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Penn State College of Ag Sciences Seeks Partners for Statewide Tech Initiative
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 03/01/2024

Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences invites collaborators from within and beyond the University to join it as it embarks on a new initiative focused on leveraging emerging and advanced technologies to support sustainable and resilient agricultural systems and the broader living systems that support them.

As part of the launch, the college will host the “Technologies for Agriculture and Living Systems Symposium,” set for May 7-8 at the University Park campus. This event will spotlight research across the University that supports advanced technologies to enhance food production, health and conservation and elaborate on how the Technologies for Agriculture and Living Systems Initiative could redefine agroecosystems in the commonwealth and beyond.

According to László Kulcsár, interim dean of the college, the new initiative offers a holistic approach that addresses the pressing need for integrated agroecosystems to withstand climate challenges, limited resource availability, biodiversity losses, and socioeconomic shifts within rural and urban communities.

The college is committed to bridging the gap between discovery and application, Kulcsár noted, emphasizing the college’s history of bringing together diverse audiences — such as industry stakeholders, producer and conservation networks, academia, and government — to align expertise and resources in tackling complex issues, in the best traditions of the land-grant mission.

“This initiative is rooted in our 150-year commitment to answering the state’s agricultural and natural resource needs and expands on the expertise and capacity that we have been building for some time,” he said. “With this symposium, we welcome partners to join us in this shared mission to leverage the college’s domain expertise and Penn State’s interdisciplinary infrastructure to bring our stakeholder networks into the conversation to promote economic and workforce development.”

Kulcsár emphasized that the initiative’s success will rely on collaborations formed at events such as the symposium. These collaborations will be important when pursuing competitive funding that supports coordinating a statewide network, developing prototypes that seed small businesses and startups, and establishing sustainable pathways to implementing and adopting these technologies.

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