meeting demands for public services, financing public programs, providing infrastructure needs, and designing incentives for private-sector initiatives and involvement; improve understanding of the roles of human capital, social capital, and life-long learning in rural economic development; and ascertain the impacts of government programs on rural poverty.

Effects of changes in consumer demand on health, nutrition, and food safety. Studies should assess the benefits and costs of public policies and government regulations that affect health, nutrition, and food safety; assess consumer preferences and demands and their implications for production and marketing practices in the food system; and increase multidisciplinary analysis of food-science issues.

Economic and social impacts of consolidating research and extension programs. Studies should assess opportunities for regionalization of research and extension programs, change the reward systems for agricultural research to value multidisciplinary and applied work more highly, and achieve greater coordination among research and extension, including involvement by stakeholders in priority-setting, planning, and program evaluation.

Information technologies and communication systems. Studies should ascertain the benefits and costs of public versus private information and the implications for delivery systems for agricultural research results and education, redesign the delivery systems of the Cooperative Extension Service for more effective and timely performance, and evaluate the value and use of precision technology and information in agricultural production.

Economic and social impacts of biotechnology: Studies should analyze how biotechnology affects farm size, production efficiency, competitiveness, trade potential, and other elements of economic performance in agriculture; evaluate the public- versus private-sector roles in the development of biotechnology; and enhance the public’s understanding of the benefits and risks associated with biotechnology.

Development of human capital. Studies should place greater emphasis in undergraduate curricula and public education on understanding the global economy, renew the emphasis on competitiveness as a key economic concept in agriculture and agribusiness curricula, use more “real-life” and experiential learning in the classroom.

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