We are proud to announce that Jim Chambers, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Trimble Agriculture, has won the Legacy in Ag Technology Award! He was awarded this honor as part of the Global Ag Tech Initiative’s Award of Excellence – North America.
The Global Ag Tech Awards of Excellence program highlights people and programs that have made a significant impact on the ag industry and facilitated technology benefits to improve crop production.
With a significant background rich in ag experience, Chambers has dedicated his life’s work to agtech, precision ag, and water technology at startups and major corporations alike. He brings a global viewpoint from working on farms in 93 countries, having experience in everything from bioscience to water management, pest control, and currently, automation.
A Rich History in Ag
In past roles, Chambers led the development of several early precision farming technologies in aerial imagery, soil information services, and traceability. He was also a founding leader of the precision ag program at Bayer Crop Science, the CEO of a startup IoT company focused on precision farm water management in Australia, and SVP/GM of Agriculture and Weather Analytics at ClearAg, a machine learning, and AI company.
Fun fact: Best known for his involvement in the water management space, Chambers is one of the patent holders of sensor technology that measures soil moisture and nutrients, root depth, and movement. This innovative technology was among the first of its kind and continues to make an impact in informing grower practices around irrigation.
Making an Impact at Trimble
At Trimble Agriculture, Chambers leads the global Ag team in strategy and seeks to propel innovation to make life easier for farmers across the world. He identifies opportunities for automation and has helped Trimble Ag grow from a world leader in steering and guidance to an organization with a wider hand in automation and autonomy for farms across the globe.
His impact is evident in recent developments, such as a Trimble partnership with Horsch that unveiled the company’s first autonomous sprayer, and support of Trimble Select and Trimble Ventures, both partnership programs that nurture the next generation of precision ag.
Q&A with Jim Chambers
We sat down with Jim Chambers to discuss his feelings on winning the Legacy in Ag Technology Award, how his time growing up on a farm influenced his career journey, and what his dreams are for the future of the ag industry.
What does this award mean to you?
I always think about what my goal is – and it comes down to what my thumbprint will be that I leave on agriculture. It’s exciting to be recognized and see the impact seen of what I’ve done.
I’m most proud of the global impact. I grew up as an Ohio farm boy and never thought of anything but corn and soybeans. It’s amazing to look back and see the impacts across the world from the work I’ve had the honor to be involved in.
What made you get into the Ag industry?
Grew up on a farm. Oldest of 3 boys. By nature of the need, I was free labor. 4H and FFA involvement.
Growing up, I thought I’d go back and run the farm. In 1989 after college, the farm economy was tough. Went to Monsanto and then progressed, then never looked back.
What is the proudest moment of your career?
Leading the Trimble team now – everything has led to this. Trimble is such a great company that’s thriving. We’re an independent company that’s bringing new technologies on a global scale for Ag, regardless of what color your tractor is. I haven’t had a chance to have this type of impact until now.
What’s next for you? What’s on the horizon for Trimble?
Our broad Trimble strategy is to connect and scale. Building connected platforms across specific industries – ag, construction, transportation. In the connected farm of Trimble, steering and guidance got us here.
Tomorrow, we’re looking to bring the data and insights from the field and be able to share this with all stakeholders up and down the chain. Trimble is primed to bring that together, and it’s something we’ve talked about in the industry for a long time.
Tomorrow’s Trimble brings physical and digital together in a manner that can be openly shared and work with companies all throughout agriculture. The independence of Trimble is first and foremost about helping farmers execute the work in the field. Then we want to bring those insights and share them with all relevant people, regardless of the color of tractor you have or who you buy your seed or fertilizer from.
What are you personally passionate about within ag, and outside of ag?
Water – we hear a lot about carbon today. Reduction of CO2, etc. This is very important, yes. But we’re not talking enough about water. 70% of freshwater consumed globally is through Ag. If we’re going to increase food production, it will be even more water – probably 80%. Water has been taken for granted for a long time in Ag. And this is a big upcoming challenge for Ag. We have to deal with water.
No one has identified themselves as a global leader in water. Today, water management is the movement of dirt, tiling, leveling fields, etc. For the future, we need greater insights into what’s going on in the field to do better water management, including varying fields for water. With more advanced data, we can get very detailed models/digital twins of field, soil type, and movement of water. With this modeling, we can be more proactive in what we do. The Trimble model is an open, collaborative model with many companies.
Congratulations to our Ag leader Jim Chambers on this prestigious award! For more information on the PrecisionAg Awards of Excellence, visit their website.