Episode Archive

SCP E329 Summer Series: Data Shaping the Future of AgTech, with Tim Neale

Hi #smartcommunity friends! Welcome to the Summer Series here on the Smart Community Podcast. As you know, we’re taking a little break from new content over the Australian summer holidays, and instead we are sharing the replays of a few of our all time favourite episodes. This week we’re sharing my interview with Tim Neale from Episode 308, which was released in August 2022.

Tim, who was named Australian Agricultural Consultant of the year 2018, has over 25 years’ experience across Australia and internationally, 20 of which has been running his own agtech businesses. He is co-founder and Managing Director of DataFarming, a five-year old agtech business out of Queensland. 

In this episode, Tim begins by telling us about his background in agtech and current work, his passion for helping farmers to up-skill and use tech to enhance their farming, and Tim tells us what a Smart Community means to him. 

Tim then tells us what led him to work in the agtech space, we discuss how technology can help in this space, and Tim tells us a bit about his company DataFarming and what they do. Tim then discusses some of the positive impacts his work has had for his clients, the changes he has seen in the agtech space over time, and we discuss the role of data in the future of the agriculture industry. 

We finish our chat discussing the emerging trends of tackling data connectivity and data processing sustainably to unlock the possibilities that data can provide. 

Tim’s interview is the last in our Summer Series but we will be back next week with a brand new episode and after that we will return to the fortnightly release schedule. We’ve got some great guests lined up in 2023 and of course if you have suggestions of guests or topics, do reach out, we’d love to hear from you. As always, we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it!

Listen here: 

What we cover in this episode:

  • Tim’s background in agtech and current work in data farming 
  • His passion for helping farmers to up-skill and using tech to enhance their farming 
  • What a Smart Community means to Tim
  • What lead Tim into working the agtech space
  • How technology can help in the agriculture space 
  • A bit about Tim’s company DataFarming and what they do 
  • Some of the positive impacts Tim’s work has had for his clients 
  • The changes Tim has seen in the agtech space over time 
  • The role data will play in the future of the agriculture space 
  • The skills changes Tim has seen in the agriculture space 
  • The emerging trends of tackling data connectivity and data processing sustainably to unlock the possibilities that data can provide 


“Particularly around Toowoomba, [Smart Communities] is all about regions, and empowering regions to be able to tackle significant problems.”

“I have a strong belief that we need to be based in the regions and so you’ve got to be fully immersed in the organisations you’re working in and I think the industries you work in. I cannot see why we can’t have the same skill sets and capabilities sitting in regions as we do in capital cities.”

“We’ve always used technology to solve a problem, rather than a lot of people enjoying technology just for technology’s sake. But we can’t afford to do that, really, in an industry like agriculture. So we’re always searching for technology to solve problems.”

“We saw a 25% increase in the number of satellites last year alone. So what that’s telling us is that we’re getting an incredible increase in the amount of data of imaging of the Earth every day. And we’re not going to have a problem in the future with the lack of data, what the problem is we’re going to have is the application of that data.”

“Technology’s got to fill the gap of helping people manage their farms across the landscape. And we’re talking with clients, now they have a very large field, and they’re not sure where to even start harvesting. So satellite technology can help with even those sorts of decisions.”

“Rural land prices are astronomically high and input costs are going up. So there’s a real race for the whole of the world, really, to look out for security’s food supply and managing port costs. So there’s so much work to be done. And technology forms a really nice part of that, to help people become more efficient, but generally, in Australia, we’ve got to try and manage those situations considering we’re largely an export country. So now we’ve got plenty of capability to grow our own food, but there’s a lot of pinching, sort of on the export market and what’s happening overseas.” 

“We’ve got to use technology to close that gap, make the market requirements without burdening people too much more than what they already are.”

“We don’t even know what we don’t know, in terms of data at the moment. I honestly think we’re at the tip of the iceberg of what’s possible. But we haven’t put any energy into thinking too far ahead, because there’s so many problems to solve today.” 


Data Farming Website 


Find the full show notes at: www.mysmart.community 

Connect with Tim via LinkedIn or Twitter 

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community  

Connect with My Smart Community via LinkedIn or Twitter and watch on YouTube

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Perk Digital


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