Texas A&M holding fourth annual urban agriculture conference on Dec. 5 & 6
Azlan Zahid, Ph.D., AgriLife Research assistant professor of controlled environment agriculture engineering
Photo courtesy of Texas A&M

Texas A&M holding fourth annual urban agriculture conference on Dec. 5 & 6

The university extension also received a $50,000 grant from the USDA.

November 14, 2022

Per an article on their extension website, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center is holding its first advisory council on Dec. 5 ahead of its fourth annual Urban Agriculture: Controlled Environment Conference at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research in Dallas on Dec. 6. They also received a $50,000 grant from USDA to fun research.

Texas A&M AgriLife scientists at the Dallas center involved in the grant and conference are Azlan Zahid, Ph.D., AgriLife Research assistant professor of controlled environment agriculture engineering in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering; and Joe Masabni, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension horticulturist; Genhua Niu, Ph.D., AgriLife Research professor of urban agriculture; and Daniel Leskovar, Ph.D., interim director of the center at Dallas and a professor of vegetable physiology and plant sciences, all in Department of Horticultural Sciences.

Zahid said the $50,000 grant from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture is a planning grant designed to identify research priorities within controlled environment farming. The advisory committee meeting and conference will help with planning and priority identification. Zahid said the first step of the grant was to create the advisory committee made up of growers and industry representatives who will help AgriLife Research identify research needs.

“We want to develop a comprehensive research plan based on stakeholder challenges and needs,” he said. “There is a lot of interest in controlled environment production and urban farming, and this is the first step toward developing a plan and producing data to justify different research projects in this emerging field.”