Kingston Secures $1 Million For Agricultural Energy Innovation Center
New center will facilitate rapid advancement of alternative energy production
Congressman Jack Kingston announced today that the House Appropriations Committee approved his request for $1 million in funding for research sponsored by the University of Georgia. The funding will go toward ground-breaking research at the Agriculture Energy Innovation Center focusing on improving efficiency, food quality and yield while decreasing energy consumption.
"Outside of Metro Atlanta, agriculture is the basis of our state's economy," Congressman Kingston said. "The work done at the Agricultural Energy Innovation Center will be at the forefront of research and implementation and will lead to more efficient farming and alternative energy production. It will help keep food costs low and reduce our dependence oil."
The center, which will be based in Tifton, will couple all of the University's latest research, communication and control technologies with improved plant materials, byproduct use and energy capture and conversion techniques.
By teaming existing and emerging technologies, the center will facilitate the rapid advancement of new tools to increase agriculture and energy production. As a result, researchers at the center believe they can cut farm energy consumption by 50 percent over the next 20 years or less with equal or greater crop production.
Some of the techniques being employed at the center include solar-powered precision irrigation systems, remote-controlled tractors and wireless monitoring and controlling of nearly anything on the farm from anywhere in the world.
Dr. Scott Angle, the Dean of UGA's College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, praised the project as the first of its kind.
"The center will be the first of its kind will showcase cutting-edge technologies that increase efficiency of food and fiber production while enhancing environmental quality and decreasing dependence on oil-based energy, water use, need for temporary labor and need for insecticide and herbicide," he said. "Breakthrough technologies, management practices and new varieties developed by our scientists and engineers will be combined creating higher quality, safer food and fiber supply at lower costs to consumers and less impact on the environment."
In advancing new agriculture and energy production will not only impact agriculture across the nation but will greatly enhance rural economic development.
"The initiative will reduce our country's dependence on foreign oil and bring new economic opportunities to our rural communities," said Brad Day, Executive Director of the Tift County Development Authority.