CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Farmers, researchers and manufacturers from Central Illinois and around the world came together for the UI’s AgTech week.

More than 200 companies and 30 guest speakers gathered at the Illinois Conference Center to address some of the challenges facing the agriculture industry.

Some of the topics included reducing our carbon footprint and making sure farming is sustainable for the future. This means finding more efficient ways to grow crops.

Mark Moran is head of technology and innovation at John Deere. Moran said agriculture is more high-tech than people think and said a lot of technology created in recent years is used in farming.

“Chemistry, biology, all those things, all that comes to bear on the farm. You cannot find a sector of the economy that has more technology coming together in one place,” Moran said.

Eric Miller is a farmer from Monticello. He won the Glen Brandt Prize for AG Entrepreneurism. Miller said simply throwing resources at the demands of feeding people won’t solve anything. He said a solution is speaking directly to customers.

“Giving us good, honest feedback as to what you’re looking for is really important,” Miller said. “Then we know how to tailor what we’re doing better. Are we going to be in agreement or are we going to be able to accommodate every situation? Certainly, we can’t. But, that interaction between the producer and the consumer is really important.”

Those who missed the summit can check out more events coming this week.