Academia, Business Sectors Forge New Connections at 2022 Debut Version of CEA Summit East in Virginia – City Ag News


DANVILLE, VA – New connections and collaboration had been clear themes that emerged from the October 25-26, 2022 debut version of the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) Summit East held on the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) in Danville, VA. Co-hosted by Indoor Ag-Con and the Controlled Environment Agriculture Innovation Center (a joint challenge between the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech, Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center at Virginia Tech and the IALR), the brand new occasion attracted 200 + attendees from 28 states plus Puerto Rico and Canada, together with growers, educators, scientists, extension specialists, suppliers, engineers, tech specialists, architect/builders and different trade members.

During the day and one-half occasion, attendees loved high quality time to satisfy, community and study throughout keynotes, panels and breakout convention classes; discover 17 tabletop displays presenting the most recent improvements and companies; and revel in a bunch of networking alternatives.

The CEA Summit is co-hosted by Indoor Ag-Con and the VT-IALR Controlled Environment Agriculture Innovation Center. Event companions pictured with Virginia Secretary of Agriculture & Forestry — (L-R) Telly Tucker, President, IALR; Kaylee South, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Controlled Environment
Agriculture, Virginia Tech; Matthew Lohr, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry; Michael Evans,
Ph.D., Co-Director, Controlled Environment Agriculture Innovation Center and Director, School of Plant
and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Brian Sullivan, CEO,
Indoor Ag-Con; Scott Lowman, Ph.D., Co-Director, Controlled Environment Agriculture Innovation Center
and Vice President, Applied Research, Institute for Advanced Learning and Research

“We are so happy with the outcomes of this primary version and our partnership with the CEA Innovation Center,” says Brian Sullivan, CEO, Indoor Ag-Con. “Both organizations noticed an incredible alternative to create a distinct form of occasion for this trade –bringing a concentrated sector of enterprise and educational audiences collectively in an unimaginable analysis facility setting that fostered an surroundings for sharing concepts and alternatives. From the suggestions we’ve heard from our attendees and exhibitors alike, we delivered.”

“This occasion actually crystalized our imaginative and prescient of bringing our analysis and schooling program collectively to assist transfer the CEA trade ahead,” added Dr. Scott Lowman, Co-Director, Controlled Environment Agriculture Innovation Center and Vice President, Applied Research, IALR.

“An thrilling factor about this convention is that it introduced folks from everywhere in the United States collectively to share concepts and objectives, which all the time feeds your individual concepts,” mentioned Dr. Michael Evans, Co-Director, Controlled Environment Agriculture Innovation Center and Director, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.”

Among the numerous highlights of the brand new occasion included:

Morning Kick-Off Keynotes

AeroFarms CTO Roger Buelow kicked off opening morning with a keynote sharing extra in regards to the newly opened AeroFarms Danville, the world’s largest aeroponic sensible farm, able to rising greater than 3 million kilos of contemporary leafy greens yearly. On day two, Matthew Lohr, Virginia’s Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, bought the day began sharing the state’s focus and objectives for development of the CEA trade. “It comes all the way down to collaboration – with the entire Commonwealth working collectively. We’ve made progress, and I’m much more enthusiastic about what the way forward for farming seems to be like,” he mentioned, echoing the core theme of the convention.

Educational Tracks

The CEA Summit featured 3 academic tracks – CEA Skills, Business Tips & Regulation, and Teaching, Extension, Workforce Development – that introduced lecturers, growers and enterprise consultants collectively masking a variety of subjects from discovering funding and choosing applied sciences for CEA operations to meals security, sustainability aquaponics and methods to work with the land grant college extension system. A particular panel dialogue titled “Building the Future of CEA” and 15-minute CEA Industry & Research Showcase classes gave attendees the possibility to listen to about among the newest analysis findings and different trade success tales.

“We labored to create a convention program that provided one thing for everybody,” explains Dr. Kaylee South, Assistant Professor of Controlled Environment Agriculture, Virginia Tech. “It was rewarding to see how engaged our viewers members had been within the query and reply segments of all of our classes.”

Tabletop Exhibits & Networking
In addition to convention classes, attendees had ample alternatives to go to with the Summit’s 17 tabletop exhibitors throughout espresso breaks, luncheon roundtables and a day cocktail reception.

CEA Innovation Center Tour

The occasion wrapped up with group excursions of the CEA Innovation Center. 60+ convention attendees took benefit of the distinctive alternative to get an inside have a look at the CEA Innovation Center’s hydroponic and soilless techniques/manufacturing techniques and services, together with indoor development rooms, greenhouse, development chambers and vertical rising racks. They additionally bought to listen to extra about among the Center’s thrilling analysis initiatives.

Look for extra data coming quickly on dates and particulars for the 2023 version. In the meantime, trade members may also make plans to attend the tenth Annual Indoor Ag-Con, February 27-28, 2023 because it returns to Caesars Forum, Las Vegas to as soon as once more co-locate with the National Grocers Association (NGA) Show.

CEA Summit is co-hosted by:

CEA Summit East Partners

Founded in 2013, Indoor Ag-Con has emerged because the premier commerce occasion for indoor | vertical farming | managed surroundings agriculture, the observe of rising crops in indoor techniques, utilizing hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic strategies. Its occasions are crop-agnostic and contact all sectors of the enterprise, masking produce, authorized hashish |hemp, alternate protein and non-food crops. More data – | 404.991.5186

The School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech trains the subsequent technology of execs within the fields of plant breeding and genetics, agronomic and horticultural crop manufacturing, plant safety, soil and water techniques administration, agricultural applied sciences, environmental restoration and agro-environmental stewardship. It conducts analysis to enhance agricultural productiveness, cut back unfavourable impacts on the surroundings and enhance soil and water well being. Through extension applications, it supplies science-based data to stakeholders to assist them feed the world whereas defending the surroundings. More data —

The Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center at Virginia Tech works to assist the way forward for the historic seafood trade — in Virginia and past. Its extension specialists work with trade and analysis companions to determine and reply to rising wants and supply technical steerage to stakeholders in each stage of the seafood provide chain. Through technical help, coaching, course of validation, value-added product improvement, and extra, it helps stakeholders guarantee product high quality, security, and viability. More data —

The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) serves as a regional catalyst for financial transformation. Core focus areas embrace analysis that gives a transparent path to commercialization, superior studying alternatives the place schooling meets expertise, coaching and rapid-launch house for superior producers, and financial improvement by way of conferencing and a partnership with the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance. It is situated in scenic and historic Danville-Pittsylvania County on the VA/NC state line, inside a brief drive of Roanoke, Greensboro and Raleigh.