What is in this article?:
• Extension, Experiment Stations fuel regional and the national economies.
• Attracting young professionals may be a challenge.
RESEARCH PLOTS across the nation help feed, clothe and fuel the country. Extension and Experiment Station personnel work diligently to improve productivity.
The emerging bioeconomy
According to the study’s executive summary, “agbiosciences provide a pathway to a secure and sustainable global and domestic economic future.
The sector produces outputs with assured and growing demand, and those nations and regions that have the specialized skills, assets, knowledge, and scientific infrastructure required to produce agbioscience innovations will be particularly well positioned to realize economic growth and development from a wide range of industries.”
Agbioscience, and its value-chain in production agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, and downstream industrial activity, is vital to providing a sustainable global and domestic economic future, according to the study.
“In addition, the nation's Land Grant University Extension Service and Experiment Station System is leveraging advancements in modern science and technology to address crucial national and global needs through efforts in research and development, practice improvement, skills enhancement, and new technology introduction, dissemination, and adoption,” the study notes.
“The current and future importance of the agbiosciences is hard to overstate," said Battelle's Simon Tripp, a co-author of the report.
"For instance, this science and industry sector is fundamental to the survival of the world's expanding population, the food security of our nation, and the health of our population."
Equally important, the agbiosciences provide a path to economic growth for our nation built upon domestic renewable resources as feedstocks for fuels, chemicals, fibers, and industrial materials, according to the report.
The study claims that the Land Grant University Extension Service and Experiment Station System is on the frontline of sustaining and securing the nation's leadership and competitiveness in what is, and will be, “a sector of core strategic importance for the nation.
“This system provides science and technology development and transformational education that keep the Southern Region's agriculture, agribusiness, and associated business sectors at the forefront of innovation, productivity, and competitiveness, which in turn sustains and creates jobs and contributes to a strong regional, national, and global economy. Sustaining the Extension Service and Experiment Station System, further investing in it, and addressing its challenges is of central importance to the economic and social fabric of the nation and the Southern Region,” the study reports.
"The findings from this study underscore agbioscience's potential in the Southern region," said Saied Mostaghimi, chair of the Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
"By utilizing the research and development power of our Land Grant Universities, we can develop the knowledge and appropriate technologies to further increase agriculture and forestry production for food, fiber, and fuel, while improving food safety and nutrition, enhancing environmental stewardship, and promoting economic development."