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Alabama A&M to host key agricultural, energy summit

HUNTSVILLE — Alabama A&M University is partnering with the Minority Business Development Agency Federal Procurement Center to host a three-day business development summit focusing on farming and energy this month.

The Innovation in Agriculture and Energy Opportunity Zone summit is slated for Oct. 16-18 on the AAMU campus.

The gathering will attract local, state and national leaders in business, commerce, technology and philanthropy.

“AAMU has a long history of working with minority farmers and ranchers in Alabama’s Black Belt region,” said Dr. Lloyd Walker, dean of the College of Agricultural, Life and Natural Sciences. “This summit is an opportunity to bring together farmers, ranchers, bankers and policymakers and HBCUs in the region to discuss solutions to systemic barriers and challenges that impact rural communities.”

The discussion will focus on the changing role of farming and energy in America. More specifically, the participants will hone in on how 1890 land-grant HBCUs and other HBCUs  in designated “opportunity zones” can become anchors of rejuvenation. The premise is the schools can serve as a focal point to reinvent agribusiness education, innovation, commercialization, land preservation, restoration and “a return to wealth creation” within the minority agriculture community.

Farmers and ranchers will receive information about obtaining funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and other federal opportunities.  Speakers also will share best practices on sustainability and carbon sequestration initiatives in farming, along with examples of successful minority-owned agribusiness enterprises. Panelists will discuss “smart farming” and cutting-edge technologies in food production and food security.

“AAMU CEIED (Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Economic Development) is pleased to partner with MBDA as we seek to build sustainable initiatives designed to engage HBCUs and the minority agriculture community with information and resources to leverage Opportunity Zone investment incentives to revitalize their communities,” said Dr. Teresa Orok, CEIED executive director.

To register, click here. For additional information or sponsorship opportunities, contact Orok at [email protected].

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