Day 3 – The Final Day…
As the attendees filled the seats on day 3 one could tell that they were getting tired. Not tired of being at the show and not tired of learning. Much like you see an athlete at the end of intense competition, they were simply getting physically tired. BUT, just like athletes whom really love to compete they were not ready for it to end. In fact it seemed to be the opposite. They just needed a little bit of time to recover and process everything that they had learned and everything they had heard.
As the attendees downed their second and third cups of coffee, day 3 speakers were more than ready to go and were more than ready to continue to awe the audience. What was different was the topics. As the final day went on the topics started to change from science to business. Even as the topics switched gears the speakers continue to provide information that was grounded and relevant. No one suggested that it would be easy and no one suggested that they had all the answers.
As I listened to the speakers on the final day, I could not help but again focus on the term “sustainable agriculture.” Agriculture has done well for many years, and if not changed just might do well for many more years to come. But, all of us at the conference seem to continually agree that globally the current path is not sustainable one.
These are facts:
- The amount of arable farm land is decreasing (while our global population is increasing.)
- Globally about 1/3 of the food produced is lost or wasted somewhere in the supply chain.
- Agriculture uses more fresh water than any other industry.
However, in order for “us” to create any significant change the following are also factual:
- We need to create cooperation within the supply channels.
- We need to find and identify suitable innovations by constantly looking at the crop, the geographic location of the farm and the market.
- We need to enable farmers and future farmers with access to the right type of funding/capital as well as educational opportunities.
Dr. Don Wilkerson discussed “Innovative Tech” that is currently being used at Caliber Biotherapuetics.
Dr. Ricardo Hernandez discuss “Transplant Production” in a vertical farming environment.
Dr. Gary Stutte gave us a peak into NASA “Space Agrilculture” program.
Will Kain focused on entrepreneurship and the business basics that are important when “Attracting Investors.”
Paul Selina tackled what it would take to grow and invest in a greenhouse in tropical regions like Panama.
So who was behind this event?
The 2015 International Congress on Controlled Environment was spearheaded by the Foundation for the Development of Controlled Environment, with the support of MIDA, Senacyt, Chiba University, University of Panama, the Vendors and the other sponsors. Without everyone involved this event would not have happened.
This was the first ICCEA, but it will not be the last. This was also the first event hosted by the FDCEA, but it will also not be the last. The FDCEA is a not for profit foundation that was created with the following mission:
The FDCEA will focus on providing education to a variety of skill levels focused on learning about controlled environment agriculture (cea). Much like their first Congress these educational opportunities will focus on the key components of CEA. They will be practical and they will be aimed at helping people develop the skills needed to enter the work force or start their own farms. As the Foundation continues to grow and gain funding they will also begin to work with universities to conduct practical research trials that will help farmers continue to increase yields and improve profitability.
Finally, I want to thank everyone who made this event the success it was. There was one person that held everything together and she got no praise and or recognition during the event, Veronica Muela. Along with others from Congrex they made sure that everything went smoothly and the everyone had an amazing time.
See and hear more by searching #ICCEA or #ICCEA2015 on twitter or Instagram.