Summary of DAREC

Digital Agriculture Research and Extension Center (DAREC) in CAFNR provides a shared platform to conduct collaborative, multidisciplinary and cutting-edge research, extension and education around digital agriculture technology. The DAREC consists of scientists, engineers, extension specialists and students in a variety of disciplines at the University of Missouri and USDA-ARS research units. DAREC is to fulfill the land-grant university mission and one of the CAFNR’s Grand Ideas of smart farming. DAREC will work to improve the productivity, sustainability, and profitability of Missouri agriculture by adopting climate-smart practices using emerging digital technologies.


Conventional farming methods and agricultural practices are challenged to improve the productivity and sustainability of agriculture under climate change conditions. Digital agriculture uses emerging digital technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) to transform conventional agriculture into a highly efficient and sustainable system. Although we are conducting cutting-edge research and extension activities, DAREC provides a shared platform for collaborators to converge our current efforts and amplify the impacts of digital agriculture technology for agriculture.

Mission and Vision

The DAREC is to enhance the research, education, and outreach in digital agriculture and improve agricultural productivity, profit, and sustainability. We expect the DAREC will boost collaborative research, increase success for competitive grants, and improve our visibility in digital agriculture at MU, USDA-ARS and collaborative institutions.
The DAREC mission includes:
  1. Establish a focus group consisting of researchers from MU, USDA-ARS and other collaborative institutions
  2. Develop a smart farm testbed to showcase digital agriculture technologies
  3. Conduct field research to develop, test and validate new and existing digital agriculture technologies
  4. Develop a digital media platform (e.g., website, social media, podcasts, and YouTube channels) to share and disseminate knowledge of digital agriculture to stakeholders;
  5. Enhance our education programs in digital agriculture for undergraduate and graduate students, and
  6. Increase the international visibility of DAREC through collaborative research, education and outreach activities.

The DAREC aims to develop a sustainable agricultural system using emerging digital agriculture technology, which is resilient, climate-smart and has healthy soil and human life.