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Partnership will create a hub of innovation and economic development

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Category: research Video duration: Partnership will create a hub of innovation and economic development
The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) is partnering with the Virginia Tech School of Plant and Environmental Sciences and the Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center to launch a Controlled Environment Agriculture Innovation Center on IALR’s campus in Danville, Virginia.
Welcome to the control environment agriculture Innovation Center at the Institute for Advanced Learning research and Danville, Virginia. The partnership was created between Virginia Tech and IRR. The leverage our resources. On Virginia Tech side, we have Dr. Michael Evans, who was an expert in controlled environment agriculture. And then also we have Dr. Michael short. His specialty is more in food safety and alcohol products where we grow fish and plants together. And then here at IRR we have terrific facilities. We have analytical chemistry, molecular biology, plant pathology, robotics, and we can kind of blend all those together to create a very unique innovation center that's unique in the US. So at the CEA cent are our goals are to work collaboratively with the emerging industries in the indoor farming sector. We have to demonstrate the local growers and producers potential crops that can be grown in these types of systems. Micro greens, lettuces, tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, and industrial hemp that can grow year around, fulfill the needs when that outdoor farming can't diff in VR hydroponic system. The hydroponic system produce past side for a finance on. They have also quake production and, or they have a longer shelf life and that the vegetable at the process stay in traditional way. Let us, it's not that profitable of a commodity in terms of how much you're going to get per head. But the turnaround is really where you're going to see the return on your investment because you couldn't get from seed to lead us in a matter of 14 day NFT since the nutrient film technique system, and it's a method of growing greens and other vegetables or commodity crops in a hydroponic system, The creates a film of nutrients at the bottom of the trough. Nutrient film will continue to flow down the trough and that allows the roots to absorb as much mineral nutrients as they possibly can. It's kinda called luxury consumption. These plants are highly pampered, which allows them to grow and develop and are really short span of times. Virginia is currently number 23 out of 50 vegetable producing states. And we have about 8 million acres of land devoted to farms alone in the Commonwealth, this is about a $90 billion industry when you incorporate forestry. So looking at how you can utilize space to increase production is one of the huge valuable assets of hydroponic growing. And I see AI Innovation Center is a opportunity to look into high-value alternative income streams for producers and growers across the region. Culturally, we're changing how we want to source our food. And that's a huge shift and market and market value. So we want to know where our food is coming from and we want to have limited exposure to things like pesticides or other toxins that you might find in a traditional agricultural, land-based farm will serve our growers and the Southern Virginia region by offering workshops, conferences, as well as we'll have a web presence for work, we can share the information that we're learning here at the center will also have tours. So we invite public and growers to come in and visit and see these. Before you invest in them, you might want to come in and see the systems.