August 2021
AAC Sporting Clays Shoot - Save-the-Date
On Thursday, December 16, the Alabama Agribusiness Council will host a sporting clays shoot as its annual fundraiser. The event will be held at CMP Marksmanship Park in Talladega which is described as a first-class destination for firearm enthusiasts. Check out there website HERE.

The event will kick-off the morning of December 16th and will conclude with an onsite lunch.

More details about this exciting event will follow via email, but please go ahead and mark your calendars and make plans to join us. You don't want to miss it!
Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission Update
After Senate Bill 46 (often referred to as the medical marijuana bill) passed in May, the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission was established in July. This board of medical professionals, agriculturalists, and bankers will help oversee the implementation of medical cannabis in Alabama from cultivation, processing, testing and sales.

To date, the Commission has met twice and has elected a chairman, Dr. Steven Stokes (an oncologist from Dothan) and vice chairman, Rex Vaughn (a Huntsville-area farmer). There are 12 voting members which includes AAC member James Harwell and two ex-officio members.

Next steps for the Commission include the selection of an executive director. The application deadline for the position has recently passed and the Commission has plans to interview the top three candidates on September 9th. An executive director will be selected that day.

The Commission plans to meet at 1:00 on the 2nd Thursday of each month. Meetings are open to the public.
Make Plans to Participate in AU College of Ag Fall Career Fair
Check out Auburn University’s College of Agriculture  and how these students can be a fit for your company! -- Graduates from this program demonstrate an understanding of biology, agriculture, business, biotechnology, natural resources, and more! Majors include: Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology , Agricultural Communications, Crop and Soils, Ag Science, Animal Sciences, Biosystems Engineering, Biotechnology, Environmental Science, Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures, Food Science, Horticulture and Poultry Science. Let the College of Ag help you in recruiting talented students to join your team. Students in these degrees are seeking both internships and full-time job opportunities. Opportunities to visit with students include our Fall Career Fair (October 12, 2021), virtual company sessions, on-campus interviews, class visits, and more. We can also post any internship or job postings out to our students as well! Reach out to Megan Ross, Coordinator of Student Development & Programs at mhr0001@auburn.edu to learn more about these opportunities!
College's "Homegrown Food" Offered at New AU Campus
Dining Facility

Published: August 13, 2021
Charles Martin | Office of Communications and Marketing
Photo Credit: AU Office of Communications and Marketing
Auburn University students have a new dining facility, The Edge at Central Dining, with literally homegrown food from the College of Agriculture, from salads with fresh tomatoes and lettuce to fish and burgers, and more.

“We recently completed the construction and have already started serving,” said Director of Dining and Concessions Glenn Loughridge. “The Edge has nine different food stations, including one with allergen-sensitive recipes, and it features products grown on campus.”

The $26 million, 48,000-square-foot facility has 800 seats, as well as dining/study rooms that can be reserved by faculty, staff or students. The two-level building is located between Jordan-Hare Stadium and the Academic Classroom and Laboratory Complex scheduled to open in the spring.

“The Edge is remarkable,” said Auburn junior Brady Natoli, who toured the facility this summer. “I’m looking forward to eating there, and I believe students will appreciate the Auburn-produced selections.”

Loughridge and Daniel Wells, associate professor of horticulture, first initiated a partnership between the College of Agriculture and Campus Dining five years ago through an aquaponics project, which uses hydroponics and aquaculture technologies to provide a system in which nutrient-laden wastewater from fish production is used as a food source for plant growth, such as tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce. The Tilapia from the system are harvested and served fresh in dining facilities on the Auburn campus as well.

This summer the collaboration expanded as the College of Agriculture opened two new self-contained “vertical farms” that build on the aquaponics effort. These are shipping containers that have been converted into technologically advanced hydroponic growing stations in which plants grow vertically indoors without soil, getting their nutrition from water and light energy from powerful LEDs.

“These partnerships are great for our Ag students and for students in general at Auburn,” said Desmond Layne, head of the Department of Horticulture. “We are using state-of-the-art processes that provide food in a sustainable manner.”
Loughridge says the vertical farms will allow new approaches to providing food on campus.

“We've had the aquaponics partnership for a few years now, in which we’ve been specializing in romaine lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers. Now, the vertical farms will concentrate on growing different types of leafy greens, while aquaponics will specialize in cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes. We have a great partnership with the meats lab, too, providing much of our hamburger meat.”

Sustainability and working to eliminate food insecurity are also major goals of Dining’s partnerships. Food products that are prepared but not served in campus dining halls are donated to Campus Kitchens, which provides food to the less fortunate in the community.

“Campus Kitchens received over 50,000 pounds of food in 2019 and served 53,000 meals, so that's a huge win for the city of Auburn and the university,” Loughridge added. “We are proud to be able to contribute to these amazing student efforts to fight food insecurity in our community.”

Plans are in the works for a state-of-the-art composting system that will divert both pre- and post-consumer food waste away from landfills and turn it into rich soil that can be used to grow more food. 

The Edge is open to students, faculty, staff and the public seven days a week from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. each day, including gamedays. More information is available on the website.
Alabama Agribusiness Council | alagribusiness.org