ICCEA Panama Continues to Add Amazing Speakers

As #ICCEA2015 in Panama gets closer, I am getting more excited for this unique opportunity. Why? It is simple, the list of speakers and panelist continue to grow and become more and more impressive.

I have already highlighted some of the speakers including industry leading researchers and professors like Dr. Kozai (Chiba University), Dr. Marcellis (Wageningen University) and Dr. Wilkerson (formerly Texas AM University, now with Caliber Bio Therapeutics.)

If you would like to see a complete list of speakers, follow this link.

Now we would like to introduce the growing list of panelist, which we are equally as excited about.

Dr. Roberto Lopez (Purdue University)

Panel: Lighting

Roberto earned his B.S. in Biology and Economics from the University of New Mexico, M.S. and Ph.D. in Horticulture from Michigan State University. He is now an Associate Professor and Floriculture Extension Specialist in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Purdue University. His research focuses on energy-efficient propagation and production of floriculture and leafy green vegetable crops in high tunnels, greenhouses, and multi-layer indoor environments. The primary emphasis of his research is to determine how light (quantity, quality, and duration) and substrate temperature during the young and finished plant stages influence crop timing, rooting, quality, and subsequent performance.

In 2014 Roberto and Purdue hosted a LED Open House, you can see his work in this video.

Dr. Erik Runkle (Michigan State University)

Panel: Lighting

Dr. Runkle is a Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University. Since he joined the faculty in 2001, he and his graduate research team have performed dozens of experiments to quantify the effects of light and temperature on plant growth and development. Most recently, Erik has been determining how to minimize energy inputs using cultural practices, management of temperature and lighting, and energy-saving technologies including use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs). He has published over 200 articles in trade magazines and 80 papers in scientific journals. Erik also manages several websites that focus on lighting and greenhouse crop production.

In 2014, Erik started working with and investigating the urban agriculture opportunities for Detroit, Michigan. As we all know Detroit is a city that is rebuilding and Erik and Michigan State are positioned to play a key role in these developments.

Dr. Chris Curry (Iowa State University)

Panel: Nutrients

Chris is an Assistant Professor of Horticulture in the Department of Horticulture at Iowa State University specializing in greenhouse and controlled-environment crop production. His research focuses on alternative greenhouse cropping systems, including hydroponic culinary herb production, alternative mineral nutrition and fertilization strategies, and new uses for plant growth regulators. In addition to research, Chris also teaches four courses on greenhouse operations and management, hydroponic food crop production, and spring and fall ornamental greenhouse crop production. His extension program is focused on providing support for greenhouse growers.

Chris is early in his career at Iowa State, but he has already had a major impact on the programming by bring hydroponics and greenhouse vegetable production to the students and school.

Mr. Steve Oster

Panel: Lighting

Steve Oster is an Engineer with expertise in designing and deploying specialized LED light engines, including vertical farm applications. Based in San Jose, California, Steve has co-founded two successful startup companies and has been designing with LEDs for 8 years, having achieved some industry firsts.

Mr. Tyler Baras

Panel: Successful CEA Facilities

Tyler Baras (Farmer Tyler) is currently the Head Grower at The GrowHaus in Denver, Colorado, where he teaches hydroponics courses and grows living lettuce for Circle Fresh Farms (end-sales to Wholefoods and King Soopers). Tyler graduated Cum Laude from the University of Florida’s Horticultural Sciences department. While a student, he started an urban homestead complete with chickens, rabbits, pigeons, and quail and rented farmland from an organic dairy farm where he independently cultivated winter greens for sale to restaurants and students. Tyler has studied Organic Agriculture in Spain and Protected Agriculture (greenhouse production) in China. Previously he was the grower for 3 Boys Farm Inc., the first certified organic recirculating hydroponic farm in the United States where he produced heirloom tomatoes and gourmet greens for high-end clientele including Disney World, Epcot, and Emeril’s Orlando. Tyler is an avid farm blogger and YouTuber. He is the host of Dig In’s Garden Tech, a PBS gardening show that airs in Colorado, Seattle, and Minnesota. Check out his work at FarmerTyler.com and watch his fun and light hearten videos athttps://www.youtube.com/user/TheFarmerTyler.

I will be back soon with more information on the conference as well as an update from the North American Strawberry Growers Symposium.

Chris Higgins, UrbanAgNews.com