In a recent post, I outlined some of the reasons why we need to rethink college education. The system is struggling under widely disparate expectations, climbing tuition rates, and an increasingly disillusioned group of adjunct faculty. At the same time, we are facing a skills gap in which the average age of farmers in America is over 55 years old. One of the first steps I'd like to take is to separate the competing ideals of career development and what former Harvard president Derek Bok calls democratic citizenship.
Another question you have to answer is "what are kids doing from age 18-22? You know Peter [Thiel] talked about different models of schools. One is school as babysitting for that 4 year period. You know; somewhere to live, somewhere to hang out until you are mature enough that people like employing you.
One technique that is currently being used in the soil-less growing industry is the use of stacked racks containing multiple levels of NFT channels or DWC troughs. This technique allows the producer to take advantage of the vertical space in their production facility, resulting in higher crop densities and the ability to supply more produce to the market.
"The skills gap is a reflection of what we value. To close the gap, we need to change the way the country feels about work." - Mike Rowe
Here at Bright Agrotech, we talk to all sorts of people from all walks of life. We talk to doctors and school teachers; investors and construction workers. What seems to bring us together is a strong love of growing things, and an interest in community-based food systems. We hope that these themes will continue to unify people for years to come.
Robert Switzer says that "In 1900, 42 percent of the U.S. population lived on farms; by 1990 that number had dwindled to less than 2 percent".
The loss of the small family farm has been a cause for concern for decades. Many rural farm towns have witnessed a slow collapse, as the economics of big agriculture work their way through the community.
But, as we learned recently, the situation in India has far surpassed what we are seeing in the U.S. We were honored with a visit from Mr. Mohan Bajikar, founder of the Vertical Farming Association of India, as he traveled the U.S. to build relationships and seek solutions for the crisis. Bajikar took some time to educate us on how indoor growing techniques are taking root in India, and why they are so critical.
Behind the local and urban food movement stand hundreds of people, each adding their own unique momentum. This is a cross section of the most influential people in local food and organic agriculture.
From urban farms in the city, to activists and writers, to farmers and policy activists, from big names to less well known names, each of these people contributes something to a brighter future of food.
In June 2015, a group of American student ambassadors went to the 2015 World Fair in Milan, Italy, to have a look at the operation behind the USA Pavilion's giant vertical farm.
It seems like the operation was not what the students expected! We're glad to see the next generation of innovators take an interest in alternative agriculture and take it home with them.
Over the past several months, we've seen a significant spike in press coverage surrounding a wide range of Agriculture Technology, or AgTech. From vertical farms to "crop surveillance drones" aimed at increasing yields and feeding our increasingly crowded planet.
CNBC's recent article proclaimed vertical farming to be a "hot new area for investors."
A writing team at Propublica recently outlined the problems causing the drought and how we can expect them to develop in the near future. Abrahm Lustgarten, Lauren Kirchner and Amanda Zamora establish one thing that we all know: that California's drought is severe - and one thing that too many people don't know: that a bit of rainfall (or a lot of rainfall, for that matter) is not going to fix the problems.