Agriculture is always modernizing, but most farmers struggle to collect data that’s useful—or to analyze it in useful ways.
As we move forward, data literacy will become of paramount importance to farmers. Unfortunately, we do not see farm family education of data increasing. Rather than see new farm generations go into data science or other computational fields to innovate, we see them entering sectors of marketing and communications to create more “cooperative farm markets, direct marketing, value-adding, and craft development,” (Inwood 2013). These practices alone will not allow small farms to most effectively compete in the next wave of the information age. Farmers must develop a literacy in data analysis and understand what data is most useful to their operation and begin harvesting and effectively putting that data to use.