As an agriculture skilled with boots on the soil, Andrew believes that farmers shouldn’t simply produce meals, however ought to have a seat on the desk wherever sustainability decision-making is occurring. He brings that perspective to the board of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Washington.
“Before everything, farmers can assist with environmental conservation by sustaining wholesome soil to extend yields, however there isn’t a one-size-fits-all method,” Andrew mentioned. “We have now completely different climates within the U.S., and I need to guarantee that voices in rural areas are heard on the TNC board.”
Andrew’s scientific method developed at a younger age, when he started tinkering with know-how at his household homestead. For instance, when he was in center college, he constructed a working tv in his room by reusing a damaged TV set sitting within the farm store and stringing it to an antenna by means of his bed room wall. To today, his colleagues describe Andrew as “curious” with a streak for ingenuity.
Andrew at the moment presides over Nelson Farms and Silver Creek Farms, an expansive enterprise spanning greater than 7,500 acres and a various array of crops, together with wheat, lentils, peas, garbanzo beans, canola, barley, and nursery inventory bushes. To effectively run the farm and to “steadiness monetary and ecological sustainability,” he has been steadily ramping up technological experiments. He marries cutting-edge know-how with timeless knowledge concerning the land inherited by means of generations. Andrew has run dozens of experiments with drones, satellite tv for pc mapping for subject seeding and fertilizing, climate sensors, and synthetic intelligence to feed Washington State and maintain his farm resilient to local weather change. Expertise is a necessity on rising farms; whereas Andrew’s grandfather may handle his 320-acre plot manually, know-how permits the household’s farm to scale and stay productive.
“I’ve cherished computer systems ever since I used to be slightly child rewiring my mother and father’ TV,” Andrew mentioned. “I had a imaginative and prescient that I may use extra computer systems on the farm. I bought into software program engineering as a result of I prefer to develop shortly and do fast prototypes. In farming, you assume in years, not months, whereas in software program you assume in months or much less. I wanted each mindsets to make a huge impact on the farm.”
Past his agricultural success, Andrew has carved a distinct segment in software program engineering. By way of his enterprise, Nelson Skilled Consulting, he assists companies and startups in navigating their know-how wants. Notably, his revolutionary use of know-how on his farm has earned him recognition in GeekWire, Rising Tech Brew, Microsoft Information, and different platforms. He additionally works with faculties and universities, together with Washington State College, College of Washington, College of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Cornell.