The Center for Advanced Innovation in Agriculture and Commonweath Cyber Initiative Southwest node were Gold Sponsors for the Envisioning 2050 in the Southeast: AI-Driven Innovations in Agriculture Conference held on March 9-11, 2022. 

Virginia Tech was well represented through 9 CAIA Ambassadors, as the ambassadors talked about the exciting research and educational opportunities happening at Virginia Tech, distributed brochures about Virginia Tech's Center for Advanced Innovation in Agriculture. They also advertised the tenure track faculty position in cyberbiosecurity, which is a joint position between Commonwealth Cyber Initiative and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, promoted opportunities for graduate students at Virginia Tech by promoting the CAIA Graduate Student Affiliate Gropu. There were a number of leaders from other universities that wanted to learn more about how Virginia Tech, CAIA, and CCI are creating this network of engaged scientists and engineers that are pursing innovation in agriculture, including the integration of smart technologies, artificial intelligence, and cyberbiosecurity and biosecurity. 

The VT CAIA Ambassadors included:

  • Dr. Abhilash Chandel, CAIA Affiliate Faculty located at Tidewater Agriculture and Extension Center (Suffolk, VA), Assistant Professor, Biological Systems Engineering Department;
  • Ms. Rebekah Miller, CAIA Graduate Student Affiliate Group President and PhD student, Department of Food Science and Technology;
  • Mr. Dhiraj  Srivastava, CAIA Graduate Student Group located at the Eastern Shore Agriculture and Extension Center, and MS student in School of Plant and Environmental Sciences and Computer Science;
  • Dr. Susan Duncan, Conference Organizing Committee, CAIA Director, CCI Affiliate Faculty, Associate Director of the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station, and Professor, Department of Food Science and Technology;
  • Ms. Roja Kaveh Garna, CAIA Graduate Student Affiliate Group and PhD student, Biological System Engineering Department;
  • Dr. Feras Batarseh, CAIA and CCI Affiliate Faculty located at CCI in Arlington, VA, and Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering;
  • Dr. Vijay Singh, CAIA Affiliate Faculty located at Eastern Shore Agriculture and Extension Center, and Assistant Professor, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences;
  • Dr. Hasan Seyyedhasani, CAIA Affiliate Faculty and Assistant Professor, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences.

Also present at the meeting but not pictured was Mr. Muhit Islam Emon, CAIA Graduate Student Affiliate Group, PhD student in Computer Science

 There were four other virtual participants from VT at the meeting. We had six posters from VT at this conference, presented by Batarseh, Emon, Miller, Srivastava, Chandel (2 posters).

Dhiraj Srivastava won the Cotton Incorporated Poster Award, with a cash prize, for his poster 'Integrating Unmanned Aerial System and Machine Learning Approaches for Identifying Common Ragweed in Row Crops'. This poster was co-authored with Dr. Vijay Singh (pictured), Dr. Michael Flessner (School of Plant and Environmental Sciences), and Dr. Steven Mirsky , USDA Research Ecology in the Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory, Beltsville.

Dr. Duncan was a member of the overall organizing committee, chair of the organizing committee for the session on Social and ethical implications of AI-Driven Agriculture: Data security, privacy and ownership, and facilitated the working session on Governmental infrastructure needed or realize the full potential of innovation. Duncan also served as a panel member in the session on university efforts to advance AI application to southeast agriculture. 

View the article posted by Auburn University: https://agriculture.auburn.edu/feature/auburn-university-hosts-groundbreaking-conference-on-ai-in-agriculture/