SALEM, Ore. — SEDCOR, the Strategic Financial Growth Corporation primarily based in Salem, has gained a $469,150 federal grant to develop a application fostering innovations in agricultural technological know-how.
The Northwest Ag Innovation Hub will hook up nearby farmers with technologists, software program builders and business owners intrigued in solving grower challenges from the dairy barn to the vineyard.
Alex Paraskevas, rural innovation catalyst for SEDCOR, mentioned the target is to facilitate ideas that would improve efficiency and generate down charges, helping the region’s farms triumph in the future.
“Partly, it is just having two various industries in Oregon that really don’t actually intersect to communicate to just one a different,” Paraskevas explained. “We’re predominately family farms increasing substantial-price specialty crops. … How do we develop tools, procedures and workflows that support them to be much better?”
SEDCOR is the guide economic development corporation for Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties, section of the agriculture-rich Mid-Willamette Valley. Farmers in the 3 counties merged to promote about $1.15 billion well worth of solutions in 2017, according to the newest USDA Census of Agriculture.
But Paraskevas reported the sector extends beyond the farm gate, supporting farming, processing and transportation jobs — what he describes as a a few-dimensional source chain.
SEDCOR acquired a matching grant from the U.S. Financial Development Administration to start the Northwest Ag Innovation Hub, which builds on former function by Paraskevas when he focused on Polk County and the town of Independence, Ore., advertising agricultural technological know-how.
The innovation hub will increase networking and functions aimed at developing relationships and spurring creative contemplating. Earlier this year, SEDCOR, the Technology Affiliation of Oregon and city of Independence hosted the Ag Innovation Challenge, a weeklong digital style and design competition pitching prototype alternatives for agricultural difficulties.
A lot more than 70 men and women from nine states joined the competition. A style staff in Ohio received the level of competition, pitching a established of tinted eyeglasses for vineyard personnel to differentiate concerning ripe and almost-ripe Pinot noir grapes, so improving the quality of the last products.
Paraskevas mentioned he envisions the innovation hub internet hosting two design and style worries every year. Programming, he reported, is dependent on yet another countrywide nonprofit based mostly in Memphis, Tenn., identified as AgLaunch, which flips the conventional startup script by putting farms in the part of a enterprise incubator, and farmers as the direct consultants.
“There is a whole lot of undertaking income coming into agriculture right now. A good deal of it will come from outside agriculture,” Paraskevas claimed. “If you really do not appear from the sector, it is a whole lot a lot more complex than anyone gives it credit for.”
Each Paraskevas and Erik Andersson, president of SEDCOR, see significant prospects for farms and tech organizations to collaborate. The Northwest Ag Innovation Hub is 1 way to make all those critical introductions, Andersson reported.
“Agriculture in the Mid-Willamette Valley spans over a selection of industries — farming, processing, machines producing, logistics — and offers a distinctive possibility to persuade imaginative wondering and innovation to fix troubles,” Andersson reported. “This offers SEDCOR with a exclusive tactic to differentiate us from other financial development corporations in the Pacific Northwest.”