Technologies for Agriculture and Living Systems

What if emerging and advanced technologies for agricultural production could also be instrumental in natural resource conservation and community health?

A new vision for twenty-first century agroecosystems

The College of Agricultural Sciences envisions a future where emerging and advanced technologies are integral to establishing sustainable and resilient agricultural systems that are interconnected with the broader living systems that support them. These systems range from forests, wetlands, and waterways to the ecological biodiversity of plants, insects, and animals and the resiliency of rural and urban communities.

Technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, precision ag, remote sensing, geospatial intelligence, gene editing, and augmented reality can improve our ability to monitor and manage not only production and access to food but also biodiversity and natural resources and human health and well-being.

The Technologies for Agriculture and Living Systems initiative is a unique, holistic approach. It addresses the complex challenges of climate volatility, limited resource availability, biodiversity losses, and social and economic shifts within our communities. With this initiative, we:

  • Acknowledge that agricultural and living systems are interconnected and that we must balance production with conservation.
  • Recognize that the development and application of technologies cannot be removed from the challenges of adoption, policy, accessibility, affordability, and security.
  • Embrace the diversity of our state's agricultural and natural resource sectors. Specifically, reinforce Pennsylvania as the nation's laboratory for living systems and our role as a preferred partner for testing and formalizing the integration of technologies across agriculture and living systems.
  • Share the breadth of our expertise in research, education, and extension to help make our state's industries more competitive and profitable.
  • Commit to bridging the gap between discovery and delivery by serving as an effective convener of diverse audiences across industry, stakeholders, academia, and government to address complex issues.

Be a part of this vision.

The College of Agricultural Sciences is committed to our role as Pennsylvania's land-grant institution by organizing and leading this statewide initiative in the development and application of emerging and advanced technologies to support healthy farms, cities, forests, and waters in Pennsylvania and across the world. This initiative builds on 150 years of bringing diverse stakeholders into conversation to balance the advancement of our state's industries with a dedicated effort to also protect our precious natural resources and ensure the endurance of our living systems for future generations.

As we build this initiative, we invite partners from within and beyond the University to join us in realizing this vision for twenty-first century agroecosystems. We will be hosting the "Technologies for Agriculture and Living Systems Symposium" on May 7-8, 2024, at the University Park campus.

Complete the following form to receive updates on registration and more information about this event and initiative.

Latest News

February 28, 2024

Penn State College of Ag Sciences seeks partners for statewide tech initiative

Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences invites collaborators from within and beyond the University to join it as it embarks on a new initiative focused on leveraging emerging and advanced technologies to support sustainable and resilient agricultural systems and the broader living systems that support them.

Read More

February 28, 2024

Cyber-physical heating system may protect apple blossoms in orchards

Spring frosts can have devastating effects on apple production, and a warming climate may be causing trees to blossom early, making them more susceptible to the damaging effects of extreme cold events. Growers’ attempts to prevent the flowers from freezing by attempting to heat the canopies of their orchards largely have been inefficient. To deal with the worsening problem, Penn State researchers devised a frost protection cyber-physical system, which makes heating decisions based on real-time temperature and wind-direction data.

Read More

February 27, 2024

TerraSafe Materials and Penn State partner on sustainable packaging solutions

TerraSafe has established a lab in State College and entered a licensing agreement with Penn State to commercialize sustainable packaging solutions developed by researchers at Penn State. The agreement is based on technologies invented by a research team led by Jeffrey Catchmark, professor of agricultural and biological engineering and of bioethics in the College of Agricultural Sciences. Catchmark and his team have worked for years developing technology that can replace conventionally used materials with those that are significantly more environmentally friendly.

Read More

December 7, 2023

Novel tool informs land use and nutrient control in troubled waters

In watersheds degraded by runoff of nutrients from farmland, land managers may struggle to pinpoint the best locations to install riparian buffer strips along streams or other pollution-reduction practices, but a new technology devised by Penn State scientists could potentially make the search for those sites easier and less expensive.

Read More

Office for Research and Graduate Education


217 Agricultural Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802-2600