Engagement Center Adds Ag Tech Virtual Incubation Program

The Economic and Business Engagement Center at Southeast Missouri State University announces the addition of an Agriculture Technology Virtual Incubation program to the services available to assist business and industry in southeast Missouri. Andy Chronister joined the Engagement Center team on Feb. 1 as an agriculture technology coordinator. “The central purpose of this initiative is to find new opportunities to encourage innovation and offer support to the agriculture industry, a sector that is vitally important to the regional economy,” said Engagement Center Director Crystal Jones. “The incorporation and use of technological advancements in agriculture operations are playing a larger role in the region’s agriculture industry. We want to assist small businesses, including those in the agriculture industry, with capitalizing on these opportunities by providing additional services and expertise.” The Agriculture Technology Virtual Incubation program provides agriculture producers and innovators in the region with location-independent access to agriculture technology consultation and support. As an agriculture technology coordinator, Andy Chronister will provide agriculture entrepreneurs assistance with incorporating new technologies into their operations and business development and consultation services. Chronister graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science in mass communications, corporate video production emphasis and a minor in zoology. He worked as a video producer for 18 years at Red Letter Communications advertising agency and another seven years as owner of Andrew Chronister Video Productions. Four years ago, he began using unmanned aerial systems(UAS) in video and film production and shortly thereafter began investigating the applications for UAS in agriculture. An entrepreneur himself, Chronister and his business partners started AeroVictus, LLC, a company that flight tests and perfects the use of drones to acquire Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) images of crops for use in precision agriculture operations. By applying UAS and other technologies, Chronister hopes to assist agriculture producers with improving efficiency and yields in farming operations as well as attract agriculture technology-related businesses to the southeast Missouri region through his new role at the University. For more information about the Agriculture Technology Virtual Incubation program, please contact Andy Chronister at achronister@semo.edu or (573) 651-2929. About the Economic and Business Engagement Center The Engagement Center’s mission is to foster business, community and workforce development, and facilitate the process of innovation to enhance the regional economy and support the transfer of institutional knowledge and resources derived from within the University to the external environment to create new, high-value jobs, positive economic and social benefits, and advance entrepreneurship. For more information about the other programs offered through the Economic and Business Engagement Center, please contact (573) 651-2929 or visit www.semo.edu/engage.