Agriculture is one of the most cutting edge industries in the United States. You read that correctly: farming, which has been around since approximately 12,000 BC, is leading the charge in many technological and scientific advances. And the Midwest is the hot bed of this innovation.

Over the last year there has been a lot of talk about Silicon Valley tech companies expanding into the Midwest. With lower costs of living and the trademark work ethic instilled in Midwesterners since birth, including millennials, the center of the country is an ideal location to expand into. When Amazon recently announced its plans to open a second location rumors started to fly about the Midwest as the potential new home for the online retail behemoth.

While it is exciting to have companies from the coast finally see the value of the flyover states, we don’t need them to make us a hub for technology. Thanks to farming, the Midwest is tech savvy in its own right. For years, we have made strides in chemistry, genetics, automation and data management. The Midwest has had self-steering tractors since the early 2000s. How you doing, Tesla?

The difference between the innovation in Silicon Valley and Silicon Prairie, as some have dubbed it, is that agriculture innovates from a place of necessity, not one of vanity.

When commodity prices are low, margins are tight, and farmers are looking for ways to make the most from the resources they have. ROI is king in farm country. Farmers do not want to waste a single drop of water or drive a minute more than is necessary to get the job done. They are constantly looking for ways to make their operations more sustainable so future generations can continue farming them.

Does this sound familiar to the folks on the coasts? Farmers are business people and the Midwest is the OG Silicon Valley.

In 2017, farmers are more educated than ever. They are early adopters of technology and every-day scientists testing out different ways to grow their crops. Farmers are globally minded. They understand how trade agreements impact their businesses and that large portions of their yields go overseas. They are tasked with feeding our world.

Tech companies are not bringing innovation to America’s heartland, they are adding to an already thriving technological landscapeClick To Tweet

Tech companies are not bringing innovation to America’s heartland. They are adding to an already thriving technological landscape led by innovative people that have keep their industry alive for centuries. You may have survived the dot com bubble, Amazon, but farmers survived the Great Depression.

They don’t plan on going under anytime soon.