Colleges of Agriculture at the Land Grant Universities

Public Service and Public Policy

Committee on the Future of the Colleges of Agriculture in the Land Grant University System

Board on Agriculture

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1996



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--> Colleges of Agriculture at the Land Grant Universities Public Service and Public Policy Committee on the Future of the Colleges of Agriculture in the Land Grant University System Board on Agriculture National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1996

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--> NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. This study was supported by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, under Agreement No. 93-COOP-2-8575 and by the W. K. Kellogg Endowment Fund of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine. The Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture also provided support. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authoring committee and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is interim president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and interim vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Colleges of agriculture at the land grant universities : public service and public policy / Committee on the Future of Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture, Board on Agriculture, National Research Council. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. ) and index. ISBN 0-309-05433-8 (alk. paper) 1. Agricultural colleges—United States. 2. Agricultural education—United States. 3. State universities and colleges—United States. I. National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on the Future of Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture. S533.C695 1996 630'.71'173—dc20 96-26964 CIP © 1996 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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--> Committee On The Future Of The Colleges Of Agriculture In The Land Grant University System ANTHONY S. EARL, Chair, Quarles and Brady Law Firm, Madison, Wisconsin R. LEE BALDWIN, University of California, Davis JOHN C. GORDON, Yale University GORDON E. GUYER, State of Michigan Department of Agriculture FRED HARRISON, JR., Fort Valley State College EDWARD A. HILER, Texas A&M University MARLYN JORGENSEN, Jorg-Anna Farms, Garrison, Iowa DARYL B. LUND, Cornell University THOMAS F. MALONE, The Sigma Xi Center, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina MORTIMER H. NEUFVILLE, University of Maryland, Eastern Shore ELIZABETH D. OWENS, ISK Biosciences Corporation, Mentor, Ohio C. ALAN PETTIBONE, Washington State University ALLEN ROSENFELD, Public Voice for Food and Health Policy, Washington, D.C. CHARLES SAUL, Agway, Inc., Syracuse, New York G. EDWARD SCHUH, University of Minnesota GEORGE E. SEIDEL, JR., Colorado State University JO ANN DOKE SMITH, Smith Associates, Irving, Texas KATHERINE R. SMITH, Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture JAMES WYNGAARDEN, Duke University ELISABETH A. ZINSER, University of Kentucky JAMES J. ZUICHES, Washington State University Staff NICOLE BALLENGER, Project Director DIBY KOUADIO, Research Associate* JANET OVERTON, Editor VIOLA HOREK, Project Assistant *   Through August 1995.

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--> Board On Agriculture DALE E. BAUMAN, Chair, Cornell University JOHN M. ANTLE, Montana State University MAY R. BERENBAUM, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign LEONARD S. BULL, North Carolina State University WILLIAM B. DELAUDER, Delaware State University RICHARD R. HARWOOD, Michigan State University T. KENT KIRK, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Madison, Wisconsin GEORGE E. SEIDEL, JR., Colorado State University CHRISTOPHER R. SOMERVILLE, Carnegie Institution of Washington JOHN R. WELSER, The Upjohn Company, Kalamazoo, Michigan Staff J. PAUL GILMAN, Executive Director SUSAN OFFUTT, Executive Director* CARLA CARLSON, Assistant Executive Director† *   Through December 1995. †   Through April 1996.

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--> Preface The National Research Council's Committee on the Future of the Colleges of Agriculture in the Land Grant University System was convened in November 1993. The committee was charged with assessing the adaptation of the land grant colleges of agriculture to the public's changing needs and priorities and with recommending public policy and institutional change that could enhance the colleges' role in serving the national interest. The committee was composed of participants in the land grant system—administrators and faculty with teaching, research, and extension expertise—and representatives of public interest groups, state government, agribusiness, and the nonagricultural science community. Members of the committee come from all parts of the country and are diverse in terms of gender, age, experience, and ethnicity; thus the committee's deliberations reflect a variety of viewpoints. This publication is the second of two volumes by the committee. The first publication, Colleges of Agriculture at the Land Grant Universities: A Profile, released in September 1995, was designed to lay an empirical base for the committee's deliberations and to contribute to public understanding and discussion of the college of agriculture system. The Profile report described the national network of colleges of agriculture and its operating environment—the U.S. food and agricultural system—yesterday and today. It compiled public data and information about the colleges' three main responsibilities—teaching students, conducting research, and extending knowledge and research findings to off-campus customers—and about federal policy for agricultural science and education. This second and final publication presents the committee's conclusions and recommendations for how the land grant college of agriculture system as a whole can be strengthened and best prepared for the future. In the course of its deliberations, the committee acknowledged the diversity within the land grant college system and that it would not be possible to collect all the data or conduct the analyses that would lead to a credible evaluation of the content and quality of the many diverse programs and curricula. Thus, an assessment of strengths and weakness of individual college's teaching, research, and extension programs was not within the scope of the committee's work. The committee took instead a broad view. It focused its assessments on

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--> the changing economic and social context for the colleges' programs; the contemporary national interest in the land grant system in general, and in food and agricultural system science and education in particular; the federal role in supporting food and agricultural system science and education; recommendations for federal policy in keeping with the contemporary federal role; and identifying institutional innovations on the land grant campus that the committee believes will well serve the colleges—and the nation—today and into the future. The committee approached the study in three phases. During the first phase, the committee collected, reviewed, and assessed public data and information about the colleges of agriculture and their operating environment and solicited the expert opinions of observers of and participants in the land grant system. The committee reviewed the historical background and early context of the land grant system, tracked its legislative history, and discussed the changes in U.S. society and the economy since the colleges' early years. On the basis of their review, the committee evaluated public data related to academic programs, research, and extension—for example, trends in student enrollments, demographics, and fields of study, federal funds for agricultural research, the changing mechanisms by which research funds are allocated, and how sources of funding differ across institutions. The evolving emphases of agricultural research and extension programs were also evaluated. During the second phase, in the spring of 1995, committee members held public forums in five states—Connecticut, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, and South Dakota. A forum had been scheduled in California also; however, because of the simultaneous scheduling of activities involving the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, the committee received, instead, written public comment from the state's citizens. The goal of the forums was to broaden each committee member's personal experience with and exposure to a variety of land grant college campuses through up-close examination of the interface between college activities and public needs in five differing state and university environments. The information generated by the forums was inherently anecdotal, but it enriched and complemented the empirical portrait constructed more systematically through the use of quantitative indicators such as those published in the Profile report. Additionally, many of the examples of college programs and activities presented in this final report were identified during these state visits or through contact with the land grant colleges in those states. The committee greatly appreciated the participation in the forums of more than 500 people and the written input from more than 50 Californians. In each state the forums drew significant attendance—college faculty and administrators, extension staff, farmers and ranchers, and representatives of commodity groups and agricultural industry. Although their numbers were fewer, attenders also included representatives of rural life and development programs, low-income and ethnic minority groups, food distribution networks, health care agencies, and youth and education programs. A number of representatives of state legislatures and a range of state agencies also attended or took time to meet with committee members. Although the forums were an important and valued learning experience for all committee members, the committee recognized that the small number of forums in relation to the number of colleges of agriculture, coupled with the impossibility of guaranteeing attendance (because of timing, distance, and resources) by the full spectrum of stakeholder groups, would preclude basing its recommendations directly or solely on comments and discussion at the forums. The committee believes, however, that it is on solid ground in its conclusion that the participating colleges are acknowledging and attempting to confront challenges posed by changing times and state economies and it commends them for that effort. The challenges differ in their particulars from state to state. In Connecticut the

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--> college of agriculture assists farmers in meeting the environmental demands of a highly urbanized state and provides analytical and educational support for nutrition information programs in urban and low-income communities. In New Mexico, where there is a large base of support composed of farm and ranch clientele, the college of agriculture has established an environmental sciences program and a popular hospitality and tourism services program that reflects the growing role of tourism in the state economy. The third phase of the study began in July 1995; from then through January 1996, the committee synthesized and integrated information from the first two phases and engaged in the deliberative process that resulted in this report. The structure of this report, for simplicity, parallels the colleges' three functions—teaching, research, and extension. The committee felt strongly, however, that the land grant system's hallmark has been its historical commitment to an integrated three-part mission and that it is the relationship of the three functions to one another that unites science and education in service to the public. One of the main themes of Chapter 2, which presents a set of overarching themes, is the need to reinvigorate the tripartite mission; specific public policy measures are therefore proposed to strengthen the integration of teaching, research, and extension activities. Other crosscutting themes found in Chapter 2 are the need to develop and expand research programs and academic curricula that reflect an expanded view of the contemporary food and agricultural system; the possibilities for a new geography for the national college system that can enhance efficiency and enlarge the scope and relevance of programs; and a discussion of guiding principles for the use of public, especially federal, resources to fund food and agricultural system science and education. Chapter 3 turns to the colleges' earliest responsibility: to teach. It affirms the strong national interest in educating students in food and agricultural sciences but also discusses the dynamism of the educational needs of the food and agricultural system and the challenges posed for the colleges. The chapter explores some innovative academic program areas in which the committee believes the colleges of agriculture show or have the potential to show considerable distinction. A key theme of the chapter is the valuable role that land grant colleges still play in assuring access to higher education, particularly for students in rural areas, but the focus is on the continuing challenges the colleges face in attracting and retaining students of diverse backgrounds and in enhancing the image of agricultural fields of study. The focus of Chapter 4 is the research function. The case is made for why the food and agricultural system needs continuing advances in fundamental research, in research that integrates the findings of multiple disciplines, in research that applies the finding of "integrative" research to important issues and problems, and in research dissemination. The case is built for federal support of food and agricultural system research across the research continuum and particularly at the integrative stage. The chapter explores the merits of alternative mechanisms for funding food and agricultural system research, an issue of considerable importance in an era of constraints on public research funds and dynamism in the system's science base. Chapter 5 turns to the third leg of the tripartite mission. Extension has in ways been the most dynamic of the land grant activities, as it has diversified it programs in response to the changing needs of local communities and followed its local funding base into urban and suburban settings. Extension may also face the greatest challenges, as it updates its delivery technologies, rethinks its delivery points, evaluates its role in serving both farm and nonfarm clients vis-à-vis private advisors and consultants, and builds the knowledge base for its programs. The chapter addresses the continuing national interest in a public extension service as well as the possibilities for public extension to take greater advantage of market opportunities and private financing. In stepping back from the many specific and technical issues examined, the

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--> committee's overriding sentiment is that the land grant system's greatest strength is its commitment to access to knowledge by all. The value to society of the realization of this commitment simply cannot be emphasized enough. Committee member Tom Malone captured the committee's sentiment well with these thoughts: Land grant colleges of agriculture can contribute effectively to the pursuit of a new vision for society. That vision is a society in which basic human needs and an equitable share of life's aspirations and wants can be met by successive generations while maintaining in perpetuity a healthy, physically attractive, and biologically productive environment. The successful pursuit of this vision requires vigorous development of the continuum of knowledge that embraces the discovery, integration, dissemination, and application of an understanding of the nature and the interaction of matter, living organisms, energy, information, and human behavior. The tradition of teaching, research, and extension at land grant colleges of agriculture is a superb institutional base upon which to erect this structure of knowledge. The committee also concluded, as the 20 recommendations in this report attest, that there are areas where change is necessary to enhance the colleges' future prospects. The colleges must reach out to new clientele and implement priorities that reflect the complex needs of the 21st century's food and agricultural system. They must reexamine their partnerships with each other, the federal government, traditional and nontraditional clientele, and other units of the university. They must simultaneously respond to the opportunities posed by the dynamism in science and adapt to challenges posed by today's federal funding environment. Anthony S. Earl, Chair Committee on the Future of the Colleges of Agriculture in the Land Grant University System

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--> Acknowledgements We gratefully acknowledge the great many people who assisted in the development of this report by participating in the regional forums during the spring of 1995. The input we received from the spectrum of participants in the land grant college system was an important factor in shaping the views and recommendations of this committee. We also gratefully acknowledge those who took time from their busy schedules to attend various committee meetings. We offer thanks to the following individuals who served as invited speakers* at various committee meetings to share the wealth of their expertise and experience: Julian Alston, University of California Edward Barlow, Creating the Future Sister Thomas Moore Bertels, Silver Lake College, Wisconsin John Bottum, USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service Rep. George Brown, Jr. (D/California) David Call, Cornell University Emery Castle, Oregon State University Mary Clutter, National Science Foundation Kenneth Deavers, USDA Economic Research Service William DeLauder, Delaware State University Ken Farrell, University of California Richard Foster, W. K. Kellogg Foundation David Goodstein, California Institute of Technology Ted Hullar, University of California, Davis Patrick Jordan, USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service Joe Kunsman, National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges Peter Magrath, National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges Larry McCray, National Academy of Sciences, Policy Division Per Pinstrup-Andersen, International Food Policy Research Institute Carl Pray, Rutgers—The State University of New Jersey *   Note: Speakers affiliations are those they had at the time of their presentation.

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--> Contents     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1     The Colleges' Contemporary Context   2     Major Conclusions and Recommendations   3     Summary   11 1   INTRODUCTION   13     Uniqueness of the Land Grant College of Agriculture System   13     The Changing Context of the LGCA System and the New National Interest   14     Key Issues for the Federal Sector   18 2   A LAND GRANT SYSTEM FOR TOMORROW: OVERARCHING THEMES AND RECOMMENDATIONS   21     An Expanded and Inclusive View of the Modern Food and Agricultural System   21     A New Geography and New Partnerships   30     Renewing the Tripartite Mission: Integrating Teaching, Research, and Extension   37     Accountability and Principles for the Use of Public Funds   41 3   TEACHING   46     The National Interest in Food and Agricultural System Education   46     The Federal Role   50     Characteristics of Students, Faculty, and Academic Programs   53     Opportunities for Distinction   62     Summary and Recommendations   67

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--> 4   RESEARCH   69     The National Interest   69     Structure and Performance of the Current Land Grant Research System   73     Conclusions   85 5   EXTENSION   87     The National Interest in Public Access to Food and Agricultural Knowledge and Research   88     The Federal Role   90     Extension's Role in the Modern Context   92     Allocating Federal Extension Funds   102     Summary and Conclusions   103     REFERENCES   105     ABOUT THE AUTHORS   111     INDEX   117

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--> Tables And Figures Tables 2-1   Planning or Advisory Body Priorities for Food and Agricultural System Research and Education, 1994   27 3-1   Tuition and Fees at 1862 Institutions, 1992–1994   49 3-2   Tuition and Fees at 1890 Institutions, 1992–1994   50 3-3   Graduate Record Examination: Average of Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Scores, 1991–1994   54 4-1   Federal Agency Research and Development Support, 1994   74 Figures 2-1   Justifying federal support of agricultural research   44 3-1   The nature of scholarship   59 4-1   The research continuum   72

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--> Box Titles     Recommendations for the Future of the Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture   4     LGCAs: Named for the Year of Their Mandate   15     Technological Change and the Development of U.S. Agriculture   16     Industrialization of U.S. Agriculture   24     USDA's Current Research Information System for Food and Agricultural Research   26     Distance Education   35     A Short Course by Satellite   36     Intramural Structural Issues   37     The Role of Students in Research   40     A Formal Mechanism for Integrating Teaching, Research, and Extension   42     The Land Grant Colleges' Early Years   47     The Demand for College Graduates in Food and Agriculture-Related Fields   51     USDA-Administered Higher Education Grants   52     GIS Training at Lincoln University   55     South Dakota State University's ''2+2+2" Program with Reservation High Schools and Tribal Colleges   57     Curriculum Revitalization Projects   61     "Transdisciplinary" Teaching at the University of Maryland   63     Teaching Science through Agriculture   66     The Cascade of Knowledge   71     A Profile of Two State Agricultural Experiment Station Researchers   76     Competitive Grants   78     Checkoff Funds   82     How Is University Extension Different from Cooperative Extension?   88     The Original Role for Federal Government   90     Origins of Cooperative Extension   93     Independent Crop Consultants   97     Multidisciplinary Foundation of Food and Nutritional Sciences   101