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Virginia Tech SmartFarm Innovation Network®

drone photo from southern piedmont AREC

The Virginia Tech SmartFarm Innovation Network® is the central platform of the Center, creating the agricultural and communities research and communications network throughout Virginia.


  • Rapid response to emerging and time-critical incidents for guiding industry and community decisions;
  • Providing technological solutions and security measures to current and future challenges that limit production efficiencies, economic return, or capacity to adopt environmental or sustainable practices.
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Testbed operations:

Virginia Tech SmartFarm Innovation Network® cluster hire

group picture of SmartFarm Innovation Network Cluster Hire
Left: Vijay Singh, ESAREC; Emmanuel Torres Quezada, ESAREC; Nicholas Santantonio, SPES; Tiffany Drape, ALCE; Alejandro Del Pozo, HRAREC; Chi Ta, AAEC; Azahar Ali, APSC; James Chen, APSC; Hasan Seyyedhasani, SPES; Brianna Posadas, SPES; Johan Osario Estevez, DASC; Abhilash Chandel, TAREC

Over the last few year's, Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences filled 12 tenure track faculty positions as part of its Virginia Tech SmartFarm Innovation Network® faculty cluster hire. These positions were across several academic units and Agricultural Research and Extension Centers. Additionally, 7 positions were filled with relevant knowledge/skills.

Collaborations of cluster hires and existing faculty will enhance interdisciplinary flagship programs at the nexus of digital, biological, social, and physical sciences and engineering with application to agriculture, food, and natural resources. This ambitious vision will create a statewide network of interconnected faculty, partners, and resources for scientific discovery and developing and deploying new technologies. The goal is to increase overall efficiency, resiliency, sustainability, and economic value of food, agriculture production systems, and natural resources and expand Virginia Tech’s global influence in this rapidly evolving domain.

Through its mission of research, teaching, and extension, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has been instrumental in helping agriculture and other life science industries make significant strides in improving people’s lives. Today’s College is adapting to society’s expectations and needs by focusing its resources and efforts on improving human health and nutrition, sustaining agriculture and the environment, reducing the reliance on fossil fuels, and developing cures for devastating and debilitating diseases. Nearly 3,000 students are pursuing degrees in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The College has 8 academic departments and two schools, 11 Agricultural Research and Extension Centers (ARECs) and a presence in every county in the Commonwealth through Virginia Cooperative Extension.

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