Robert Saik, Founder of The Agri-Trend® Group of Companies (now a division of Trimble Inc.) is a Professional Agrologist and a Certified Agricultural Consultant.
In his capacity as CEO and now Global Business Development for Agri-Trend, Robert has been involved in the development of many new business processes and has spearheaded several advancements in technology integration in agriculture including the development of The Agri-Data® Solution which was a winner of Alberta’s 2002 E-business of the Year for on-line farm data management; now available globally in 14 languages as Trimble Ag Software.
Robert’s technical strengths lie in soil chemistry, plant physiology and crop nutrition.
He has published over 50 articles on crop agronomics and is a thought leader on the integration of technology in crop production.
Recently Robert, as part of an international delegation, was invited to present his ideas to Bill Gates on how agriculture technology could play a role in lifting small land-holders out of poverty and into prosperity. Subsequent to this think tank he participated in a planning session on integration of technology on Indian farms.
Founded in 1997, Agri-Trend is a professional agricultural coaching network comprised of over 200 consultants backed by over 30 PhD’s and MSc’s. Agri-Trend mission is to help farmers allocate scarce resources to produce profitable and environmentally sustainable crops. Rob has played a foundational role in the introduction of many new technologies into the agricultural sector ranging from the use of elemental sulphur for soil amelioration to the use of copper in wheat, boron in canola, use of satellite imagery for variable rate fungicide application to the development of full mobile data systems on the farm.
As the founder of Agri-Trend, Robert built many educational processes to provide training for agricultural professionals. His training sessions have been attended by thousands. His systems have been implemented on millions of acres by hundreds of agronomists. He has delivered agronomic and technical talks in Ukraine, Australia, Argentina, United Arab Emirates, the UK, the EU, Mexico and throughout North America.
In 2001 Saik wrote his first position paper on the role reduced tillage can play on carbon sequestration. He played a key consultative role in the development Alberta’s Carbon Offset Protocols and in 2007 founded Agri-Trend Aggregation, Canada’s largest agriculture offset company. This ISO certified organization works in the area of tillage, beef and nitrous oxide emission reduction carbon credit offset creation.
Agri-Trend was recognized as a 2012 & 2014 Western Regional Canada Top 50 Best Managed Company and was recognized by Venture Magazine as one of Alberta’s 2013 top 25 Most Innovative Organizations.
Robert is also the author of an Amazon 2014 Best of Books, “The Agriculture Manifesto” – 10 Key Drivers That Will Shape Agriculture in the next Decade. His was also the founder and publisher of The AgADVANCE – Journal for Growing Innovations, 2014 Western Trade Journal of the Year.
He is the creator of The Agri-Prize contest series, a skills based incentive competition for agriculture and launched The Canola 100 Agri-Prize in July 2015 which is a collaboration with Agri-Trend, John Deere and Glacier FarmMedia with the goal of attaining a yield of 100 bu/ac of spring sown, dryland canola and 50 contiguous acres.
He is a passionate keynote speaker addressing audiences on the importance of modern agriculture, His 2014 TEDx talk, entitled “Will Agriculture be ALLOWED to feed 9 Billion People” is a popular on-line reference and has been viewed over 136,000 times. His other keynotes include “GMO, what you know ain’t so”, “The Agriculture Manifesto”, “Food 5.0 – Convergence on the Farm” and how to manage your business through the “Winds of Change”.
Robert was awarded the 2014 Canadian Agri-Marketer of the Year by the Canadian Association of Agricultural Marketer.
He is the Executive Producer of KNOW IDEAS Media (Facebook / YouTube) which is dedicated to providing science-based education on the use of genetic engineering in agriculture. This project produces multiple initiatives including a webisode series and vignettes on GMO technology for use by teachers at www.knowGMO.ca.
Robert is a passionate entrepreneur and has founded over 15 companies ranging from field diagnostic and sensory technology firms, fertilizer manufacturing, fertilizer distribution, agri-retail, agricultural consulting and farming including a pure bred cattle operation.
Internationally Robert has been involved in projects across North America, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, the UE, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Australia, Argentina, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda where he is invested in a 5,300 acre farming operation west of Gulu.
Through his work with A Better World, Rob has been involved in projects bringing irrigation to orphanages and he has conducted a soil inventory in both Kenya and Uganda to identify nutrient deficiencies in soils.
Premier David Hancock appointed Robert to serve on the Alberta Innovation Council. Robert served on AIC until the change of governments.
He is a member of the A100 (Alberta Tech Entrepreneur Network), a student of Strategic Coach and Singularity University and a member of Abundance 360 with Peter Diamandis.
He is a current member of the Telus Agriculture Advisory Council providing input on how technology can be leveraged to improve agriculture productivity.
Most recently Robert has been appointed by the Province of Alberta to sit on the Tactical Action Committee on Technology (TACT). TACT will focus on the strategic development implementation plans directed to increase technology training, adaptation and systems integration in Alberta’s Universities, Colleges, Technical and Corporate Training curriculums.
Rob serves on several boards and is a member of many professional associations. In 2006 he was recognized as Distinguished Agrologist of the Year by the Alberta Institute of Agrology.
Robert resides in Olds, Alberta and works out of Central Alberta.
Red Deer , Alberta
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