Jan. 29, 2021

AGRICULUTURAL TECHNOLOGY INNOVATIONS

  • Olds College (Alberta) is at the leading edge of global agriculture technology innovation:
    • Digital technology to measure protein and moisture in grain as it is being harvested and in the grain dryers
    • Using artificial intelligence (AI) for individual animal identification to track herds, detect illness, or trace specific animals, weigh animals in the field, taking herd inventory etc to enhance food security
    • Technology to manage grazing lands remotely
    • Developing autonomous agriculture operations (self-driving machinery)
    • Developing technology to measure soil nutrients and managing the regeneration of fields
    • Beer “field to can”… consumers can scan a QR code and the story from seeding to serving
    • For more visit oldscollege.ca/olds-college-smart-farm/index.html

OTHER TECHNOLOGY UPDATES

  • Automation is expanding, for the first time, North American robots ordered by companies in 2020 did not go to automotive plants, instead they went to pharmaceutical companies, food industry and other factories.
  • Walmart is adding small robot-staffed warehouses in dozens of stores to fill orders for pick-up and delivery.
  • GM plans to sell only zero-emission models by 2035 and Nissan said their new models will be mostly electric by 2030.
  • December 2020 Volkswagen European sales of electric vehicles doubled Tesla’s.
  • President Biden has vowed to replace the US government’s fleet of roughly 650,000 vehicles with electric models.
  • CarbonCure Technologies (Halifax) has developed a process that adds enough strength to concrete to reduce the amount needed for a project by 5%; every tonne of concrete produced saves 40 tonnes of emissions. Bill Gates bought into the company in 2018.
  • Deloitte’s annual Readiness Report (survey of 2000 managers and business leaders) suggests that 1/3 of employees will work from home even after restrictions end.
  • Victoria, BC biotech firm, Aurinia Pharmaceuticals has received FDA approval to sell its drug for a severe form of lupus.
  • Boeing is designing jetliners to fly on 100% sustainable fuels by 2030.

MEN’S MENTAL HEALTH (CANADA)

  • Men account for more than 75% of suicides; an average of 50 men per week die of suicide.
  • Men are 3x more likely to experience addiction and substance abuse than women.
  • 1 in 4 boys do not graduate from high school (graduation rate for girls is much higher), which leaves them ill-equipped for the new economy and susceptible to mental health issues.
  • 40% of university students are male.
  • Decline in blue collar industries is particularly impactful on men.
  • 63% of males (18-34) experience considerable loneliness and isolation compared to 53% for women.
  • Men underutilize mental health services…women are 3x more likely to seek help.

TIDBITS

  • 39 billion school meals worldwide not being served because of the pandemic means 370 million children miss 40% of school meals.
  • Janet Yellen was sworn in, becoming the first women US Treasury Secretary. She is holder of the Washington ‘Triple Crown’… the first person to be US Treasury Secretary, Federal Reserve Chair under Presidents Obama and Trump, and Chair of Economic Advisors under President Clinton.