Equilibrium CEO Dave Chen Indoor Ag-Con Keynote

Equilibrium CEO Dave Chen Joins CEO Keynote Line-Up For Las Vegas 2023 Indoor Ag-Con

Equilibrium CEO Dave Chen will lead the day two opening morning keynote address for the 10th annual edition of Indoor Ag-Con, February 27-28, 2023, at Caesars Forum, Las Vegas, NV. Themed “The Future of Farming Grows Here,” the largest vertical farming & controlled environment agriculture (CEA) gathering in the United States will give attendees the opportunity to hear from Chen and other thought leaders from today’s top farms and CEA companies; enjoy terrific networking opportunities; and explore new resources from a significantly expanded exhibitor roster.

The keynote address will be held Tuesday, February 28, 2023 at 8:00 AM.

“We are excited to have Dave Chen kick off day two of our February 2023 edition,” says Brian Sullivan, CEO, Indoor Ag-Con. “Controlled environment agriculture is at an inflection moment in the sector’s    growth and development, and Dave will offer valuable insights into the realities and opportunities the industry faces as we move forward.”

Founded in 2008, Equilibrium Capital has built a platform of real assets-focused, sustainability-driven investment strategies for institutional investors. Equilibrium currently manages $2 billion in two portfolio strategies: Carbon Transition Infrastructure and Controlled Environment Foods.

Dave is Equilibrium’s CEO and serves on the boards of several of its fund portfolio companies.  He started his career at Solectron, McKinsey, and as a general partner with OVP Venture Partners.  He served on the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank Board system until 2012, and was a board member of B Labs until 2018.  Dave has, for 14 years, been a professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg Business School equipping students for sustainable investing.

2023 CONFERENCE SCHEDULE FEATURES NEW FORMATS, 70+ SPEAKERS
Chen’s presentation joins the Indoor Ag-Con 2023 CEO headliner keynote line-up, which also includes the opening morning kick-off session with Arama Kukutai, CEO, Plenty.  Look for another announcement coming soon about the event’s third keynote address. In addition to these headliner keynotes, the 2023 educational conference will also feature insightful panel sessions featured within three comprehensive educational tracks – grower; trends & innovation; and funding & guidance. Attendees can also look forward to new friendly debate formats and fireside chats, too.

EXPANDED EXHIBIT FLOOR
2023 will welcome the largest number of exhibitors in the event’s 10-year history. From irrigation and LED lighting to environmental control systems, substrates, greenhouse equipment, energy solutions, business services and more, attendees will have the chance to see the latest introductions and innovations from vertical farming and controlled environment agriculture leaders in 174 booths.

CO-LOCATION WITH NATIONAL GROCERS ASSOCATION SHOW
Indoor Ag-Con will once again co-locate with the National Grocers Association (NGA) Show, the leading trade show and conference for independent grocers, offering even more networking and business opportunities for attendees and exhibitors alike. The NGA Show and Indoor Ag-Con visitors will have the opportunity to explore both exhibit halls as part of the full conference pass offerings.

MORE NETWORKING
Exhibitors and attendees can enjoy complimentary luncheons on the show floor each day, a show floor cocktail reception, breakout sessions and other opportunities to reconnect with friends and meet new business partners.

QUICK FACTS:
WHEN: Monday, February 27 – Tuesday, February 28, 2023
WHERE: Caesars Forum, 3911 Koval Lane, Las Vegas, NV 89101
INFO: For information on exhibiting or attending visit www.indoor.ag or email suzanne@indoor.ag

ABOUT INDOOR AG-CON LLC
Indoor Ag-Con is the largest US trade event for vertical farming | indoor agriculture |controlled environment agriculture, the practice of growing crops in indoor systems, using hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic techniques. Its events are crop-agnostic and touch all sectors of the business, covering produce, legal cannabis | hemp, alternate protein and non-food crops. More information: www.indoor.ag

Arama Kukutai, the CEO of Plenty, will give the opening morning keynote address on February 27, 2023 at 8:00 AM PT at Indoor Ag-Con 2023.

Plenty CEO Arama Kukutai To Kick Off Indoor Ag-Con 2023 With Opening Morning Keynote Address

JANUARY 4, 2023 – Plenty CEO Arama Kukutai will lead the opening morning keynote address for the 10th Anniversary edition of Indoor Ag-Con, February 27-28, 2023 at the Caesars Forum Conference Center, Las Vegas, NV.   Themed “The Future of Farming Grows Here,” the largest vertical farming & controlled environment agriculture (CEA) gathering in the United States will give attendees the opportunity to hear from Kukutai and other thought leaders from today’s top farms and CEA companies; enjoy terrific networking opportunities; and explore new resources from a significantly expanded exhibitor roster.

“We are thrilled to welcome Arama Kukutai to our keynote stage as we kick off our 10th anniversary edition,” says Brian Sullivan, CEO, Indoor Ag-Con. “Arama is a visionary leader in the field of sustainable agriculture and we can’t wait to hear about the latest developments and expansion plans for Plenty, as well as his insights and perspectives on the future of farming and food production.”

Kukutai’s address will immediately follow the Indoor Ag-Con General Session Welcome at 8:00 am PT on Monday, February 27, 2023.

In his role as CEO of Plenty, Kukutai leads the company’s progress toward its mission to grow fresh food for everyone with the most technologically advanced indoor vertical farms in the world . An active speaker, writer and thought leader in Agrifood sustainability, technology innovation and investment trends, he brings vast global operating experience to Plenty as it transitions from research to commercial operations.

Kukutai has been an investor, company founder and entrepreneur in the Agribusiness sector for more than 20 years. He is the co-founder of Finistere Ventures, one of the pioneering venture firms dedicated to Agrifood investment and an early investor in Plenty. He led the creation of Finistere’s international portfolio and expansive global network in AgTech, establishing Finistere offices in Agrifood epicenters around the globe including New Zealand, Tel Aviv, San Diego, Silicon Valley and Ireland. Previously, he served as founder and Executive Chairman of PKW Farms, developing and operating sustainable grass-based dairy farming and aquaculture activities across New Zealand, Asia and Australia.

ROBUST 2023 CONFERENCE SCHEDULE, NEW FORMATS NOW IN DEVELOPMENT

In addition to Arama Kukutai’s opening morning keynote, look for additional announcements coming soon on other keynote presentations planned for the February edition. The 2023 educational conference will feature 3 headliner keynotes and insightful panel sessions featured within three comprehensive educational tracks – grower; trends & innovation; and funding & guidance. In addition, attendees can look forward to new friendly debate formats and fireside chats, too.

EXPANDED EXHIBIT FLOOR

2023 will welcome the largest number of exhibitors in the event’s 10-year history. From irrigation and LED lighting to environmental control systems, substrates, greenhouse equipment, energy solutions, business services and more, attendees will have the chance to see the latest introductions and innovations from vertical farming and controlled environment agriculture leaders in 174 booths.

CO-LOCATION WITH NATIONAL GROCERS ASSOCATION SHOW

Indoor Ag-Con will once again co-locate with the National Grocers Association (NGA) Show, the leading trade show and conference for independent grocers, offering even more networking and business opportunities for attendees and exhibitors alike. The NGA Show and Indoor Ag-Con visitors will have the opportunity to explore both exhibit halls as part of the full conference pass offerings.

MORE NETWORKING

Exhibitors and attendees can enjoy complimentary luncheons on the show floor each day, a show floor cocktail reception, breakout sessions and other opportunities to reconnect with friends and meet new business partners.

QUICK FACTS:

WHEN: Monday, February 27 – Tuesday, February 28, 2023
WHERE: Caesars Forum, 3911 Koval Lane, Las Vegas, NV 89101
INFO: For information on exhibiting or attending visit www.indoor.ag or email suzanne@indoor.ag

ABOUT INDOOR AG-CON LLC

Indoor Ag-Con is the largest US trade event for vertical farming | indoor agriculture |controlled environment agriculture, the practice of growing crops in indoor systems, using hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic techniques. Its events are crop-agnostic and touch all sectors of the business, covering produce, legal cannabis | hemp, alternate protein and non-food crops. More information: www.indoor.ag

Visitors congregate around a Jiffy exhibit at Indoor Ag-Con.

Expo Floor Doubles For 10th Anniversary Edition of Indoor Ag-Con Las Vegas

(NOVEMBER 29, 2022) — As the largest, longest-running trade show and conference for vertical farming |controlled environment agriculture in the US, Indoor Ag-Con heads back to Caesars Forum Conference Center in Las Vegas for its 10th annual edition. Co-locating with The National Grocers Association (NGA Show) from February 27-28, 2023, Indoor Ag-Con will give attendees more to explore than ever before, including an expo floor that has more than doubled – from 82 to 174 booths.

“Our 2022 show attendance experienced double digit growth over 2021, which has fueled the significant growth of our exhibitor participation for 2023,” says Brian Sullivan, CEO, Indoor Ag-Con. “We know that time is money for our attendee base and we’re pulling out all the stops to deliver the best use of both to continue growing our audience. From an expo floor filled with the industry’s top suppliers to an engaging, interactive conference program to quality networking opportunities, attendees will find everything they need to grow their businesses –in the shortest amount of time, at the most reasonable price, all under one roof.”

Show highlights for the 2023 edition include:

EXPANDED EXHIBIT FLOOR
2023 will welcome the largest number of exhibitors in the event’s 10-year history. From irrigation and LED lighting to environmental control systems, substrates, greenhouse equipment, energy solutions, business services and more, attendees will have the chance to see the latest introductions and innovations from vertical farming and controlled environment agriculture leaders in 174 booths.

ROBUST 2023 CONFERENCE SCHEDULE, NEW FORMATS NOW IN DEVELOPMENT
Now in development, the 2023 educational conference will feature 3 headliner keynotes and insightful panel sessions featured within three comprehensive educational tracks – grower; trends & innovation; and funding & guidance. In addition, attendees can look forward to new friendly debate formats and fireside chats, too.

CO-LOCATION WITH NATIONAL GROCERS ASSOCATION SHOW
Indoor Ag-Con will once again co-locate with the National Grocers Association (NGA) Show, the leading trade show and conference for independent grocers, offering even more networking and business opportunities for attendees and exhibitors alike. The NGA Show and Indoor Ag-Con visitors will have the opportunity to explore both exhibit halls as part of the full conference pass offerings.

MORE NETWORKING
Exhibitors and attendees can enjoy complimentary luncheons on the show floor each day, a show floor cocktail reception, breakout sessions and other opportunities to reconnect with friends and meet new business partners.

QUICK FACTS:
WHEN: Monday, February 27 – Tuesday, February 28, 2023
WHERE: Caesars Forum, 3911 Koval Lane, Las Vegas, NV 89101
INFO: For information on exhibiting or attending visit www.indoor.ag or email suzanne@indoor.ag

ABOUT INDOOR AG-CON LLC
Indoor Ag-Con is the largest US trade event for vertical farming | indoor agriculture |controlled environment agriculture, the practice of growing crops in indoor systems, using hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic techniques. Its events are crop-agnostic and touch all sectors of the business, covering produce, legal cannabis | hemp, alternate protein and non-food crops. More information: www.indoor.ag

CEA Summit East

Academia, Business Sectors Forge New Connections at 2022 Debut Edition of CEA Summit East In Virginia

New connections and collaboration were clear themes that emerged from the October 25-26, 2022 debut edition of the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) Summit East held at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) in Danville, VA.  Co-hosted by Indoor Ag-Con and the Controlled Environment Agriculture Innovation Center (a joint project between  the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech ,Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center at Virginia Tech and the IALR)   , the new event attracted 200 + attendees from 28 states, including growers, educators, scientists, extension specialists, suppliers, engineers, tech specialists, architect/developers and other industry members.

During the day and one-half event, attendees enjoyed quality time to meet, network and learn during keynotes, panels and breakout conference sessions; explore 17 tabletop exhibits presenting the latest innovations and services; and enjoy a host of networking opportunities.

“We are so pleased with the results of this first edition and our partnership with the CEA Innovation Center,” says Brian Sullivan, CEO, Indoor Ag-Con. “Both organizations saw a tremendous opportunity to create a different kind of event for this industry –bringing together a concentrated group  business  and academia audiences together at an incredible research facility setting that fostered an environment for sharing ideas and opportunities.  From the feedback we’ve heard from our attendees and exhibitors alike, we delivered.”

“This event really crystalized our vision of bringing our research and education program together to help move the CEA industry forward,” added Dr. Scott Lowman, Co-Director, Controlled Environment Agriculture Innovation Center and Vice President, Applied Research, IALR. “

“An exciting thing about this conference is that it brought people from all over the United States together to share ideas and goals, which always feeds your own ideas,” said Dr. Michael Evans, Co-Director, Controlled Environment Agriculture Innovation Center and Director, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.”

Among the many highlights of the new event included:

Morning Kick-Off Keynotes
AeroFarms CTO Roger Buelow kicked off opening morning with his keynote address sharing more about the newly opened AeroFarms Danville, the world’s largest aeroponic smart farm, capable of growing more than 3 million pounds of fresh leafy greens annually.  On day two, Matthew Lohr, Virginia’s Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, got the day started sharing the state’s focus and goals for growth of the CEA industry.   “It comes down to collaboration – with the whole Commonwealth working together.  We’ve made progress, and  I’m even more excited about what the future of farming looks like,” he said, echoing the core theme of the conference.”

 

Educational Tracks
The CEA Summit  featured 3 educational tracks – CEA Skills, Business Tips & Regulation, and Teaching, Extension, Workforce Development – that brought academics, growers and business experts together covering a  wide range of topics from finding funding and selection technologies for CEA operations to food safety, sustainability aquaponics  and ways to work with the Land Grant University extension system.     Other panel discussions and  15-minute CEA Industry & Research Showcase sessions gave attendees the chance to hear about some of the latest research findings and other industry success stories.

“We worked to create a conference program that offered something for everyone,” explains Dr. Kaylee South, Assistant Professor of Controlled Environment Agriculture, Virginia Tech. “It was rewarding to see how engaged our audience members in all of our sessions, which encouraged questions and conversations.”

Tabletop Exhibits & Networking
In addition to conference sessions, attendees had ample opportunities to visit with the Summit’s 17 tabletop exhibitors during coffee breaks, luncheon roundtables and an afternoon cocktail reception.

CEA Innovation Center Tour

The event wrapped up with group tours of the CEA Innovation Center.  60+ conference attendees took advantage of the unique opportunity to get an inside look at the CEA Innovation Center’s hydroponic and soilless systems/production systems and facilities, including indoor growth rooms, greenhouse, growth chambers and vertical growing racks.  They also got to hear more about some of the Center’s exciting research projects.

Look for more information coming soon on dates and details for the 2023 edition.  In the meantime, industry members can also make plans to attend Indoor Ag-Con, February 27-28, 2023 as it returns to Caesars Forum, Las Vegas to once again co-locate with the National Grocers Association (NGA) Show.

ABOUT INDOOR AG-CON

Founded in 2013, Indoor Ag-Con has emerged as the premier trade event for indoor | vertical farming | controlled environment agriculture, the practice of growing crops in indoor systems, using hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic techniques. Its events are crop-agnostic and touch all sectors of the business, covering produce, legal cannabis |hemp, alternate protein and non-food crops. More information – www.indoor.ag | 404.991.5186

 

ABOUT THE SCHOOL OF PLANT AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES AT VIRGINIA TECH

The School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech trains the next generation of professionals in the fields of plant breeding and genetics, agronomic and horticultural crop production, plant protection, soil and water systems management, agricultural technologies, environmental restoration and agro-environmental stewardship.  It conducts research to improve agricultural productivity, reduce negative impacts on the environment and improve soil and water health.  Through extension programs, it provides science-based information to stakeholders to help them feed the world while protecting the environment.  More information —www.spes.vt.edu

 

ABOUT THE VIRGINIA SEAFOOD AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH AND EXTENSION CENTER AT VIRGINIA TECH

The Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center at Virginia Tech works to support the future of the historic seafood industry — in Virginia and beyond. Its extension specialists work with industry and research partners to identify and respond to emerging needs and provide technical guidance to stakeholders in every level of the seafood supply chain. Through technical assistance, training, process validation, value-added product development, and more, it helps stakeholders ensure product quality, safety, and viability. More information — www.arec.vaes.vt.edu

 

ABOUT IALR

The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) serves as a regional catalyst for economic transformation. Core focus areas include research that provides a clear path to commercialization, advanced learning opportunities where education meets experience, training and rapid-launch space for advanced manufacturers, and economic development through conferencing and a partnership with the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance. It is located in scenic and historic Danville-Pittsylvania County on the VA/NC state line, within a short drive of Roanoke, Greensboro and Raleigh.  More information –  www.ialr.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virginia Secretary of Agriculture

Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr to Lead Keynote at CEA Summit East

DANVILLE, VA (SEPTEMBER 26, 2022) Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr will lead the CEA Summit East Day Two Keynote, “Reorienting Our Fresh Produce Supply Chain: Behind Virginia’s Push to Become A National Indoor Farming Industry Leader,” on Wednesday, October 26, 2022 at 9 am.  Indoor Ag-Con and the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) Innovation Center — a joint project of the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech, Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center at Virginia Tech, and the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) – have partnered to co-host the new event from October 25-26, 2022 at the IALR Institute Conference Center in Danville, VA.

Secretary Lohr joins the CEA Summit East headliner keynote line-up, which also includes the opening morning kick-off session with AeroFarms CTO Roger Buelow on Tuesday, October 25.

During his keynote, Secretary Lohr will share insights into Virginia’s vision for the future of fresh produce and how he and his team are working with industry partners to achieve it.

“Rising transportation costs and droughts in the western United States will mean East Coast states like Virginia must reorient our supply chain for fresh produce to more local suppliers,” said Lohr during the recent  Grand Opening  of AeroFarms Danville,  the world’s largest aeroponic smart farm.

“While painful, this situation also creates an important opportunity for the Commonwealth to become a national leader in the fast-growing indoor farming industry. Continued success in recruiting and supporting the growth of these companies can bring economic opportunity to all corners of the Commonwealth, while also supplying fresh, safe, and sustainable food to our citizens and neighbors,” he added.

Matthew Lohr was raised on a Virginia century family farm in the Shenandoah Valley. As a fifth-generation farmer, he has spent his entire life working for the betterment of the agricultural industry and rural America.

He developed his passion for public service and agricultural policy while serving as both a state and national FFA officer before graduating from Virginia Tech with a B.S. degree in Agricultural Education. He has more than 30 years of experience as a professional leader and communicator.

Over the past two years, he has served as the Chief of the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, an agency with more than 10,000 employees across 3,000 field offices and an operating budget of over $4.5 billion.

“We are honored to have Secretary Lohr join us for the inaugural edition of the CEA Summit East,” says Dr. Michael Evans, Director of the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech and Associate Director of the CEA Innovation Center.  “Virginia is deeply committed to  promoting and advancing the CEA sector and the work we’re doing offers ideas, examples and  exciting growth opportunities that extend far beyond our state borders. This promises to be an inspiring session for all our attendees.”

The new CEA Summit East is custom-tailored for new and well-seasoned CEA industry members from throughout the Eastern US, including indoor and greenhouse growers, facility owners and operators, educators, government officials, real estate developers, architects, construction specialists, sales and marketing teams and others.

During the one and one-half day event, industry members will have the opportunity to attend the conference featuring CEA thought leaders, researchers and experts leading keynotes, panels, and breakout sessions; explore tabletop exhibits presenting the latest CEA innovations and services; and enjoy a host of networking opportunities ranging from meals and coffee breaks to an evening social event.

Registration is now open for the event and attendees can save with discounted Early Bird rates when they register before October 7, 2022.  Learn more at www.ceasummit.com

Roger Buelow CTO

AeroFarms CTO Roger Buelow To Kick Off CEA Summit East With Opening Morning Keynote Address

DANVILLE, VA (SEPTEMBER 19, 2022) AeroFarms Chief Technology Officer Roger Buelow will lead the opening morning keynote address for the inaugural edition of the CEA Summit East, October 25-26, 2022.  Indoor Ag-Con and the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) Innovation Center– a joint project of the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech, Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center at Virginia Tech, and the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) – have partnered to co-host the new event at the IALR Institute Conference Center in Danville, VA.

This announcement follows on the heels of the grand opening of AeroFarms Danville, the world’s largest aeroponic smart farm, capable of growing more than 3 million pounds of fresh leafy greens annually to meet increased consumer demand.

During his address on Tuesday morning, October 25, 2022 at 8:45 am, Buelow will share more about the new Danville farm and how it utilizes AeroFarms proprietary indoor vertical farming technology to grow more plants at the highest productivity per square foot with the least amount of natural resources – continuing AeroFarms legacy of continuous improvement and innovation.  In addition to the environmental benefits, Buelow will discuss benefits the farm brings to the Southern Virginia region ranging from job creation and year-round access to safe, fresh greens to hands-free farming with end-to-end automation from seeding to growing to harvest to packing.

In addition, he will also share updates on some of the exciting plant research and workforce development projects he and his team are working on with Virginia Tech, the IALR and the CEA Innovation Center.

As CTO, Roger Buelow leads the innovation and capabilities team for AeroFarms and works closely with R&D and Business Development. He is an LED innovator and engineering technologist with over 20 years of experience in government and the private sector. Roger previously served as CTO of Energy Focus (a publicly traded company) for ten years leading their R&D, Engineering, and Operations to refit the U.S. Navy with LEDs, develop lights that leverage blue light to help regulate sleep cycles, and to set the world’s record for most efficient solar cell.

Roger worked with AeroFarms in 2009 to help with lamp and fixture design, and he brings his extensive network and industry expertise with LEDs. He has been the principal investigator on over a dozen federally funded research contracts spanning military and civilian technologies and holds over 20 patents covering a wide array of technologies. Roger has brought over 50 products from concept, through R&D, into engineering, and then onto the open market. Roger has a B.S. in Mathematics and an M.S. in Systems and Control Engineering from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.

Learn more about this exciting keynote session and the full conference program here.

“Roger Buelow’s extensive experience and keen industry insights, coupled with the AeroFarms Danville-Pittsylvania story, come together to create the perfect program to kick off the new CEA Summit,” says Dr. Michael Evans, Director of the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech and Associate Director of the CEA Innovation Center. “We are thrilled to have Roger join the keynote stage and know our audience will be eager to hear from him.”

The new CEA Summit East is custom-tailored for new and well-seasoned CEA industry members from throughout the Eastern US, including indoor and greenhouse growers, facility owners and operators, educators, government officials, real estate developers, architects, construction specialists, sales and marketing teams and others.

During the one and one-half day event, industry members will have the opportunity to attend the conference featuring CEA thought leaders, researchers and experts leading keynotes, panels, and breakout sessions; explore tabletop exhibits presenting the latest CEA innovations and services; and enjoy a host of networking opportunities ranging from meals and coffee breaks to an evening social event.

Registration is now open for the event and attendees can save with discounted Early Bird rates when they register before October 7, 2022.  Learn more at www.ceasummit.com

QUICK FACTS:
WHEN:                 Tuesday, October 25 – Wednesday, October 26, 2022
WHERE:              
IALR Institute Conference Center, 150 Slayton Ave, Danville, VA 24540
INFO:                    For information on exhibiting or attending visit www.ceasummit.com 

ABOUT INDOOR AG-CON
Founded in 2013, Indoor Ag-Con has emerged as the premier trade event for indoor | vertical farming | controlled environment agriculture, the practice of growing crops in indoor systems, using hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic techniques. Its events are crop-agnostic and touch all sectors of the business, covering produce, legal cannabis |hemp, alternate protein and non-food crops. More information – www.indoor.ag | 404.991.5186

ABOUT THE SCHOOL OF PLANT AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES AT VIRGINIA TECH
The School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech trains the next generation of professionals in the fields of plant breeding and genetics, agronomic and horticultural crop production, plant protection, soil and water systems management, agricultural technologies, environmental restoration and agro-environmental stewardship.  It conducts research to improve agricultural productivity, reduce negative impacts on the environment and improve soil and water health.  Through extension programs, it provides science-based information to stakeholders to help them feed the world while protecting the environment.  More information —www.spes.vt.edu  

ABOUT THE VIRGINIA SEAFOOD AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH AND EXTENSION CENTER AT VIRGINIA TECH
The Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center at Virginia Tech works to support the future of the historic seafood industry — in Virginia and beyond. Its extension specialists work with industry and research partners to identify and respond to emerging needs and provide technical guidance to stakeholders in every level of the seafood supply chain. Through technical assistance, training, process validation, value-added product development, and more, it helps stakeholders ensure product quality, safety, and viability. More information — www.arec.vaes.vt.edu

ABOUT IALR
The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) serves as a regional catalyst for economic transformation. Core focus areas include research that provides a clear path to commercialization, advanced learning opportunities where education meets experience, training and rapid-launch space for advanced manufacturers, and economic development through conferencing and a partnership with the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance. It is located in scenic and historic Danville-Pittsylvania County on the VA/NC state line, within a short drive of Roanoke, Greensboro and Raleigh.  More information –  www.ialr.org 

ABOUT AEROFARMS
Since 2004, AeroFarms has been leading the way for indoor vertical farming and championing transformational innovation for agriculture. On a mission to grow the best plants possible for the betterment of humanity, AeroFarms is a Certified B Corporation with global headquarters in Newark, New Jersey. Named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company two years in a row and one of TIME’s Best Inventions in Food, AeroFarms patented, award-winning indoor vertical farming technology provides the perfect conditions for healthy plants to thrive, taking agriculture to a new level of precision, food safety, and productivity while using up to 95% less water and no pesticides ever versus traditional field farming. AeroFarms enables local production to safely grow all year round, using vertical farming for elevated flavor.™ Its products can be found at major selling partners like Ahold Delhaize, Amazon Fresh, Baldor Specialty Food, Compass Group, Harris Teeter, Marcus BP, Momofuku Noodle Bars, ShopRite, The Fresh Market, Walmart, and Whole Foods Market. In addition, through its proprietary growing technology platform, AeroFarms has grown over 550 varieties of plants and has developed multi-year strategic partnerships ranging from government to major Fortune 500 companies to help uniquely solve agriculture supply chain needs. More information – www.aerofarms.com

 

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CEA Summit East

Indoor Ag-Con, CEA Innovation Center Partner To Launch CEA Summit East

NEW CEA TRADE EVENT TO BRING INDUSTRY, ACADEMIA TOGETHER
OCTOBER 25-26, 2022 IN DANVILLE, VA

DANVILLE, VA (July 28,2022)Indoor Ag-Con and the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) Innovation Center — a joint project of the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech and the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) — have partnered to launch the CEA Summit East, October 25-26, 2022. Designed to bring the CEA industry and academia together to share research, business strategies and build partnerships to drive future growth for the sector and its stakeholders, the event will debut at the IALR Conference Center in Danville, VA.

During the one and one-half day event, industry members will have the opportunity to attend the conference featuring CEA thought leaders, researchers and experts leading keynotes, panels, and breakout sessions; explore tabletop exhibits presenting the latest CEA innovations and services; and enjoy a host of networking opportunities ranging from meals and coffee breaks to an evening social event.

THE TEAM
The event hosts are especially qualified to bring the CEA industry and academia together for an event focused on business, educational and networking growth opportunities.

 

Virginia Tech and IALR

 

The Controlled Environment Agriculture Innovation Center is a joint project between the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech and the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR). Housed primarily within a modern indoor agricultural complex on the campus of IALR in Danville, the center features various hydroponic and soilless systems/production systems and facilities, including indoor growth rooms, greenhouses, growth chambers and vertical growing racks.  The center’s scientists and technology teams are currently working closely with the industry’s top growers and suppliers on a number of key projects. Learn more at www.ialr.org/cea.

Indoor Ag-Con

The Indoor Ag-Con team of seasoned event professionals produces the premier trade show & conference for indoor |vertical farming | controlled environment agriculture.  Experiencing record year-on-year growth, its events touch all sectors of the business — covering produce, legal cannabis |hemp, alternate protein and non-food crops – and attract decision-making growers, investors, real estate developers, agtech leaders, produce buyers, academics, policymakers, industry suppliers and advocates from across the US and 20+ other countries.

THE AUDIENCE
The CEA Summit East is custom-tailored for new and well-seasoned CEA industry members from throughout the Eastern US, including indoor and greenhouse growers, facility owners and operators, educators, government officials, real estate developers, architects, construction specialists, sales and marketing teams and others.

The event will include tabletop displays from manufacturers and suppliers of AI and automation, control systems, sensors, equipment/accessories, greenhouse structures/supplies, lighting, irrigation, HVAC and more.

THE VENUE
Part of the IALR campus, the Institute Conference Center is a full service, state-of-the-art meeting facility – just steps away from Controlled Environment Agriculture Innovation Center’s modern indoor agricultural complex.   What’s more, the Danville, VA venue is easily accessible — located in south-central Virginia along the North Carolina border, within a day’s drive of two-thirds of the nation’s population.

“From the incredible work researchers are doing at its Innovation Center to its state-of-the-art meeting venue, IALR is such a rich resource for the CEA industry,” says Brian Sullivan, CEO, Indoor Ag-Con. “We’re excited to bring our event experience and industry resources together with the expertise of IALR and Virginia Tech to create a showplace of innovation and educational opportunities for growers and other CEA industry members throughout the Eastern US.”

“This partnership between IALR and Virginia Tech has brought together diverse professionals from industry and academia including many people not traditionally working directly in controlled environment agriculture,” states Dr. Michael Evans, Director of the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech.

“This conference offers an exciting opportunity to bring people together for exchanging new and diverse ideas to help move the industry forward and into exciting directions,” says Dr. Kaylee South, Assistant Professor in the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech.

“By developing strategic partnerships with both industry and academia, the goal of the Innovation Center is to conduct research and educational programming to develop, promote and advance the controlled environment agriculture sector,” adds Dr. Scott Lowman, Director, Controlled Environment Agriculture Innovation Center.  “The new partnership with Indoor Ag-Con perfectly aligns with our goal and promises to deliver a top-notch event experience for CEA industry stakeholders.”

For more information on the CEA Summit East, including conference programming, exhibit/sponsorship opportunities and to register, visit www.ceasummit.com.

ABOUT INDOOR AG-CON
Founded in 2013, Indoor Ag-Con has emerged as the premier trade event for indoor | vertical farming | controlled environment agriculture, the practice of growing crops in indoor systems, using hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic techniques. Its events are crop-agnostic and touch all sectors of the business, covering produce, legal cannabis |hemp, alternate protein and non-food crops. More information – www.indoor.ag | 404.991.5186

ABOUT THE SCHOOL OF PLANT AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES AT VIRGINIA TECH
The School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech trains the next generation of professionals in the fields of plant breeding and genetics, agronomic and horticultural crop production, plant protection, soil and water systems management, agricultural technologies, environmental restoration and agro-environmental stewardship.  It conducts research to improve agricultural productivity, reduce negative impacts on the environment and improve soil and water health.  Through extension programs, it provides science-based information to stakeholders to help them feed the world while protecting the environment.  More information — https://spes.vt.edu/

ABOUT IALR
The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) serves as a regional catalyst for economic transformation. Core focus areas include research that provides a clear path to commercialization, advanced learning opportunities where education meets experience, training and rapid-launch space for advanced manufacturers, and economic development through conferencing and a partnership with the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance. It is located in scenic and historic Danville-Pittsylvania County on the VA/NC state line, within a short drive of Roanoke, Greensboro and Raleigh.  More information –  www.ialr.org | 413.766.6700

 

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UA-CEAC NCERA Meeting

2022 NCERA-101 Annual | International Meeting

Indoor Ag-Con Marketing Partner, the  University of Arizona Controlled Environment Agriculture Center , is pleased to invite you to attend the 2022 International Meeting of the NCERA-101 Committee on Controlled Environment Technology & Use. The conference is being held at the Marriott University Park Hotel located on The University of Arizona main campus, Tucson, Arizona. Tucson is home to The University of Arizona and is a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, making it the first city in the United States of America to be honored with this designation.

Conference Registration 

Click HERE to register for the event. If you are coming with a spouse/partner (non-delegate) you may choose to include them in our Gala Dinner & Technical Tour day activities. Simply purchase Guest Gala Dinner and Technical Tour tickets for them to join these activities. Conference registration is separate from the hotel booking. Registration ends by 5 PM (MT) on August 22nd, 2022. 

Accommodations 

Meeting attendees are welcome to stay at Marriott University Park Hotel. If you choose to do so, please book your room by August 22nd, 2022 to take advantage of a discounted conference rate of $139 per night. The rooms are available on a first-come first-served basis, so we encourage attendees to make their reservations as soon as possible. Register for hotel rooms HERE 

Please see the full meeting program HERE 

The Center of Excellence for Indoor Agriculture Announces New Water Quality and Management Service

COE Erick Bandala
Dr. Erick Bandala to head new water quality and management service for Center of Excellence for Indoor Agriculture

The Center of Excellence for Indoor Agriculture, a U.S. based company that supports the growth of the vertical and indoor farming industry, announced a new water quality and management service headed by Dr. Erick Bandala, an environmental scientist.

The new service focuses on the sustainable use of water for indoor vertical farms, greenhouses, and urban farms as well as water safety and quality. Services include water quality testing and assessment, contaminant identification and source assessment, wastewater treatment and reuse, and water treatment system identification and evaluation. Services also include advanced bacterial testing and analytics, as well as the detection of chemicals such as PFAS.

More info is available at https://indooragcenter.org/water-quality-management

Eric W. Stein, Ph.D., Founder| Executive Director, Center of Excellence for Indoor Agriculture

Eric W. Stein, Ph.D., founder and Executive Director of the Center of Excellence notes, “Water is the lifeblood of all farms. Having a quality water supply that is effectively managed is essential to running a sustainable, efficient, and safe indoor farm. The Center is proud to offer this service to the industry under the direction of Dr. Bandala.”

Dr. Bandala observes, “Indoor farms are well-known for saving significant amounts of water while growing plants compared to conventional farms. However, much less is known about how water use may affect indoor farm operations or the quality of the product. I am excited to join the Center to help indoor growers solve water quality-related problems, improve water efficiency and to reduce their overall use of water for operations.”

About The Center
The Center of Excellence for Indoor Agriculture provides insights about the economics of indoor farming based on a careful analysis of industry data and from thought leaders in industry and academia. As the first U.S.-based Center of Excellence dedicated to indoor farming, it promotes best practices, bench-marking, new knowledge and research. Its annual Best in Class Indoor Farming Awards™ recognize top indoor growers and manufacturers. The Center is located in the Philadelphia metro region.

About Erick R. Bandala, Ph.D.
Dr. Bandala holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering, an MSc in Organic Chemistry and BEng in Chemical Engineering. Dr. Bandala is author or co-author of nearly one hundred peer-reviewed papers in international journals, 5 books, 27 book chapters and 65 works published in proceedings of international conferences.

Record Attendance Growth, New Business Connections Headline 2022 Edition of Indoor Ag-Con Las Vegas

82% Increase Over 2021 Representing Attendees From 48 States/Territories, 20+ Countries, Growing Number of C-Suite Execs

(March 4, 2022) –  Just four months after its covid-delayed October 2021 edition in Orlando, the Indoor Ag-Con trade show & conference welcomed the indoor|vertical farming and controlled environment agriculture (CEA) industry back for its February 28-March 1, 2022 run at Caesar Forum Las Vegas.  And what a welcome it was.  Marking an 82 percent increase over the Orlando attendance figure, 800 + growers, suppliers, start-ups and other industry members attended from 48 states/territories and more than 20 countries, including a high number of c-suite executives. Bolstering the figure further, nearly 300 attendees from The National Grocers Association (NGA) Show, co-located at Caesars Forum, also visited the show, taking the total attendance figure over 1100.

The Indoor Ag-Con Expo Floor also grew by 60 percent – from 50 booths in 2021 to 80 in 2022 – filled with the latest innovations in irrigation, control systems, lighting, substrates and more. Rounding out the show statistics, the 2022 edition’s educational conference brought together 77 speakers participating in 21 panel discussions and 3 CEO keynote sessions.

“From our sold-out show floor and record-breaking attendance to reports of game-changing connections and new relationships forged, we’ve been humbled by the positive feedback we’re received for our 2022 show from exhibitors and attendees alike,” says Brian Sullivan, CEO, Indoor Ag-Con.  “Our show theme, ‘growing your business,’ truly came to life here in Las Vegas this week. The CEA industry is growing quickly and we are proud to provide the platform for the education, networking and innovations showplace needed to take it to the next level.”

“We are also excited about the untapped networking potential that exists between Indoor Ag-Con and The NGA Show,” adds Nancy Hallberg, owner | partner, Indoor Ag-Con.  “This first co-location was exploratory and gave both show teams the opportunity to start identifying ways we can really bring grocers and growers together. We think the 2 shows offer untapped business growth opportunities for our respective audiences and look forward to delivering on that when we come together again in 2023.”

Among the many highlights of the show included:

Indoor Ag-Con Signify 2022 PartyIndoor Ag-Con | Signify VIP Welcome Party
Signify teamed up with Indoor Ag-Con to tee-up the 2022 edition with a VIP Welcome Party on Sunday evening, February 27 at Topgolf Las Vegas.  Indoor Ag-Con speakers and other industry VIPs came together for an incredible evening of golf, networking, cocktails, food, music and fun with industry friends – compliments of Signify.

CEO Keynote SessionsIndoor Ag-Con BrightFarms 2022
Attendees had the chance to hear from executives from the industry’s top operators.  Steve Platt, CEO, BrightFarms and Steven Bradley, Vice President of Cox CleanTech, Cox Enterprises, kicked off the conference on Monday morning, February 28.  Later that day Jonathan Webb, CEO, AppHarvest took the stage.  On day two, Matt Ryan, CEO, Soli Organic (formerly Shenandoah Growers) started the day with the morning keynote address.

Indoor Ag-Con Workforce Development 2022Educational Tracks & Expo Floor Theater Panel Discussions
The 2022 edition featured 3 educational tracks – Grower, Business & Technology – that brought industry experts together covering a  wide range of topics from lighting specs and substrates to energy optimization, water technology, fertilizer, workforce development, robotics, automation investing/finance and sensor technology.  In addition, the Expo Floor Theater offered up additional content with sessions on everything from seeds and produce branding to grocer/grower relationship development, why vertical farms succeed and more.

Sold Out Expo Floor
Expanding to 80 booths, this year’s Expo Floor was home to some of the biggest names in CEA as well as up-and-coming suppliers.  From lighting and grow systems to substrates and irrigation, growers were able to see the newest innovations all under one roof.

Networking Opportunities
Daily lunches and an afternoon cocktail reception on the expo floor expanded the show’s networking opportunities.

Looking ahead, Indoor Ag-Con will return to Caesars Forum February 27-28, 2023 and will once again co-locate with The National Grocers Association Show.  

About Indoor Ag-Con
Founded in 2013, Indoor Ag-Con has emerged as the premier trade event for indoor | vertical farming | controlled environment agriculture,  the practice of growing crops in indoor systems, using hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic techniques. Its events are crop-agnostic and touch all sectors of the business, covering produce, legal cannabis |hemp, alternate protein and non-food crops. More information is at https://indoor.ag.

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