-old farmer whose family farm was bought by Chobani Yogurt, said that he doesn’t see a successful future for small farm owners. “It’s not looking good for small farms. All the little guys are going to be out the door— no family farms anymore,” Meade said.

Large corporations and farms are taking over the agriculture industry since they can afford expensive and innovative technology to produce a surplus of food. Small businesses are struggling because they can’t afford to keep up with larger farms and have to pay employees to do the work that new technology does wage-free. The competition is so fierce that Spencer says small farms need to have side businesses to make ends meet.  

“Businesses sell extra hay or make your own cheese— something that will help support the farm. Our family has a diner down the road and it helps us stay afloat,” said Meade. 

From drones to robotic cow-milking machines, farmers are using these innovations to make their costs cheaper while preventing rising costs for consumers.

Despite hardships facing smaller farms, New York Farm Show Manager Scott Grigor said farmers will have a job as long as people are hungry.

“The future of farming is if you want to eat, farming of the future is going to be here,” Grigor said. “If you want to import your food, you can do that, but if you want good, wholesome U.S food, it’ll always be here.”

The New York Farm show started today and will end this Saturday.