CAIA engagement at the 2022 Virginia Grain & Soybean Annual Conference
CAIA supported the CALS strategic plan by engaging with agricultural stakeholders at the 2022 Virginia Grain & Soybean Annual Conference on February 10, 2022. CAIA affiliate faculty Joseph Oakes, Hasan Seyyedhasani, Sally Taylor, and Susan Duncan served as CAIA ambassadors at the event, hosting a display table to showcase agricultural research at VT. Duncan gave a presentation about the upcoming 2022 Virginia Agricultural and Natural Resources [VANR] Summit. Meeting participants provided feedback on agricultural topics of concern and of interest for discussion, thus providing input for the planning of the 2022 VANR Summit.
Survey responses (n=26; majority were producer/farmers) indicated a high level of concern for economic security and policy implications in agriculture. Moderate level of concern was noted for protection against plant disease; workforce development and management; protection of business and technology operations; and efficiency of operations and time management. More than half of the responses indicated an interest in discussing SmartFarm and SmartForest Technologies and nearly 50% indicated interest in invasives/infectious diseases, including invasive weeds, and supply chain discussion topics at the 2022 ANR Summit. Over a third of responses indicated an interest in climate change, environment, and energy as a topic of interest. Surveys also gathered information on the use of technology and precision agriculture in producer/farmer operations.
The 2022 VANR Summit will include interactive and engaging sessions for discussing these topics. In addition to the CAIA ambassadors, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, CALS Research, Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and CAIA were well represented at the meeting, with faculty from several of the ARECs, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences and Department of Entomology, and several VCE offices and regions.