BROOKINGS, SD (KELO-AM) Land-grant universities have a long history of driving social and agricultural change to solve challenges in food production systems. Those same institutions now are having trouble keeping up with the global research programs of private industry. Universities simply cannot compete with the billion-dollar research budgets that are driving the productivity-Or can they?
What do the land-grant universities of the future need to look like if they are to continue to serve as an economic and food production engine for local, state, regional and even global communities? Outwardly, they may look the same, but internally they will need to operate much differently. Above all land-grant universities must be more visionary-they must find ways to drive technology development and it use in an environmentally friendly manner.They must be willing and able to openly engage in environmental and socio-economic issues that drive local and state economies. Lastly, universities must become more nimble to quickly respond to societal changes caused by rapid advances in technology and land management decisions.Being nimble doesn't mean being unfocused. In fact, nimbleness means just the opposite. It means being visionary, strategic, tactical and practical all at the same time. And, they all must be done well.
This information was originally published in the SDSU Agricultural Experiment Station 2013 Annual Report.