UC Davis & Verliant Energy Partners Launch Sustainable Agriculture Solution Center Project
September 5, 2011 | Andrew Burger
The University of California at Davis’ Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP) and Verliant Energy Partners plan to build a network of sustainable solution centers to address urgent issues related to agriculture and food systems, the partners announced on September 1.
The solution centers will integrate and leverage web information resources, live demonstration sites and technical experts to provide the latest applied agricultural scientific research and practical information to end users. Individual solution centers will concentrate on a specific issue in agriculture and food systems, offering guidance on how to adapt information to a wide range of conditions and specific uses in California.
“Given the diversity of California agriculture, we prioritize engaging end-users like farmers and cooperative extension farm advisors to help us to develop a structure for solution centers that is highly adaptable, and avoids a one-size-fits-all approach,” said Sonja Brodt, academic coordinator and project leader on SAREP’s first solution center project.
In the initial phase of the program, Verliant will work with SAREP to develop a prototype solution center that aims to re-purpose agricultural waste streams to produce bioenergy using anaerobic digesters, as well as capture and reuse nutrients.
“Best practices in sustainable agriculture are being sought by the ag industry in general. UC Davis is a thought-leader in this field. Creating a platform on campus to allow easy collaboration and flow of information helps all parties,” commented Verliant Energy CEO Haider Nazar. “We are committed to supporting this platform by helping to make the SAREP Solution Center a reality.”
“SAREP has 25 years of history connecting UC science with the needs of California farmers and ranchers, added Tom Tomich, Director of SAREP and UC Davis’ Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI). With the help of Verliant Energy Partners, we feel SAREP’s solution center approach will enhance our ability to assist California agriculture in addressing new challenges and seizing emerging opportunities.”