Lav, Lex and an RMAX
Lav Khot and Alexis Holzer at a Yamaha unmanned aerial vehicle demonstration.

This month, we would like to recognize Lav Khot, PhD, for being a great WSU partner in regional economic development activities.

An assistant professor and extension specialist in WSU’s Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems (CPAAS), Lav works with farmers and researchers across disciplines to solve agricultural problems. He also partners with companies like Yamaha and Digital Harvest to test solutions happening in the lab with existing technologies, or to develop new technologies all together.

Convening to advance discovery and industry
Dr. Khot was instrumental in planning this year’s Precision Farming Expo, which took place in Washington for the first time in large part thanks to WSU’s expertise in precision agriculture. Alexis Holzer, assistant director of economic development at WSU, first met Dr. Khot in 2013 during the first annual Expo in Oregon. She was impressed with his expertise in unmanned aerial systems, and even more so, his focus on working with growers and companies to develop technologies that can be used in Washington’s agriculture industry.

“That is a huge part of what university economic development is about, moving the technology from concept to market, with a focus on supporting our state’s economy,” Holzer said.

Beyond his dedication to research and technology development, Dr. Khot embraces his role as an Extension Specialist. He takes this position seriously, and this past year brought together over 30 WSU faculty, staff and graduate students to present their work at a technology Open House hosted at CPAAS. The event attracted over 100 attendees, a combination of growers, service providers and state officials who came together to learn about the precision agriculture research and innovation happening at WSU.

“Lav’s willingness to try new tactics and engage industry stakeholders results in partnership opportunities for research and technology development that advance industry,” Holzer said.

Hosting the Precision Farming Expo

Hosting and organizing the CPAAS Open House was a great primer for the Precision Farming Expo that took place in January, attracting 350 attendees from all over Washington. Holzer and Dr. Khot led the WSU team that collaborated with the Duke Joseph Agency to plan the Expo. Dr. Khot’s open and honest communication, and dedication to the work, made him a great collaborator and partner.

“New projects take a lot of trial and error, and good collaborators like Lav work through these uncertainties, always with an eye on the goal,” Holzer said.

Now that the event is over (and a success!), Holzer is still working with Dr. Khot on how to maximize the impact of the event, and collaborating on future outreach and economic development activities.

Please contact Lav Khot if you have any questions about CPAAS or his economic development activities. Please contact Alexis Holzer if you have questions about the Expo, or getting engaged with WSU’s Office of Economic Development.