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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

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Agriculture Research

Report: Driven by Growth in Local Food Markets, Food Hubs Thrive

June 27, 2016 |
Food hubs are hubbubs of activity, with containers of produce arriving and departing constantly. Photo courtesy of Rich Pirog/MSU Center for Regional Food Systems)

Food hubs are hubbubs of activity, with containers of produce arriving and departing constantly.
Photo courtesy of Rich Pirog/MSU Center for Regional Food Systems)

Food hubs are financially viable forces for good in their communities providing locally grown to institutions, wholesale buyers, grocery stores, restaurants and other retail outlets. They also offer much needed infrastructure, aggregation, and marketing to enable small and mid-sized farms to achieve and maintain economic sustainability.

These conclusions were among the results of the 2015 National Food Hub Survey of more than 150 food hubs across the U.S. The report was released on May 12 by the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems. Seedstock recently spoke with the center’s director, Rich Pirog, to learn more about the report’s findings and the future of food hubs. Read More

California Start-Up Brings Precision Irrigation to Water-conscious Growers

March 30, 2015 |
Photo credits: Alan Wells

Photo credits: Alan Wells

If you are a farmer in California, there is one issue that should be on your mind at all times: water conservation. As California enters its fourth year of drought, recent estimates suggest that the state only has enough water in its reservoirs to last one more year.

Agriculture accounts for over 60 percent of California’s overall water usage. So as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Viticulture & Enology at UC Davis, Tom Shapland understandably has water conservation on his mind.

Shapland and his fellow research associates worked together on a technology that would allow farmers to more precisely monitor and administer water to their crops.  Their research resulted in the creation of a sensor that measures water usage, or evapotranspiration, and the formation of Shapland’s start-up company, Tule. Read More

How Do We Reshape Our American Food System? A Q&A With Union of Concerned Scientists’ Ricardo Salvador

September 30, 2014 |
Ricardo Salvador was the first professor to teach a course in sustainable agriculture at a land grant university. Now, he is the director of the Food & Environment Program for the Union of Concerned Scientists. (photo courtesy of Sarah Goldberg/Union of Concerned Scientists)

Ricardo Salvador was the first professor to teach a course in sustainable agriculture at a land grant university. Now, he is the director of the Food & Environment Program for the Union of Concerned Scientists. (photo courtesy of Sarah Goldberg/Union of Concerned Scientists)

Ricardo Salvador is the director of the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Food & Environment Program. He believes agricultural systems must change for the health of the Earth and its inhabitants, and was the first professor to teach about sustainable agriculture at a land grant university at Iowa State. 

Seedstock had the opportunity to speak with Salvador about the future of agriculture, the role of land-grant universities, and the developing science of “agro-ecology”. 

Seedstock: For years, our nation’s land-grant universities have focused on crop yields and profitability. How do leading agricultural research universities need to shift their energies to adapt to a rapidly evolving agricultural industry? Read More

Take the Seedstock Hydroponic Growers Survey Now!

September 18, 2014 |

hydroponic survey pictureAre you an indoor grower utilizing a hydroponic, aquaponic or aeroponic growing system?

If so, you should really take our survey. It will take you about 5 MINUTES and for your efforts we will provide you with a with a complimentary summary of the aggregated results. The information that you submit will be anonymized. 

Survey Link: http://bit.ly/1rg7IEZ

Seedstock is in the process of conducting a survey to obtain information and data from existing growers about the Indoor Agriculture sector inclusive of hydroponic, aquaponic, aeroponic growing operations and more.
Read More

UCLA Student Researchers Complete First Comprehensive Look at Urban Agriculture in Los Angeles County

August 16, 2013 |

urban agricultureNews Release – A group of graduate students in urban planning at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs has created the first comprehensive picture of urban agriculture in Los Angeles County.

While farming has long been the domain of rural landscapes, increasing interest in the local-food movement, healthy eating and sustainable cities has sparked the growth of farming in urban environments. The new report, “Cultivate L.A.: An Assessment of Urban Agriculture in L.A. County,” is intended to aid city planners as they learn how to accommodate these new land uses in the nation’s most populous county. Read More