Are Consumers and Growers Putting Dollars in the Local Food Industry? – Great Lakes Ag Tech Summit

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On September 23, 2019, Urban Ag News, Hort Americas and GE Current, a Daintree company hosted the inaugural Great Lakes Ag Tech Summit. Held at the historic Nela Park campus in Cleveland, the event featured keynotes and panel discussions from leading researchers and innovative growers in the Great Lakes region who are shaping the future of food and moving controlled environment agriculture forward. If you didn’t have the chance to join in person, check out this clip.

Dr. Ariana Torres, Ag Economist and Assistant Professor at Purdue University

Dr. Torres’ background combines field experience in agriculture with theoretical and applied research on agricultural economics. She has worked on projects looking at the impact of marketing choices on technology adoption for fruit and vegetable growers; the economic implications of social capital on entrepreneurship; and the role of community support on the resilience of small business after disasters.

Dr. Torres uses economic analysis to support the economic viability of the horticulture industry. Her research focuses on the intersection between the horticulture industry and marketing decisions. Her goal is to conduct innovative outreach and applied research in specialty crops marketing, with the end of promoting economic sustainability for horticultural businesses.

Dr. Torres is currently working on a project evaluating the market, economics, and potential barriers to produce export-quality dried apricots from smallholders of southern Tajikistan. She is also working on evaluating the adoption of a solar dehydrator for selected dried specialty crops in Indiana and Georgia. Lastly, she is collecting foundational data and establishing long-term pricing reports for Indiana farmers markets.

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