Georgia Community Uses Tech To Keep Agriculture Alive
Worries about the ag-industry disappearing have been an undercurrent to many farmers’ thoughts in the past decade. Due to the dismal growth statistics and an agriculture community that is horribly underrepresented, metro Atlanta is responding with a powerhouse network to combat the loss of America’s farmers.
Using tech innovations, Clark Atlanta University’s new CREATE program will create more jobs, connections, and visibility for local agriculture students and entrepreneurs in the city.
The USDA most recent census reports (see chart) that in the course of 5 years, Georgia has lost 11.68% of their farmers, and over 1 million acres in farmland. In order to counter the issue of Georgia’s diminishing agriculture industry, Georgians are turning to tech to better use urban spaces for farming.
A grant of over $400k has been awarded to Clark University from the EDA to fund its urban farming project, called CREATE. This project will focus on making technology and mentorship programs that will bring in a new generation of tech-savvy agriculturalists that can thrive within the city.
“Urban farming is booming in Atlanta and across the country,” CAU President Ronald Johnson said in a University press release.
CAU is working in collaboration with the Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Truly Living Well and the United Negro College Fund to focus on the development of 3 primary agtech innovations:
- A high-powered and mobile self-flushing portable water filtration system
- A system that converts cooking oil into biofuel
- And 15 high-volume 3D printers that utilize PLA, metal, glass, ceramic, and other durable materials.
This development is estimated to support around 50 community business leaders and create 400 jobs that contribute to local Georgia food systems.
Johnson says that “[The CREATE] initiative will address the underlying issues of employment, food security and urban development” in the city. Tech-savvy students and tech entrepreneurs are taking a massive step forward for Georgia and our food tech industry is growing out like roots from our state’s capital.
Thanks, food tech!