Sustainable Agriculture is not new for UC Davis, just south of Sacramento. What is new is their Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program collaborating with Verliant Energy Partners to launch a new approach they call solutions centers.
The aim of the collaboration is to showcase the latest sustainable solutions to critical issues affecting agriculture and food systems.
The solution center is a mashup of virtual, web-based information portals, plus networks of live demonstration sites staffed by technical experts. The experts can provide practical, science-based information to visitors.
Specific issues in agriculture and food systems are to be covered by their own solution center. The focus each “solution center” is to give guidance on adapting information to a wide range of conditions, or different use cases, in California.
“Given the diversity of California agriculture, we prioritize engaging end-users like farmers and cooperative extension farm advisors to help us to develop a structure for solution centers that is highly adaptable, and avoids a one-size-fits-all approach.”
– Sonja Brodt, Academic Coordinator, SAREP leader on the first solution center project
In the first phase, the focus of the prototype solution center is to re-purpose agricultural waste streams for bioenergy, using anaerobic digesters, and for capturing and reusing nutrients.
Haider Nazar, the CEO of Verliant Energy Partners, says they partnered with UC Davis because they are “a thought-leader” in this field.
“Best practices in sustainable agriculture are being sought by the ag industry in general. Creating a platform on campus to allow easy collaboration and flow of information helps all parties.”
– Haider Nazar, CEO, Verliant Energy Partners