2018 Virginia Smart Farming Conference

Opening Session

Keynote: Building a Controlled Environment Agriculture Business: Site, Structure, Crops and Growing System

Neil Mattson, Ph.D.

Neil S. Mattson earned a Ph.D. (2007) from the University of California Davis and M.S. (2002) and a B.A. (2000) from the University of Minnesota. He joined Cornell University in 2007 and is currently an associate professor and greenhouse extension specialist in the School of Integrative Plant Science. Research interests include: supplemental lighting strategies to improve crop quality and reduce greenhouse energy use, conventional and organic nutrient management, and plant abiotic stress physiology. Neil is director of Cornell Controlled Environment Agriculture group.


Business Development, Planning, & Marketing

Alex White, Ph.D.

Alex grew up on a small beef farm in northeastern Maryland. He was always interested in the business side of agriculture in addition to the production aspects. Alex has spent most of his career in Virginia but taught a variety of college courses related to entrepreneurship and the business and finance side of agriculture at several different universities. In addition to classroom teaching, Alex has worked directly with producers as a specialist in personal/farm financial management with Virginia Cooperative Extension. Outside of work, Alex spends his time restoring a 1943 Farmall H tractor, target shooting, renovating on his old house, and woodworking. Alex and his brothers operate a small BBQ business in northern MD – partially to make money, but mostly to eat BBQ with friends! 


FAQ On Farm Food Safety