Part 3: Publicly Funded Research is Key in Driving Agriculture and Horticulture Growth

“Knowledge builds on itself so that the pace of discovery is faster when knowledge is freely available.” USDA-ERS, Nov. 10, 2016

The Urban Ag News team is continuing to adapt to the changes we recently announced. It has not been easy and as anyone who tries to effect change knows, it doesn’t always go smoothly. But, we continue to believe in our mission and the reasons why we have made those changes. We will continue to bring you the scientific research as well as the experiences of qualified individuals that will help you build a successful controlled environment agriculture (CEA) business.

What you can expect from us going forward is access to publicly-supported research, which is key for all of us in the horticulture industry. This research is particularly important to those of us who are responsible for the growth and success of small- to medium-size businesses.

Striving to be an industry connector

UAN is networked with many of the key plant science researchers in the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands and Japan. We will do our best to make information from these scientists available, whenever possible. We know access to this information and research helps to strengthen industry businesses and allows us to support our own development and customer base.

In order to reach our goal of being an industry connector, UAN will continue to host and help plan industry events. In 2016 UAN hosted the “East Meets West” conference with the Japanese Plant Factory Association in Salinas, Calif. Opportunities like this and the International Congress on Controlled Environment Agriculture are designed to not only “teach” but to also create opportunities to interact with industry leaders. These are times in which you can build partnerships, create collaboration and share ideas so that others can help you reach your goals.

Finally, we will look to provide you with the shared experiences of those that have come before you. These could include stories about industry members like Mike DeGiglio, president and CEO at Village Farms, or Kimbal Musk, co-founder of The Kitchen restaurants and the non-profit Community Kitchen. These stories will be designed to provide you with learning opportunities that will allow you to grow personally and to expand your business.

We need your help

We will not be able to accomplish our goals if we don’t receive input from you. We need to understand what you want to learn about. We need your feedback and thoughts on the information we are sharing.

Please participate in the industry surveys that UAN along with our university partners create and promote. We need your information, opinions and support. Finally, let others in the industry know what we are working on as well as why we are working on it. Because we are a small niche industry, it is our shared goals and strategic collaboration that will ultimately ensure our success together.

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