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USDA - NIFA Conference


Developing sustainable and strategic plans to feed the future in the face of growing global challenges will demand interdisciplinary vision, collaboration and innovation. Controlled environment agriculture (CEA) implemented as fully enclosed, multi-level indoor agricultural food production systems, Vertical Farms (VF), will complement future greenhouse (GH) plant production systems and will offer innovative technological solutions for issues at the food-energy-water nexus.

The purpose of the conference is to Plan an Interdisciplinary Controlled Environment Indoor Agriculture R&D Roadmap and Coordinated Research Plan.  It is supported by USDA/NIFA-AFRI program and is hosted by the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center at the University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ  and Biosphere 2, Oracle, AZ

This conference (September 9 – 12) will facilitate interdisciplinary discussions centered on several major thematic R&D areas for CEA/VF/GH, each of which will interface with the others to identify cross-disciplinary areas of synergy, opportunity and need. Thematic areas include:

  • Economics

  • Engineering

  • Production Systems

  • Plant Breeding

  • Pest and Disease Management

  • Food Nutrition and Safety

  • Marketing

  • Industrial Ecology in Closed Systems

Conference participants are additionally welcome to join writing teams and collaborate on a proposal for a coordinated agricultural project (CAP) grant on VF that builds off of conference discussions. Writing teams may also choose to develop proposals for relevant funding programs at USDA-NIFA SAS, SCRI, NSF/USDA/DOE INFEWS, and NSF

Earlier Event: September 7
IBIE Baking Expo
Later Event: September 11
Smart City Expo Atlanta