Center for Digital Agriculture

Participating Programs and Community

About the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Since its founding in 1867, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has earned a reputation as a world-class leader in research, teaching, and public engagement. 

As a public land-grant university, it has the responsibility to create new knowledge and new ideas and translate these into better ways of working, living and learning for our state, nation and world. UIUC is consistently ranked among the top five universities for NSF-funded research, totaling more than $600 million annually.

UIUC faculty have been awarded Nobel Prizes, Pulitzer Prizes, and the Fields Medal in Mathematics. The success of faculty is matched by alums, which includes 11 Nobel Laureates, Academy Award winners, innovators, CEOs, sports stars, and more.

About the Center for Digital Agriculture

The Center for Digital Agriculture is a multidisciplinary effort at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign between the Grainger College of Engineering, the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications that leverage Illinois’ historic land-grant pillars of agriculture and engineering to shape the future of the agriculture industry. The center brings together researchers, educators, industries, and agricultural producers to innovate technology to transform how we feed and support a growing global population. CDA develops and supports novel experimental research facilities, such as the Illinois Autonomous Farm and the “farm of the future” where researchers will be able to develop and evaluate novel AI, sensor, data, and computing capabilities that enable small teams of producers to achieve increased yields and profitability with minimal or even positive environmental impact.


The Artificial Intelligence for Future Agricultural Resilience, Management, and Sustainability (AIFARMS) national AI institute is funded by USDA-NIFA. The broad mission of AIFARMS is to develop foundational advances in AI and apply them to ensure that future agriculture is environmentally friendly, sustainable, affordable, and accessible to diverse farming communities. To accomplish this mission, the AIFARMS Institute aims to develop and demonstrate the advances in AI necessary to address major challenges facing world agriculture, by combining basic research, novel experimental facilities, state-of-the-art data analytics, and eventually evaluation in production settings. AIFARMS is primarily hosted at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the Center for Digital Agriculture and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. Team members span the Grainger College of Engineering, the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, Siebel Center for Design, and USDA-ARS. Sub-awardees include Tuskegee University, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, and Michigan State University.


The Center for Research on Programmable Plant Systems (CROPPS) will generate foundational discoveries through interactive, experimental designs and prototype translational solutions for improved crop performance. Our approach, coupled with the IoLT framework, defines a new transdiscipline—digital biology—with powerful, broad implications for plant science, agriculture, and other domains of the life sciences. CROPPS is NSF STC award led by Cornell University with collaborations from the University of Illinois, and Arizona University,

About Champaign-Urbana

The twin cities of Champaign-Urbana (C-U) are a micro-urban community that offers serious business, technology and innovation capabilities while maintaining a small-town feel in downstate Illinois. The two downtowns are separated by just a few miles, easy enough to access by bicycle or public transportation and both host highly-rated restaurants, bars and community events, including The Pygmalion Music FestivalEbertfest, the Urbana Sweetcorn Festival, multiple farmers’ markets and much more. C-U is rated as the #2 college town in the United States by and regularly rates highly in fun, growing, healthy, and affordable rankings

Champaign-Urbana is not only easy to get to, it’s easy to navigate. Conveniently situated off three major interstates, C-U is nearly equidistant from Chicago, Indianapolis, and St. Louis by 2-3 hours. Fly into our accessible airport, ride the Amtrak, take a bus, or drive! Once here, C-U has several accessible and affordable transportation options. Our award-winning mass transit district (MTD) will help get you around our community, as will rentable bikes and e-bikes.

About Inclusive Illinois: One Campus, Many Voices

Inclusive Illinois Initiative is a collaborative effort across campus to enhance outreach efforts to underrepresented populations, inspiring students to see the impact they’ll have at UIUC and beyond. It’s a commitment to cultivating a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community at UIUC where everyone is welcomed, celebrated, and respected.

Center for Digital Agriculture Code of Conduct

The Center for Digital Agriculture believes that everyone within the CDA community, faculty, staff, and students must have an opportunity to help define, shape, and lead the future of digital agriculture. Because of this, we expect all members to uphold the highest professional standards, including in conduct, ethics and respect. We do not tolerate discrimination, harassment, or abuse of power. CDA promotes an environment that offers respectful discussion among individuals. In any cross-disciplinary environment, not all viewpoints will align, but we ask that all voices be heard. We believe that hearing and respecting different perspectives is not only ethically required but beneficial to our core mission of interdisciplinary science and education. For this reason, we require members to listen carefully to, support and be respectful to one another in their interactions and discussions, regardless of personal or professional backgrounds.

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