UC Merced Engineering Center to Focus on Ag Technology

UC Merced Engineering Center to Focus on Ag Technology

Tim Hammerich
Tim Hammerich
News Reporter
With California Ag Today, I’m Tim Hammerich.

UC Merced recently received funding from the National Science Foundation to build an engineering research center focused on ag technology.

Specifically their focus will be on precision agriculture and internet connect devices. Here’s Dr. Catherine Keske, who’s an associate professor of management in the school of engineering.

Keske… “Our center is really innovative in that we're looking at tree crops and row crops. That is part of what made the National Science Foundation really sit up and pay attention. My role as an economist, I'm looking to see if farmers will adopt this or how they would adopt it in a cost-effective way. And we're looking for ag producer, farmer, grower input. If it's easy to use, if there's considerations that maybe the engineers hadn't thought of.”

Dr. Keske says they received word of the funding in August and are currently building advisory boards for the project.

Keske… “We want everybody to have a voice. It's not that we want the scientists to dominate the growers and we don't want industry to overpower everything. It's a really a partnership at all different levels. And I might add that students have a voice in the conversation and that part of the idea is to train a workforce that will be working with this technology as well.”

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