Feed, Nourish, Thrive - Blog

How Sensors, Robotics And Artificial Intelligence Will Transform Agriculture

Monday, March 20, 2017
Jennifer Kite-Powell
Reposted from Forbes

The world population is expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050. China and India, the two largest countries in the world, have populations totalling around one billion. In four years, by 2022, India is predicted to have the largest population in the world, surpassing China.

This means we need new ways to grow food that are smarter and helps regulate our use of land, water and energy in order to feed the planet and avoid a global food crisis.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute believe the answer lies in sensors, artificial intelligence (AI) and robots.

What’s Weather Got to Do with It? – Agricultural Meteorology

Saturday, March 11, 2017
Chantel Simpson, STEMconnector

Recent years have brought about talk of climate change and uncertainty about the changing weather patterns occurring throughout the region and world. For many years, agriculturalists have planted and harvested at around the same times each year, however global temperature fluctuations have all but rendered this once common practice, useless. Today’s farmers now have the benefit of access to weather forecasts and predictions in addition to the use of their common planting and harvesting traditions.

Meteorologists are able to forecast weather patterns and anomalies to better inform farmers and other plant aficionados to protect plants in the event of an unexpected cold snap or heat wave. Meteorologists that work specifically to assist with services related to agriculture are known as Agricultural Meteorologists or Agro-meteorologists.


Agro-meteorologists use a number of STEM related tools including maps, satellites, computers monitors. These tools allow them to determine the specific characteristics of a weather pattern, including temperature, humidity and even duration.

Those interested in agro-meteorology careers attend 4-year degree granting institutions like Tuskegee and UC Davis. During their matriculation at these colleges, students take a number of courses in meteorological sciences as well as courses specifically related to climate change, horticulture and entomology.


Don’t Be Chicken – Choosing Poultry Science as a Career Path

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Reposted from AgCareers.com

poultry science careersGuest Blogger: Christine Kilbride, ChickMaster


‘Tis the season…for college applications! Many high school seniors are currently navigating the grueling college admissions process: writing essays, requesting recommendation letters, deciding where to apply and choosing a major.


Choosing a major may seem like the least daunting task on the list – you can always change it, right? Well technically you can, but changing academic majors can lead to costly extra semesters or even the need to transfer to another school.


So where should you start? Statistically, the most popular majors include Nursing, Education, Business, Psychology and Communications[1]. If none of those options appeal to you – don’t fret; there’s a growing sector that you may not have considered for your future career: agriculture. And particularly, poultry science.


What makes Poultry Science a viable career path?


This 'bee' drone is a robotic flower pollinator

Thursday, February 23, 2017
Parija Kavilanz
Reposted from CNN

In our food chain, honeybees are tasked with a vital function: pollination.

In North America alone, honeybees' role in pollination enables the production of at least 90 commercially grown crops, including apples, blueberries, melons and broccoli.


One student wanted more people to understand the significance of bees to human life -- so shecreated what's essentially a "bee drone" to be a functional teaching tool that couples technology and design.

Plan Bee is a personal robotic bee (controlled by a smart device) designed to mimic how bees pollinate flowers and crops. Similar to how bees transfer pollen from one flower to another, the drone sucks in pollen from a plant and expels it onto other flowers to enable cross-pollination.

pollinating bee

Industrial design major Anna Haldewang first developed the idea for Plan Bee in a product design class, after a professor challenged her to create a self-sustainable object that stimulates the growth of plants.

"You need sun, water, soil and cross-pollination for that to happen," said Haldewang, 24, a senior at Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia.

Pollination made her think about bees, and in researching, Haldewang was struck by honeybees' struggles: "I had no idea about the danger to honeybee colonies and that bees were disappearing," she said. It prompted her to create an educational product that both addressed her class assignment and would help to spread awareness about a bee's role in the food system.

Boosting the Diversity Pipeline for Agriculture Jobs

Tuesday, February 21, 2017
DuPont Pioneer
Reposted from DuPont 
Diversity in Agriculture

Before Charles E. Stewart, Jr., entered the eighth grade at Meredith Middle School in Des Moines, Iowa, he had no idea he would study agriculture, science, technology, engineering or mathematics courses. But that year, Stewart became part of the very first group of young people to participate in a project called Science Bound, which encourages and supports ethnically and racially diverse Iowa youth to pursue STEM careers.

Stewart, now an associate scientist in the Office of Biotechnology at Iowa State University, graduated with a major in agricultural biochemistry in 2000. Stewart remembers his college freshman year internship at Iowa State doing farm fieldwork, experimenting with weed control in corn and soybean fields. “That’s when I broke a lot of stereotypes for myself about farmers,” Stewart, now 38, recalls.

Indeed, the diversity of students graduating with degrees that lead to careers in agriculture and related fields has been steadily growing in recent years. But while the absolute numbers may be growing, the proportion of minorities in STEM fields is about the same today as it was in 2001, according to Change the Equation, a Washington, D.C., non-profit that tracks minorities in STEM programs.


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