Plant Empowerment Workshop

Hydroponic cucumbers

Advanced learning and discussion towards “an integrated approach based on physics and plant physiology, leading to a balanced growing method for high yields, quality, saving energy, and profitability in greenhouse controlled environments”

Plant Empowerment Workshop

Friday, July 10, 2020

Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center
2201 Fred Taylor Drive
Columbus, Ohio 43210

9 a.m. to noon Introduction to Plant Empowerment, The Theories
Noon Lunch
1 to 4 p.m. The Practical Applications of Plant Empowerment
4 to 5 p.m. Discussion
5 p.m. Networking Reception


Registration is open March 23 through June 26.

Workshop fee is $50 ($40 before June 1) per person, including breakfast and lunch.

Networking reception fee is $25 ($20 before June 1) per person, including appetizers at a nearby restaurant. Cash bar.

Register at

Hotel Information

A limited number of rooms are available at $135 per night (first come, first served) in Hilton Garden Inn Columbus-University Area, 3232 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, Ohio, 43202. Reserve under the group name "Plant Empowerment" before June 5.

Please return to this page for any updates.


Peter van Weel Instructor: Dr. Peter van Weel

During his 42-year career as a researcher at Wageningen University & Research Peter van Weel developed systems that are usual in today’s greenhouses, such as ebb and flood watering, roof cleaner, movable benches, and aquaponic systems. Together with Jan Voogt, he developed a climate control strategy, ‘Aircokas’, based on sensors and laws of physics. A patent and a publication in 2008 describes this strategy and explains how to measure and control the stomata opening of a plant.  
After his retirement in 2016, he started the private company Weel.Invent to develop integrated, robust, low-investment and uncomplicated production systems for greenhouses.
He is a co-author of the book Plant Empowerment and supports growers, advisors, and manufacturers to implement this plant control strategy based on sensor information. 
Plant Empowerment is an integrated approach based on physics and plant physiology that leads to a balanced growth of protected crops and results in healthy resilient plants, high yield and quality, low energy costs, and economic greenhouse concepts.

Host: Dr. Chieri KubotaChieri Kubota

A horticulture and crop sciences professor in The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, Kubota is considered a game changer in the world of controlled environment agriculture. 

Kubota teaches CFAES students about the future of sustainable food production. Her research mission is to serve in the development of science and technology in the area of controlled environment agriculture. Her projects are in an interdisciplinary area that encompasses plant physiology and horticultural engineering to enhance understanding and efficiency of Controlled Environment Agriculture plant production systems such as greenhouses, warehouses (vertical farms), and growth chambers.

Plant Empowerment Workshop details



The Controlled Environment food production research complex

Planned to begin construction this year at Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory in Columbus, the Controlled Environment Food Production Research Complex is a state-of-the-art greenhouse that will support research and teaching. The complex will be a truly transformational resource for Ohio State and for the global and local communities that CFAES serves, as controlled environment agriculture produces food year-round and closer to population centers, thus increasing freshness and reducing transportation costs. A lead gift from the Nationwide Foundation has funded a feasibility study and support for a portion of complex's construction.

benefits of controlled environment agriculture

  1. Food can be produced year-round in areas that would not otherwise be suitable for farming: deserts, non-arable soil, etc.
  2. As the amount of the world’s arable land continues to decrease, controlled environment agriculture can help meet the nutritional needs of a growing global population.
  3. Perishable crops can be raised closer to their point of consumption, reducing food waste and greenhouse gases associated with long-distance transportation.
  4. The increasing number of people moving toward densely-populated areas can be better fed.
  5. Growers have more quality control over production and plant nutrients, so the risk of foodborne illnesses can be reduced, crop yield can be increased, and specific flavors can be induced.
  6. Vegetables and fruits can be grown sustainably.

Controlled environment at The ohio state university CFAES

Summer in Winter: Ohio's red-hot greenhouse industry

Thanks to our powering sponsors.

Gotham Greens   Hort Americas



Also, thanks for the additional support.

Fibre Dust LLC