“Very diverse, rapid presentations. It was fantastic to be able to get massive exposure to the research being conducted in such a short amount of time.” – Nate Storey, Plenty
“Short and to the point – excellent format for first introduction.” – Keith Wheeler, BASF
“Cornell has unique strength and diversity in DA.” – Kevin Kephart, Indigo Ag
“Cornell is uniquely positioned to bring all key disciplines together to tackle and transform DA.” – Marcos Castro, Syngenta
The Cornell Initiative for Digital Agriculture (CIDA) hosted its inaugural Digital Ag Workshop for 200 people at the Carrier Ballroom in the Statler Hotel on October 9, 2018. The event was titled “Transforming Agriculture and Food Systems,” acknowledging the need for breakthrough interdisciplinary solutions for the problems facing farms of all types and sizes globally, as well as the entire food manufacturing and supply chain.
At the outset of the event, Kathryn Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) introduced the newly named faculty director of CIDA, Susan McCouch, the Barbara McClintock Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics. McCouch is joined by two associate directors Hakim Weatherspoon, associate professor of computer science and Abe Stroock, professor and director of the Smith School of Biomolecular Engineering. Dean Boor also announced gifts totaling approximately $500,000 from donors to support CIDA, as well as five faculty positions in CALS, to be filled in fiscal year 2019 in DA-related fields.
McCouch, Stroock and Weatherspoon were joined by Steven Wolf, associate professor, department of Natural Resources, and Cornell alum Ranveer Chandra (Ph.D. 2005), principal researcher at Microsoft, in morning keynotes that described research opportunities in DA. The keynotes were followed by a series of talks by Cornell researchers and external stakeholders, and the introduction of Working Groups led by faculty – all highlighting the interdisciplinary nature of DA.
The Working Groups met in breakout sessions and addressed five questions regarding how CIDA and its collaborators can advance agricultural and food systems:
– What are the research or intellectual questions/challenges should be addressed by CIDA
– Are there “signature” (i.e., interdisciplinary and transformative) projects in which CIDA should invest in this coming year?
– What new opportunities does CIDA provide for teaching/ curriculum development and outreach?
– What kinds of interactions/ partnerships should be nurtured or leveraged by CIDA?
– How can we extend our DA network to connect with people doing interesting things in other areas of DA and new sources of funding?
The Working Groups are continuing to meet on an ongoing basis, and welcome others to participate.
8:15am to 9:00am – Badge Pick-up and Continental Breakfast
9:10am to 9:20am –DA Opportunities at Cornell (.pdf) – Susan McCouch, CIDA Director, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Barbara McClintock Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics (with introductory remarks by Lance Collins, Dean of the College of Engineering) video
9:20am to 9:30am – DA Opportunities in Computing and Information Science (.pdf) – Hakim Weatherspoon, CIDA Associate Director, Computing and Information Science, Associate Professor of Computer Science video
9:30am to 9:40am – DA Opportunities in Engineering (.pdf) – Abe Stroock, CIDA Associate Director, College of Engineering, Gordon L. Dibble Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, William C. Hooey Director of the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering video
9:50am to 10:00am – DA Opportunities for Cornell-Private Sector Collaboration (.ppt) – Dr. Ranveer Chandra, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research video
10:00am to 10:30am – Q/A Panel – Boor, McCouch, Weatherspoon, Stroock, Wolf, Chandra video
10:30am to 11:00am – Networking Break
Foundations of DA at Cornell – Systems Analytics, Digital Innovations, Discovery and Design: Session Chaired by José Martínez, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Systems Laboratory, College of Engineering
Systems Analytics Watch video of 11:00-11:20am here
11:00-11:05am – Computer-Aided Food Manufacturing (.ppt) – Ashim Datta, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Professor, Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering.
11:05-11:10am – Computational Sustainability – Carla Gomes, Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Institute for Computational Sustainability, Joint Appointment College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Computing and Information Science
11:10-11:15am -– Blockchains for the Farm, Food Manufacturers and the Supply Chain (.ppt)– Robbert van Renesse, Computing and Information Science, Professor of Computer Science
11:15-11:20 am – Applying High Resolution Weather and Climate Forecasts to Agricultural Decisions (.ppt) – Art DeGaetano, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Professor, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Director of the Northeast Regional Climate Center (NRCC)
Digital Innovations Watch video of 11:20-11:35am here
11:20-11:25am – Energy Modeling for Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) (.ppt) – Kale Harbick, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Department of Horticulture, Cornell CEA
11:25-11:30 am – DA Solutions for Livestock (.ppt) – Julio Giordano, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Science
11:30-11:35am — Soft Robots for Monitoring High Value Horticulture (.ppt) – Kirstin Hagelskjær Petersen, College of Engineering, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Discovery and Design Watch video of 11:35-11:50am here
11:35-11:40 am – Cornell’s Support for Smallholders in the Developing World (.ppt) – Maricelis Acevedo, Associate Director for Science, Delivering Genetic Gain in Wheat (DGGW)
11:40-11:45 am – High Resolution Imaging and Single Cell Genomic Analyses of the Maize Shoot Apex (.ppt) – Mike Scanlon, Professor of Plant Biology, School of Integrative Plant Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
11:45- 11:50 am – Genetic control networks for provitamin A levels in maize grain (.ppt) – Mike Gore. College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Associate Professor of Molecular Breeding and Genetics for Nutritional Quality, Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor, International Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics
11:50am-12:00pm — Q/A Panel – Datta, Gomes, van Rennesse, DeGaetano video
12:00am-12:15pm — Q/A Panel – Acevedo, Harbick, Giordano, Petersen, Scanlon video
12:15pm to 1:15pm – Networking Lunch
1:15-2:00 pm –Introductions to Interdisciplinary DA Working Groups
- Rapid Phenotyping: Mike Gore, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Associate Professor of Molecular Breeding and Genetics for Nutritional Quality, Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor, International Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics This group explores the limits of DA (new sensors, models and computational techniques) to reliably bridge the genome-phenome gap on a wide variety of dimensions (environment, management and microbe).
- Socioeconomic Analysis for Digital Agriculture: Steven Wolf, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Associate Professor, Department of Natural Resources We address the social and economic coordination challenges that structure the potential of digital technologies. This work addresses strategic behavior attached to hoarding and pooling of data, and we analyze a variety of models for structuring data access, privacy, and oversight. We are interested in interactions between farmers and off-farm service providers in the application and continuing development of digital tools for agricultural production and environmental protection. Based on engagement with relevant histories, we aim to advance analysis and dialogue around questions of whose vision and problem definitions inform technological designs, how benefits are distributed, and which people and places are disrupted by digital technologies in agriculture.
- Weather, Climate and Agriculture: Abe Stroock, College of Engineering, Gordon L. Dibble Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, William C. Hooey Director of the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering In the lab and in the field, this group seeks to discover new paradigms for sustainable agricultural management enabled by the integration of newly available and anticipated data streams (via novel in situ and remote sensors and methodologies) with emerging multi-scale hybrid models of crop and climate.
- The Software-defined FarmTM: Hakim Weatherspoon, Computing and Information Science, Associate Professor of Computer Science The SDF is being designed to work for large and small-scale farms; for farms with significant, limited, or even absent internet connectivity; and for farms with varying types of digitally controlled infrastructure, such as sensors, autonomous vehicles, or robots. SDF supports a systems engineering framework to enable data-driven machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). The SDF actively manages a hybridization of cloud, edge and local compute resources.
3-min intro by WG leader, plus three 2-min Lightning Talks per group
1:15pm to 1:25pm – Working Group 1: Socioeconomic Analysis for Digital Agriculture (.pdf) – Steven Wolf
WG 1 Lightning Talks: David Schimmelpfennig (USDA-ERS), Prof. Karen Levy (Cornell), Marcos Castro (Syngenta)
1:25pm to 1:35pm – Working Group 2: Next Gen Phenotyping (.ppt) – Mike Gore
WG 2 Lightning Talks: Prof. Margaret Frank (Cornell), Dani Martinez (Cornell), Margaret Krause (Cornell)
1:35pm to 1:45pm – Working Group 3: Weather, Climate and Agriculture (.ppt) – Abe Stroock
WG 3 Lightning Talks: Prof. Ying Sun (Cornell), Prof. Jan van Aardt (RIT), Dr. Terry Bates (Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Lab)
1:45pm to 2:00pm – Working Group 4: The Software-defined FarmTM (.ppt) – Hakim Weatherspoon
WG 4 Lightning Talks: Nicholas Kaczmar (Cornell), Chris Layer (Moog), Prof. Mike Van Amburg (Cornell), Prof. Fengqi You (Cornell), Natalia Nelyubina (IBM), Prof. Kristan Reed (Cornell)
2:00 to 5:00pm – Working Group Breakout Session
2:00pm to 3:00pm – Working Group Breakouts (Discussion)
3:00pm to 3:30pm — Networking Break
3:30pm to 4:00pm – Working Group Breakouts (Prepare Readouts)
4:00pm to 5:00pm – Working Group Readouts to Entire Audience, Wrap Up and Next Steps video
5:15pm to 8:00pm – Networking Reception