I was recently made aware of this study on “Agbioscience” in the Southern U.S. Admittedly, it is a fairly dense read with lots of graphics and tables. It focuses a lot on the usual ag gang — cotton, soybeans, corn, etc., but does address other areas as well. I was drawn to the section on extension that starts on page 19. The study found some profound effects of the extension service, including:
“Much of what is required for 21st century success (innovation, technology transfer, human capital enhancement, productivity improvement, networking, and quality of environment and place) is directly addressed through the mission and operations of the Land-grant Extension Service and Experiment Station System.”
“The [extension] System is dedicated to fulfilling multiple functions of critical importance to economic and social progress in the Southern Region—and these functions directly relate to the economic and social needs and challenges of states by serving as:
• An innovation engine using science to develop and test new technologies and bioscience innovations to sustain the current agriculture economy and power a new economy based on agbioscience discoveries by improving and expanding product lines and new business generation to increase the Southern Region’s economic output.
• A transformational educator working to improve the adoption of technology to enhance productivity, improve quality of life, and expand the economic base of the region.
• A teacher seeking to significantly enhance human capital, generate new scientists and well-educated practitioners, and promote lifelong learning across the region.
• A regional network—with a presence in every county—linking communities, businesses, and the general population to the intensive R&D and technical resources of the System.
• Across-disciplinary entity that is flexible, using integrated approaches to tackle complex problems in scientific, economic, and social areas.
• A catalyst for the improvement of natural resource management practices, enhancing the environment, and sustaining the quality of place in the Southern Region, ensuring the attractiveness of the region for human capital and new ventures.
• A deliverer of research, teaching, and extension efforts to bolster food safety, a safe food supply, and the protection and promotion of the health of the region’s citizens.
• A strengthener of the quality of life of individuals and families,thereby contributing to community sustainability and vitality.
• A provider of 4-H Youth Development and leadership services, helping to provide the next generation of workers, leaders, and responsible citizens.”
You can read the entire study at the link below: