The Georgia Tech Research Institute’s Agricultural Technology Research Program (ATRP) blends the use of technology and innovation to fuel advancements in agriculture. The program occupies the frontier of technology solutions, including advanced sensing, robotics, automation, and environmental and food safety systems.
Thanks to a new commitment from the R. Harold and Patsy Harrison Foundation, ATRP will be able to expand its programming to more students and further support faculty research in poultry technology. The funds will be used to support students in the Abit Massey Student Internship Program and to create the R. Harold and Patsy Harrison Research Faculty Fellowship Endowment to support early-career research faculty.
“This commitment from the R. Harold and Patsy Harrison Foundation launches our first-ever endowment program in support of ATRP and the students and faculty who work on behalf of the poultry industry,” said Doug Britton, ATRP manager. “We are so grateful to Mrs. Bobbie Ann Harrison Reynolds and the entire Reynolds family for leading this effort with this commitment.”
ATRP’s focus on Georgia agriculture, and the state’s multibillion-dollar poultry industry specifically, allows researchers to focus on opportunities that directly benefit farmers, consumers, employers, and employees — both on a local and national level. Georgia’s continued role as the nation’s largest producer of poultry requires increasing improvements in manufacturing and production methods, food safety, environmental sustainability, and the well-being of animals and humans. ATRP research initiatives directly affect issues important to consumers, producers, and manufacturers of agricultural and poultry products.
The Harrison commitment provides seed funding to kick off a fundraising effort to further support the Abit Massey Student Internship Program and other research programs within ATRP.
This multiyear commitment provides funding for both current operations as well as a permanent endowment. It immediately enables ATRP to attract and retain early-career research faculty in engineering and science who might not consider poultry technology research as a career option. In addition, through the Abit Massey Student Internship Program, this commitment will provide an opportunity for students to work on real-world challenges facing the poultry industry by having them work alongside ATRP researchers on projects in robotics, automation, sustainable systems, food safety, and advanced sensing technologies.
The Harrison family has been in the poultry business since 1948, with the establishment of Harrison Poultry in Barrow County. Their contribution to ATRP continues the family’s legacy in the poultry business and creates an opportunity for students to discover new knowledge and develop innovative technologies to improve the poultry industry.