Creating an Online Toolbox for Understanding and Communicating Artificial Intelligence within Sustainable Agriculture

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2024: $99,982.00
Projected End Date: 03/31/2026
Grant Recipient: Center for Sustaining Agriculture & Natural Resources
Region: Western
State: Washington
Principal Investigator:
Georgine Yorgey
Center for Sustaining Agriculture & Natural Resources
Gwen-Alyn Hoheisel
Washington State University
Jordan Jobe
Washington State University
Dr. Alex Kirkpatrick, PhD
Center for Sustaining Agriculture & Natural Resources, WSU
Chad Kruger
Washington State University


No commodities identified


No practices identified

Proposal abstract:

The goal of this project is to equip agricultural professionals
(I.e., ag-educators, extension professionals, crop consultants)
with understanding of AI and its potential role in sustainable
agriculture, along with knowledge, skills and abilities to
strategically communicate about this emerging technology and
facilitate the diffusion of AI tools to support sustainable
agriculture goals. To accommodate geographical and time zone
differences, we propose an online asynchronous
instructional-video course for participants, including
certificate of completion. Toolbox development will be informed
both by our existing assessment of needs, and by an in-person
workshop and focus-group designed to engage agriculture
professionals with AI, and encourage contributions towards
ensuring that asynchronous training materials meet the needs of
agricultural professionals. Subsequently, a toolbox of 10
asynchronous online professional development videos, and
associated self-guided activities, will be developed around
understanding the broader impacts of AI on society and
agriculture, AI’s specific impacts on achieving sustainable
agriculture, and science communication best practices for
engaging others on the topic of AI within sustainable
agriculture. Participants will have the opportunity to: 1)
achieve a deeper awareness of AI in both society and sustainable
agriculture; 2) develop knowledge of behavioral models predicting
technology adoption; 3) obtain skills in utilizing strategic
science communication theory to construct, frame and diffuse
messages surrounding AI; and 4) improve their confidence and
abilities to facilitate engagement with AI in sustainable
agriculture. Rigorous evaluations will be conducted in the last
year to improve the course for future participants, and as new
science and tools are developed. We will measure improvement in
AI and strategic communication knowledge for trainers.
Qualitative feedback will assess potential longer-term impacts on
grower knowledge, attitudes, and technology adoption for

Project objectives from proposal:

  1. We will enhance understanding of ag-AI and its connection to
    sustainability, other implications, technology adoption, and
    technical knowledge strategic science communication among ag-tech
  2. We will develop interpersonal, mass (i.e. workshops or group
    presentations) and computer-mediated communication skills among
    agricultural professionals.
  3. We will improve participants’ confidence and perceived
    effectiveness of in communicating AI-within-sustainable-ag to a
    range of public audiences.
  4. We improve understanding of how technology and communication
    skills training can impact ag-tech professionals’ thoughts,
    attitudes and behaviors. This will contribute to existing science
    communication literature and inform both the science
    communication community and the agricultural professional
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.