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The Land-Grant Approach Steven Leath Iowa State University Land-grant universities were born of necessity more than 150 years ago to support the modern agricultural and industrial age. Among their unique responsibilities were: opening the doors of higher education to all, regardless of race, gender, or social or economic class; conducting practical research to meet the needs of the people of the states they serve; and helping people put this knowledge to use to create economic opportunity and improve their communities and their quality of life. Many of the needs and problems of society cannot be solved by any one discipline or any one entity; success means partnerships and diverse expertise. A modern land-grant approach with teams across disciplines and partners from universities, government, and the private sector working together is needed to deal with complex problems. This modern land-grant approach to research and outreach has worked especially well in helping agriculture become much more efficient, productive, and environmentally friendly, and we should continue to look to this model to meet the new challenges faced by production agriculture, such as weeds that are becoming more and more resistant to herbicides. 37
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38 NATIONAL SUMMIT ON STRATEGIES TO MANAGE HERBICIDE-RESISTANT WEEDS Ragweed, common (Ambrosia artemisiifolia), courtesy of the Weed Science Society of America.