NSW's Sarah Groat believes the potential to reduce inputs through the use of real-time information - lifting productivity and creating more time in the day - is a huge opportunity currently before Australian farmers.
She has made it her mission to pave the way for that to happen.
In her role as development officer for government agtech program Farms of the Future at the NSW Department of Primary Industries, Ms Groat has caught the eye of judges in the prestigious Zanda McDonald Award.
The 34-year-old, who lives on the family farm near Rankins Springs in NSW, has been named a 2023 finalist.
Along with Northern Territory veterinarian Charles Vaughan and Bullseye Agriculture's Mitch Highett, from NSW, Ms Groat is in the running for the 2023 Australian crown in what is one of the most prestigious agricultural badges of honour.
She says rising input costs, and moving from one weather extreme to the next, are among the biggest threats facing Australian producers right now.
"With the weather extremes in recent months, we have seen the flow-on effects to logistics, market access, mental health and productivity across Australia," she said.
"Another risk we have seen is the labour shortage in the agricultural sector, which has had devastating impacts."
Agtech has the power to provide solutions and help producers worth through these type of hurdles, she believes.
"I love creating change and helping farmers embrace agtech. I cannot wait to see how I can empower producers to make exciting gains in these areas through my role with Farms of the Future."
FoTF is an $48 million program funded by the Snowy Hydro Legacy fund. It aims to encourage producers in 11 local government areas in NSW to adopt agtech, thus boosting productivity, increasing market competitiveness and improving sustainability.
Ms Groat explained this covers areas such as water efficiency, drought preparedness and increasing resilience to climate change.
FoTF includes free face-to-face or online agtech training, and a grants program for producers. It has announced 51 approved program partners from which the team are creating an agtech catalogue for producers.
"The program supports connectivity, dashboards and agtech IoT (Internet of Things) devices," Ms Groat said.
The grants program is expected to commence in early 2023.
Ms Groat said her day-to-day work life was incredibly varied, and evolved as the program progressed.
"I'm currently establishing an agtech demonstration hub targeted at addressing producer pain points in the Carrathool, Leeton and Griffith areas - the biggest area within the program," she said.
"I facilitate agtech training in collaboration with Tocal college, and importantly, help producers overcome their barriers to agtech adoption. As part of the program I coordinated the installation of a $30000 protein and moisture monitoring demonstration device for grain growers."
The top three producer pain points she has identified in Carrathool, Griffith and Leeton are connectivity, water monitoring, and security/workplace health and safety.
"These will be targeted first in my Agtech Monitoring Plan for demonstration through irrigation telemetry/water point monitoring, a multi-layered connectivity solution, and devices ranging from security cameras and fuel monitoring to asset tracking," she said.
"As a digital agronomist I will support farmers to navigate the upcoming virtual agtech catalogue that is part of the FoTF grant program."
Collaborating with community groups, agricultural grower groups, supplier networks and consultants is also a big part of Ms Groat's work.
Next year, she will be creating and facilitating agtech events and field days.
The winners of the 2023 Zanda McDonald Award will be announced at a special Impact Summit in Brisbane in March.
Three finalists are also vying for the New Zealand arm of the award.
Both the Australian and the New Zealand winner will each pick up an impressive personal development package, including a fully personalised mentoring trip in both countries, $10,000 worth of tailored education or training, media coaching and other mentoring and industry opportunities.