Great Lakes Ag Tech Summit

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The Institute at Nela Park

1975 Noble Rd

Cleveland, Ohio 44112

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Join Urban Ag News and Current, powered by GE, for the inaugural Great Lakes Ag Tech Summit on September 23, 2019 .

Held at the historic Nela Park campus in Cleveland, the one-day event features keynotes and panel discussions from leading researchers and innovative growers in the Great Lakes region.

Connect with growers, scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs as we shape the future of food and move controlled environment agriculture forward.

Due to the fact that Nela Park is a secure facility, we cannot register guests the day of the event.
Please be sure to register no later than Thursday, September 19th.

More info: https://urbanagnews.com/events/great-lakes-ag-tech-summit/


Austin Webb, CEO and co-founder of Fifth Season (formerly RoBotany)

Achieving Best-in-Class Economics for a Commercial Vertical Farm

Austin Webb is the CEO and co-founder of Fifth Season (powered by RoBotany), a robotic indoor vertical farming company based in Pittsburgh. Austin holds a BA in Finance from Wofford College and an MBA from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie. Austin served as an Investment Banking Associate for FBR Capital Markets, where he caught the entrepreneurial fever. Austin originally hails from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, but plans on keeping roots in Pittsburgh to achieve Fifth Season’s mission.

Fifth Season (powered by RoBotany) is a robotics and AI company with Carnegie Mellon University roots that builds and operates highly efficient commercial-scale vertical farms in urban communities. Fifth Season's newest commercial-scale farm will open in early 2020 in Braddock, an historic steelmaking community in Pittsburgh, continuing the city’s legacy of industry-defining innovation. Fifth Season’s proprietary robotics and artificial intelligence technology profitably grows leafy greens and herbs for local grocery retailers, restaurants and consumers at unprecedented low costs, all year-round. The company designed its modular farms for simple, quick installation and is currently siting locations for similar farms in cities throughout the U.S.

Dr. Chieri Kubota – Ohio State University

Optimizing Plant Production Under a Controlled Environment – Research and Education
Programs at the Ohio State University

Dr. Kubota’s research mission is to serve in the development of science and technology in the

area of controlled environment agriculture (CEA). Her projects are in an interdisciplinary area
that encompasses plant physiology and horticultural engineering to enhance understanding and
efficiency of CEA plant production systems such as greenhouses, warehouses (vertical farms),
and growth chambers.

John Jackson – Sustainable Indoor Growing Systems, Inc.

Vertical Farm Production of Young Plants, From Hemp to Tomatoes

John is the CEO of Sustainable Indoor Growing Systems, Inc. (SIGS) born from an USDA funded industry-academic partnership with Grafted Growers, the University of Arizona, and North Carolina State University. John is an award-winning entrepreneur and University of Arizona alum with an MBA from the Eller College of Management. John has successfully launched investor and grant funded businesses and operated tech based companies to early stage revenue. Born in Compton, California, John continues his grandfather’s legacy as a sharecropper of tomatoes in rural Texas.

SIGS gives plants what they need to express the features that the market wants.

Sustainable Indoor Growing Systems, Inc. (SIGS) is a clean agricultural technology company that uses controlled environment agriculture to induce young generic plants to express enhanced physiological traits customers want – while increasing the economics of propagation. This is made possible by scientific discovery and development of unique growing recipes which are learned and enabled only by the SIGS multi-layered growing platform and architecture.

Dr. Ariana Torres – Purdue University

Are Consumers and Growers Putting Dollars in the Local Food Industry? Insights
on Technologies and Preferences

Dr. Torres’ background combines field experience in agriculture with theoretical and applied

research on agricultural economics. She has worked on projects looking at the impact of
marketing choices on technology adoption for fruit and vegetable growers; the economic
implications of social capital on entrepreneurship; and the role of community support on the
resilience of small business after disasters.

Dr. Torres uses economic analysis to support the economic viability of the horticulture industry.
Her research focuses on the intersection between the horticulture industry and marketing
decisions. Her goal is to conduct innovative outreach and applied research in Specialty Crops
Marketing, with the end of promoting economic sustainability for horticultural businesses.

Dr. Torres is currently working on a project evaluating the market, economics, and potential
barriers to produce export-quality dried apricots from smallholders of southern Tajikistan. She is
also working on evaluating the adoption of solar dehydrator for selected dried specialty crops in
Indiana and Georgia. Lastly, she is collecting foundational data and establishing long-term
pricing reports for Indiana farmers markets.


9-9:30am Introduction from Current

9:30-10am Introduction from Hort Americas

10-10:45am Keynote: Austin Webb, Fifth Season (formerly Robotany)

  • "Achieving Best-in-Class Economics for a Commercial Vertical Farm"

10:45-11am Break

11-11:45am Keynote: Chris Higgins

  • "How technology is changing controlled environment agriculture - from hemp to berries"

11:45am-12:30pm Keynote: John Jackson, Grafted Growers

  • "Vertical Farm Production of Young Plants, from Hemp to Tomatoes"

12:30-1:30pm Lunch

1:30-2:15pm Keynote: Dr. Ariana Torres, Purdue University

  • "Are Consumers and Growers Putting Dollars in the Local Food Industry? Insights on Technologies and Preferences"

2:15-3pm Keynote: Dr. Chieri Kubota, Ohio State University

  • "Optimizing Plant Production Under a Controlled Environment – Research and Education Programs at the Ohio State University"

3-3:15pm Break

3:15-4pm Panel discussion

4-4:15pm Closing remarks


Hyatt Legacy Village
24665 Cedar Rd
Lyndhurst, OH 44124

The rate is $129 for the night of 9/22/19.

• Call the toll-free number at 1-888-492-8847 for Hyatt Place Reservations and ask for the “Great Lakes Ag Tech Summit” or code G-GLGT

• OR use this link https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/ohio/hyatt-place-cleveland-lyndhurst-legacy-village/clezl?corp_id=G-GLGT

About Urban Ag News

The mission of Urban Ag News is to be the leading science communicator for the commercial
hydroponics, greenhouse vegetable, vertical farming and urban agriculture industries. Urban Ag
News educates readers and provide an understanding of the industry’s latest technologies and

About Current, powered by GE

Current, powered by GE, offers cutting-edge innovations in horticultural lighting. We’ve spent
years perfecting our lighting technology and working with growers.

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The Institute at Nela Park

1975 Noble Rd

Cleveland, Ohio 44112

View Map

Refund Policy

No Refunds

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