system and the implications of those new incentives for the LGCA system's own role. Advances in science are contributing to the restructuring of the food and agricultural industry, redefining educational needs and technological opportunities, and realigning relative roles for public and private research. The increasing importance of biotechnology, coupled with patent protection for genetically engineered organisms, has significantly enhanced opportunities to engage in proprietary biological research (Office of Technology Assessment, 1992). This has increased agricultural and food systems research by private firms, such as biotechnology companies as well as by seed, food manufacturing, and pharmaceutical companies (Fuglie et al., 1996). Private sector agricultural research expenditures are estimated to have exceeded $3.4 billion in 1992, up from only $0.2 billion in 1960 (an annual average growth rate of 3.5 percent in real terms). Investments have grown most rapidly in relation to agricultural chemicals, animal health, plant breeding, and applications of biotechnology (Klotz et al., 1995). Private funding is also increasing for agricultural research on the large commercial and vertically integrated farms. Firms develop crop varieties, livestock, and fish stock with carefully selected traits; growth hormones and pharmaceuticals; and biological controls. They contract with growers for field testing and crop, livestock, and fish production; and retain proprietary rights to the genetically engineered product or stock. Because of the strong proprietary incentives, they also conduct adaptive research to determine optimal growing or production conditions, feeding rations, and management practices.
The advent of biotechnology greatly expands opportunities in food and agricultural research (Doyle, 1985; National Research Council, 1987); it also blurs distinctions that have been useful in the past for defining public versus private roles. The LGCA system needs to pursue opportunities in biotechnology to the benefit of the food and agricultural system, with a special responsibility for assuring that the benefits of new knowledge and technological advances are distributed broadly. Equally important is the opportunity, as private research in animal and plant breeding (and accompanying adaptive research) expands, to refocus public research and extension funds on the many critical research and extension needs where there are limited incentives for private funding.
The committee believes the public food and agricultural research and extension system—encompassing both intra- and extramural programs—would benefit from further study of the implications of new developments in biotechnology for the division of labor between public and private research entities and recommends that such a study be undertaken.
The LGCA system has until recently been comprised of 76 institutions in 50 states, 6 territories, and the District of Columbia (National Research Council, 1995a). In 1994 the 29 Native American colleges that comprise the American Indian Higher Education Consortium were granted land grant status. The focus of this report, however, is the 1862 and 1890 colleges because at the time the committee's charge was developed, the land grant system was composed only of the 1862s and the 1890s. All LGCAs have some important commonalities derived from the land grant purposes, philosophies, and formula funding base, although they represent considerable diversity in institution type, including size, populations served, funding portfolio, and university context (such as whether the university is a nationally prominent research institution).
For the LGCA system to adopt a research and education agenda that reflects an expanded and inclusive view of the food and agricultural system (encompassing the priorities of consumers and the many specialized needs of diverse producer groups), it must realize organizational efficiencies and strengthen partnerships that have the potential to enhance the scope, quality, and relevance of the knowledge base. Although new incentives for private sector research and extension help to enlarge the entire pool of resources for scientific discovery and technological development, the LGCA system is essentially being asked to address a wider array of issues with current or few new