What is Advanced Agriculture

‘Advanced Agriculture’ describes innovative approaches to growing and processing agricultural products with the intention of higher quality, increased efficiency, and reduced impact on the environment through technological and biological methods.

Currently, the Advanced Agriculture Collaborative is focused on accelerating developments in three key areas:

Including transformative technologies like robotics, automation, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality. These technologies have broad-based applications across agricultural production and processing, and therefore widespread applicability to PA’s industries.

Climate-Smart & Organic
Biological and tech-enabled methods that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, sequester carbon, create a waste-to-value/circular economy, and protect soil health. Pennsylvania’s organic agriculture sector specifically is a major leadership opportunity and has seen a surge in production acreage and sales that far outpaces the national average.

Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA)
Including indoor farming, vertical farming, high-tech greenhouses for specialty crops and biopharma. Pennsylvania already has a long history in CEA with its over 100-year-old mushroom industry and is in a tremendous position to lead further developments in this area.

Why a focus on Advanced Agriculture?

For agriculture to thrive in the future, leaders in Pennsylvania need to work together, forward-thinking and cross-cutting in their approach, to ensure we remain competitive; not only aiming to continue our national leadership in our strengths but as a global leader and partner, serving as the proving ground for agricultural innovations for the world.

In the 2018 Pennsylvania Economic Impact Analysis, it was noted that innovation (both tech and non-tech), automation and efficiency, and changing consumer tastes (including a growing demand for organic products) are major drivers and trends impacting Pennsylvania’s agriculture industries that must be accounted for in order to ensure a strong future.

By creating the conditions for Advanced Agriculture to develop, Pennsylvania’s leaders of today can create the pathway toward a resilient future for these legacy industries, transform Pennsylvania’s economy, and sustain and create jobs throughout our state.

Pennsylvania Agriculture Economic Impact Studies

In 2018, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture partnered with Team Pennsylvania to release the “Pennsylvania Agriculture: A Look at the Economic Impact and Future Trends” report – a first-of-its-kind analysis that provided a state-level working definition of ‘agriculture’, quantified economic and workforce impacts, and outlined policy and industry recommendations for a thriving future.

The analysis was updated in 2021 to benchmark trends for industry subsectors, as well as examine the impact of the Pennsylvania Farm Bill and the COVID-19 pandemic. This version of the report provided leaders with recommendations on critical next steps for economic recovery.

This type of third-party, nonpartisan data advances Pennsylvania’s economy by identifying high-growth economic opportunities for the state and informing long-term systems change. As such, the Ag Collaborative leverages these studies to benchmark industry progress and identify areas primed for public-private partnership.

See the reports here: