Editorial Summary: Kentucky | Hilton Head Island Package

Ashland Independent Daily. July 30, 2022.

Editorial: Agro-tech good for the economy, the planet

Agriculture in the United States is benefiting from technology, and specifically, Kentucky is moving in that direction with a grant announced this week by Governor Andy Beshear.

Pikeville University will receive a $4.4 million grant to support the construction of an agri-technology research and education center in eastern Kentucky.

The UPIKE Ag-Tech Innovation Center of Excellence will be located at the Kentucky Enterprise Industrial Park at Marion Branch in Pikeville, state officials said. The project will be matched with $5.75 million in local funds.

The facility will include a greenhouse, classrooms, laboratory and offices to lead high-tech agricultural research efforts. The research will aim to foster the continued development and long-term viability of the industry while supporting the growing global demand for food production.

According to a report by global management consulting firm Bain & Company, the market is expected to reach $30-35 billion by 2025. Data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, the network called the Internet objects and software as a service are all being used by agri-tech companies to challenge traditional agricultural economics. These developments can help small-scale farmers understand their crops better and on a smaller scale, as well as conserve resources and reduce environmental impacts.

UPIKE’s program grant aims to promote job growth by bringing innovative industry to the region while enhancing educational opportunities for UPIKE students. This is promising news for our local farmers, as they can benefit from the centre’s yield findings, making their business more efficient and profitable. We look forward to what the center can accomplish.


Lynn A. Saleh