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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

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agricultural entrepreneurship

Youth 20 Summit: Sustainable Entrepreneurship Top of Mind for Global Youth

July 15, 2014 |

posty20-+-g20-SummitEdward Silva is a student at the University of California, Davis studying international agriculture, and is a founder of Henlight.

Recently, I experienced something that does not seem to happen often: over 120 youth from more than 20 countries around the world actually came to a consensus that entrepreneurship is the most overarching issue affecting youth globally. More specifically, entrepreneurship as it relates to food and agriculture. This overwhelming validation for agripreneurs is the result of a larger global experiment called the Y20 and signals a hopeful future for food and agricultural entrepreneurs globally. Read More

Michigan Diversifies Economy With Food Innovation Districts

May 1, 2014 |
Farmer’s market setup in Battle Creek, MI Photos courtesy of Northwest Michigan Council of Governments

Farmer’s market setup in Battle Creek, MI
Photos courtesy of Northwest Michigan Council of Governments

Michigan has undergone an economic transformation in the last few years, diversifying from its historic role as an industrial center and emerging as a leader in the sustainable agriculture and local food sector.

One way the state is diversifying is through Food Innovation Districts,  one of the tools proposed in Michigan’s Good Food Charter. The Charter, compiled between 2009 and 2010, was created in the wake of the economic downturn and provides goals for Michigan to help establish viable regional economies and communities.

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Seedstock’s “Grow Riverside” Sustainable Agriculture Conference Nears Discounted Registration Deadline

January 9, 2014 |

grow riverside speakersRIVERSIDE, CA– Little more than a week remains to obtain discounted registration for the “Grow Riverside: Citrus and Beyond!” Conference (http://growriverside.com).  The event, to be held Wednesday and Thursday, March 19-20, at the Riverside Convention Center, will assist cities in examining and developing solutions to reconnect with their agricultural roots and unite citizens, growers, advocates, government officials and other major stakeholders around the economic opportunities that can result from employing sustainable agriculture. Read More

Planning App Takes Guesswork Out of Small-Scale Urban Gardening

January 8, 2014 |
Image Courtesy of GrowVeg.com

Image Courtesy of GrowVeg.com

Jeremy Dore was banking on the idea that everyone can use a little help when it comes to planning next year’s garden when he came up with the idea for the Garden Planner app.

The idea for the app was sparked when he and his family started growing more of their own food in 2005. Read More

Organic Farm School Teaches Tomorrow’s Farmers Everything from Soil to Sales

December 18, 2013 |
Source: Greenbank Farm

Source: Greenbank Farm

In 2008, Greenbank Farm  established its Organic Farm School to teach sustainable agricultural methods to students from all walks of life. The farm, located on Greenbank, Washington’s Whidbey Island, teaches agriculture methods and emphasizes how to manage a farm as a viable business.

Farm manager and instructor Jessica Babcock says the Farm School’s emphasis on business management is what sets it apart from other organic agricultural training programs.

“Each student leaves the program with an extensive business plan they have written that they can use to start their own sustainable farm business,” says Babcock. Read More

Urban Farming Startup Sees Opportunity in Aeroponic Tower to Increase Local Food Production in New Orleans

December 16, 2013 |
Image Credit: VertiFarms

Image Credit: VertiFarms

Fresh produce in New Orleans usually arrives from places like California or Florida. One company wants to change that.

Vertifarms began providing aeroponic farms for New Orleans food businesses in 2011, when company co-founders Doug Jacobs and Kevin Morgan-Rothschild began partnering with Florida-based FutureGrowing to bring aeroponic tower systems to restaurants, markets, grocery stores, and non-profit organizations that want to grow their own local crops.

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Enterprising Brothers Build ‘Rowbot-ic’ Delivery System to Stem Nitrogen Waste In Corn Production

December 12, 2013 |
Image Credit: Rowbot

Image Credit: Rowbot

With each passing year, 100 million acres of corn are sown in the United States. As these acres are fertilized, an estimated 50 percent of the nitrogen applied is wasted due to runoff and other factors, so that half of the hefty sum spent annually by corn farmers to feed their fields might as well be poured down a drain or tossed to the wind.

The enormous scale and consequence of this waste is what motivated a team of three very bright brothers with expertise in environmental science, dairy farming and robotics to devise a solution called “Rowbot.” Read More

Container Farming System Co. Aims to Take Strain off Agricultural System while Improving Yields

December 9, 2013 |
eartbboxpost

Image Credit: EarthBox

In 1994, Mickey Lynch was working on a project in Florida to turn waste products from landfills into usable materials. This project brought him into contact with many farmers, including Blake Whisenant, who had recently lost a large tomato crop due to flooding and was developing a raised system to protect the crop and offer more control over the growing environment. The pair began a collaboration that resulted in EarthBox, a container farming system that reduces waste and takes the guesswork out of farming.

Frank DiPaolo, general manager of EarthBox, credits much of the success of the product over the years to its simplicity. Water is reserved at the bottom of the container. Layered over the water is an aeration screen, which prevents root rot and mold, and over that is a peat-based growing media, which draws up the water as it is needed. The EarthBox also works with a fertilizer strip and a mulch cover, which prevents weeds and conserves water. The system requires about a third of the water and half of the fertilizer as in-ground methods, according to DiPaolo. Read More