In time, the video streaming concept could expand far beyond the west Tennessee area, basically into any classroom with access to the Internet. “This potential market reach is a big reason why Cotton Incorporated became involved in the project,” said Janet Reed, associated director, environmental research, Cotton Incorporated.

A secondary benefit of video streaming will be to create opportunities for companies who contract agricultural research at Agricenter, including those who participate in the facility’s AgTechnology Field Day, held every other year. According to Agricenter research director Bruce Kirksey, companies can host Web events and video streaming of field days and other events of interest to producers and companies.

“If there’s something going on that’s pertinent to the agricultural community, we can share it immediately,” Marinez added. “If there is something a company wants to communicate, we can make it happen. This technology is untethered. We can walk out into the middle of a field, go right up to a cotton plant, and go live with a presentation. The information can also be stored, so we can create a knowledge base for the agricultural industry.”

Pilot education projects are under way at Kate Bond, a Memphis city school, Westminster Academy, a Shelby County school, and several private schools, according to Marinez. The video streaming project should be well under way by this fall.