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K-State Today

December 4, 2023

Highlights from the Digital Agriculture and Advanced Analytics Symposium

Submitted by Ignacio Ciampitti

The Digital Agriculture and Advanced Analytics Symposium, or DA3, was hosted on Oct. 23 at Kansas State University at the K-State Alumni Center. This event, part of the Corteva Plant Science Symposia Series, was organized by an interdisciplinary team of graduate students from different colleges under the leadership team of the Institute for Digital Agriculture and Advanced Analytics, or ID3A.

The DA3 symposium brought together more than 150 students, professionals, and university professors and staff from Kansas, Nebraska, Illinois, Ohio, Virginia and Florida, and a total of 36 students participated in the poster session.

The event featured the participation of experts in the field, such as Michael Humber, NASA Acres; Girish Chowdhary, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Hannah Kerner, Arizona State University; David Makowski, French National Institute for Agriculture, Food, and Environment; and Maia Donahue, Corteva Agriscience.

In addition, there was a panel discussion about "The future workforce–training the leaders of tomorrow for a transdisciplinary Agriculture." The panel included Maia Donahue, Corteva farming digital platform lead, Kelly Hoelting, Mission Valley FFA Advisor and agriculture educator; Dana J. Ladner, Kansas Department of Agriculture Compliance Education Coordinator; and Marshall Stewart, K-State senior vice president for executive affairs, university engagement and partnerships, and chief of staff.

These experts offered their unique perspectives and insights on the current state-of-the-art technologies and indicated the path forward for scientific development.

Additionally, the event featured poster presentations that included a student competition with awards. First place went to Benjamin Vail, second place went to Yinglun Zhang, both from K-State, and Nikee Shrestha from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln earned third place.

"We are very proud of all the team's work and effort for the event," said Constanza Mackrey, K-State communication specialist and symposium organizing committee member. "The outcome was spectacular, and we are thrilled that everything turned out great; people enjoyed, learned, had fun, and did a lot of networking. This experience was a great opportunity to learn and develop new skills such as leadership, decision-making, and team collaboration. The survey conducted after the event reflected a high level of satisfaction and a large support to establish more regular events linked to this topic."

The symposium organizing committee included K-State students from various majors and backgrounds. The committee included Aidan Kerns, doctoral student in statistics, from Manhattan; Valentina Pereyra, doctoral student in agronomy; Carlos Hernandez, agronomy research associate; Josefina Lacasa, doctoral candidate in agronomy; and Bautista Gigena Beretta, master's student, in agronomy, all from Argentina; Denise Chavez Reyes, doctoral student in geography, and Ivan Grijalva Teran, entomology postdoctoral fellow, both from Ecuador; Abhilekha Dalal, doctoral student in computer science, and Aashvi Dua, doctoral student in biological and agricultural engineering, both from India; and Bhaskar Aryal, master's student in biological and agricultural engineering, from Nepal.

"The leadership team of the Institute for Digital Agriculture and Advanced Analytics is proud of the student organization team for all their work on this new event to bring together students, researchers and industry leaders in the digital ag space," said Ignacio Ciampitti, K-State agronomy professor, director for the institute and faculty mentor for this symposium. "We look forward to how this event will evolve as we establish K-State as the leader in digital agriculture and advanced analytics."

The Corteva Symposia Series has sponsored more than 120 symposiums led by graduate students over the past 12 years at 50 universities across 14 countries and six continents, drawing more than 20,000 participants. In addition to Corteva, other supporting organizations included Syngenta, John Deere, Microsoft Education, the College of Agriculture, Kansas Center for Agricultural Resources and the Environment, or KCARE, and the Kansas Department of Agriculture.

Watch highlights of the event on YouTube

For more information about the Institute for Digital Agriculture and Advanced Analytics, please visit ksu.edu/ID3A.

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