MSUToday
Published: Nov. 30, 2017

MSU 'smart ag' forum focuses on feeding more with less

Contact(s): Patricia Mroczek College of Engineering office: (517) 432-1303 mroczekp@egr.msu.edu, Eileen Gianiodis Agriculture and Natural Resources office: (517) 432-1555, ext. 230 cell: (517) 242-4753 gianiod1@msu.edu

By 2050, the global population may exceed 9 billion people, with nearly three-quarters of them living in urban areas. How will the world feed so many?

The SmartAg International Symposium, being held at Michigan State University Dec. 3-6, will connect researchers, practitioners and policymakers who are tackling the global agro-food problem of producing more with less.

Distinguished speakers will discuss various topics concerning global food security and the role of technology. 

“We’re uniting emerging smart technologies to work on the world’s potential food shortage. We need to double food production in the decades to come,” said John Verboncoeur, associate dean in MSU’s College of Engineering and chair of the SmartAg Initiative executive committee. “The goal of the symposium is to develop a blueprint for a sustainable community in ‘smart ag.’”

Distinguished speakers include Cornell University’s Norman Scott, a renowned expert in sustainable development who will speak about the future of technology in global food systems; Hongda Chen, national program leader of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, who will speak about the role of government in funding smart technology for food systems; and Terrence Pickett, manager of advanced engineering at John Deere Co., who will discuss how technology can improve the farming industry.

Topics include biosensing technology for smart agriculture; ground-based remote sensing and its application for site-specific irrigation; and robotics and automation for specialty crops. 

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