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Open 2013:   Calling All Agripreneurs: Ag student engagement in entrepreneurship and innovation
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Open 2013: Calling All Agripreneurs: Ag student engagement in entrepreneurship and innovation


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  • 1. Calling all Agripreneurs:Enhancing entrepreneurship & innovation in the food & agriculture space Mark Gagnon and Joel Bolton
  • 2. The need for E&I in agriculturePopulation andconsumptionDiminishing resourcebaseInefficienciesEnergyClimate changeConflict over resources
  • 3. Perception is the Problem Ag students: we don’t think of ourselves as… Entrepreneurs STEM students: agriculture?
  • 4. Perhaps it’s in the nameAgriculture & Terms Dairy husbandry, agronomy, horticulture, forestry, etc. Farm, crops, livestock = production agricultureShifts food, ecosystems, genetics, renewable materials and energy, local foods, organic, etc.
  • 5. Perhaps it’s the Perception of entrepreneur Business person with suit & tie Speak a different language City lifestyle Disconnect from natural environment Little appreciation for farming & agricultural activitiesIP Business model
  • 6. Agriculture research scope at Penn State* Ag Biological Engineering Animal Science Food Science • Poultry • Food Safety/Pathogens • Biosolid Systems • Reproductive Physiology • Food Processes • Ag Safety and Health • Cattle Health • Food Ingredients • Bioproducts-Cellulose • Dairy Nutrition • Food Choices and Human • Biofuels • Avian Genetics Health Entomology Plant Pathology Plant Science • Integrated Pest Management • Turf Grass • Turf Grass Diseases • Malaria Research • Weed Management • Fruit Vegetable • Honey Bee Research • Root Systems Diseases/Pathogens • Insect Plant Interactions • Fruit/Vegetable Crops • Fungi/Mushrooms • Forest Pest Mitigation • Ornamentals/Horticulture Veterinary Biological Ecosystem Science & Agricultural Economics Science Management Sociology & Education • Food System Economics & • Avian Virology • Soil Science Sociology • Johne’s Disease • Forest Ecology & Management • Community Development • Infectious Disease • Fisheries Science • Sustainability in Food & • Genetic Disease • Wildlife science Agriculture • Entrepreneurship & Innovation in Food and Agriculture Department*Based upon the author’s scan of topics at Penn State not intended to be all Key -- Capabilitiesinclusive.
  • 7. Levers to engage AgSci students Don’t open with society’s notion of the entrepreneur Connect on a more substantial level Provide examples in communication to shift mindset Facilitate peer-to-peer dialogue Make it fun… entrepreneurs LOVE what they do
  • 8. Levers to encourage STEM students to innovate in agriculture Open STEM students’ eyes It’s not just "plows & cows” Demonstrate tangible ties Food, bio-energy, water, health & bio-materials Discuss projects that impact the lives of real people Foster peer-to-peer connections Highlight the interplay of technology and agriculture
  • 9. The BIG Hook- Sustainability Providing for humanity today and… tomorrow Feeding the world, providing clean water Renewable energy and materials Improving the human conditions Fortifying natural and human ecosystems
  • 10. Student StoriesAwarenessHands-on experienceMentoringNetworkingSkills on demandEncouragement