Farmers Accelerating Research in Materials Science

Workshop – February 26-28, 2020
Block 22, Pittsburg, KS

FARMS is a collaborative "day in the life" workshop that uncovers the details of every challenge - large and small - that farmers and ranchers face from sunup to sundown. Through this exchange, scientists gain valuable agribusiness insights that can be solved through advances in plastics and polymers. FARMS is led by the Kansas Polymer Research Center at Pittsburg State University and the Macromolecules Innovation Institute at Virginia Tech, and sessions are facilitated by county extension agents. The agenda includes an evening reception with a keynote speaker, a full day of workshops, and a day of proposal writing and planning.

February 26: Evening reception for all
February 27: Full day for farmers and scientists
February 28: Half day for scientists 

Expected outcomes

  • Short-term projects with immediate impact
  • Long-term research opportunities
  • Development of value-added, locally-sourced products that enhance agribusiness performance
  • Economic diversity through new startups close to the region's renewable feedstocks with a ready workforce from PSU

Keynote speaker

Innovation to exceed the needs - farm to table

conner Dr. Timothy Conner is the Director for the Division of Bioenergy, Bioproducts and Bioeconomy in the Institute of Bioenergy, Climate and Environment within United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). He is also the administrative leader of the USDA Small Business Innovation Research program.

Dr. Conner received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Central Arkansas, a Master of Science degree from the University of Kentucky, and a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of Minnesota. In 1990, Dr. Conner joined the Monsanto Company as a visiting scientist at Rockefeller University’s Lab of Plant Molecular Biology, and a Senior Research Biologist in Monsanto’s Global Headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Conner’s R&D contributions at Monsanto included genomics and biotechnology innovation in crop production and use. He served as a leader in Monsanto’s Vegetable R&D and Chemistry Technology organizations in California, as VP of Global Oilseeds and Food Technology, and as the South America Technology Strategy Leader based in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Dr. Conner joined USDA NIFA in 2017 to serve his community and support stakeholders in developing the US agriculture bioeconomy.

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