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TTU Approves New Agricultural Technology Innovation Center

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
TTU Approves New Agricultural Technology Innovation Center

Tennessee Tech will get a new $1 million Agricultural Technology Innovation Center as one of the approved projects for the fiscal year.

Dean of the School of Agriculture and Ecology Dr. Darron Smith said that he calls the new facility a “student success center.” He said it will serve as a place where students can hone their skills or test new ideas.

“They might have a new idea for an irrigation system,” Smith said. “This is where they can go construct it, test it, put all the pieces together, and see if it works. We’re also doing a lot of work with drones, and geomapping, and spatial technology.”

Smith said that the facility will store the drones for that research. He said students will be able to use them for plant identification and soil needs for crops.

Smith said that the center will also serve as a great recruitment tool for future Ag Engineering and Technology students. In addition, he said that an innovation center can put Tennessee Tech on track to become a leader in the field.

“Our focus right now is to really push the ag engineering and technology program,” Smith said. “We have some fantastic faculty already in the program, and we’re actually looking to hire another faculty member that we’re currently searching for which is exciting. This is going to be a program that has truly seen significant growth in numbers in recent years and will continue to grow, we believe it will continue to grow. It’s Ag Engineering and Technology, and we are at Tennessee Tech, so we’re following that line.”

Smith said that the facility was made possible through an extremely generous donation of some $500,000.


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