The agricultural industry in southern Virginia is one that is rapidly growing, and many organizations are stepping up to the plate to help exponentiate this growth. Two of these organizations, The Controlled Environment Agriculture Innovation Center and The Indoor Ag-Con, are teaming up to host the CEA Summit East in Danville, on Oct. 25 and 26.
The event seeks to showcase the CEA industry and stimulate growth through thought leaders, keynotes lead by researchers and experts, panels, and breakout sessions. The Summit will also feature tabletop exhibits and networking opportunities to help encourage learning and development in the agricultural sector. It is a joining together of business and academia to provide a well-rounded exhibition of everything the industry has to offer.
The hosts of the summit are two driving forces in the growing agricultural industry. The Controlled Environment Agriculture Innovation Center is a joint venture between the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech and the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR). They are housed in an indoor agricultural complex on the IARL campus that focuses on hydroponic and soilless/production systems. They work with many of the top names in the industry of various projects. The two parties of this partnership both bring a lot to the table. The School of Plant and Environmental Science at Virginia Tech seeks to educate the next generation of agricultural professionals through research and extensive programs. IARL brings the business side to the partnership. Located in Danville and Pittsylvania County, the organization seeks to discover and drive advancements in the economic development through conferencing and partnership.
Indoor Ag-Con hosts trade events to help promote and educate the practice of indoor farming, typically through the use of hydroponics, aquaponics, and aeroponics. Its goals reach many corners of the industry, including produce, legal cannabis, alternate protein, non-food crops, and more.
The CEA Summit hopes to reach a wide audience of those interested in agriculture, from seasoned and experienced industry members to new and interested prospects. The summit will be held at the Institute Conference Center, part of IALR’s campus. More information about the events, including information programming and registration, can be found at www.ceasummit.com