Middle Tennessee Digital Agriculture Academy

Please check out our program flyer here!

What is Digital Agriculture?

Digital agriculture is the integration of digital technologies (drones, GPS, virtual reality, video gaming, artificial intelligence, etc.) into energy, feed, fiber, food, and forestry production processes. In farming, digital agriculture can lead to increased production, decreased costs, and risk mitigation or elimination. As a data-gathering and analysis tool, using digital agriculture enhances predictive capabilities regarding crop and animal behavior and production. Moreover, as agriculture moves toward automation and embraces the use of digital technologies, digital agriculture has emerged as a niche in agriculture for which employees with digital skills be in high demand.

What is the Digital Agriculture Academy?

Would you enjoy both hands-on and online learning experiences on real-world Digital Agricultural problems? Would you like to discover how Unmanned Aircraft Systems (drones) can collect agricultural field data? Would you want to understand how farmers can make decisions based on information collected from a drone? Are you curious about college and career opportunities related to digital agriculture?

If you answered “Yes” to any of the questions above, then you should apply to participate in the Digital Agriculture Academy to learn more about Digital Agricultural concepts and use cases and ultimately incorporate them into your pedagogical practices in both formal and non-formal settings.

What is Non-formal Learning?

Non-formal learning takes place outside of a formal setting (school classroom). It is engaged in voluntarily; that is, students opt-in to non-formal learning opportunities. Non-formal learning is often characterized by mentor-mentee or adult-youth relationships where learning experiences are created by adults and youth choose to engage in these experiences.

For FFA advisors, non-formal learning is reflected in student Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAEs).

For scout leaders, earning merit badges are part of non-formal learning.

In 4-H, non-formal learning occurs through lessons that enrich learning during meetings, specialty 4-H clubs such as bee-keeping or animal husbandry, 4-H camps, and student projects.

These are just a few examples of how non-formal learning takes place.

What's in it for Me?

Each year, up to 20 non-formal educators will be selected to participate in the Digital Agriculture Academy. In addition to joining a network of adults working with youth on topics related to digital agriculture, each participant will receive a $600 stipend for completing the four-day experience and receive certificate in the end.

During the Academy, non-formal educators will spend three days learning about digital agriculture technologies through an online platform and will come together, in-person, on day 4 to work alongside professors receive hands-on experience using digital agriculture tools.

Knowledge gained will prepare you to educate students about digital agriculture tools and technologies, college and career opportunities related to digital agriculture, and more!

When and Where?

In the summer of 2023, the Digital Agriculture Academy will take place virtually (May 28 – May 31).

Frequently Asked Questions

Will transportation, lodging, and/or meals be provided?

Transportation, lodging, and meal expenses will be the responsibility of each participant.

Who will qualify for the Academy?

K-12 non-formal educators, including afterschool educators, scout leaders, 4-H Youth Development Agents, FFA Advisors, camp counselors, and other youth group leaders will qualify as a non-formal educator. 

When will the selected applicants be notified?


Can a participant apply the next year?

Yes, participants can apply for a consecutive year; however, preference will be given to new applicants (those who have not previously participated) each year.

What selection criteria will be used to evaluate applications?

Statement of Purpose and Group Affiliation will be considered for selection.

How Do I Apply?

To apply for the Digital Agriculture Academy, click “apply here” below. The application will remain open until February 15.

Apply here

If you have questions, please contact DigitalAgCenter@mtsu.edu

Please also realize that Digital Ag Academy and Digital Ag Summer Camp are completely different programs, one designed for non-formal educators and the other for highschool students. Click here to go back to the Digital Agriculture Center Home Page.