Feed, shelter, clothe > 9 billion Climate change Land and water constraints Increasing urbanization Environmental degradation Minimal ecological footprint Changing income and diets Positive health outcomes
Diversity of species 50,000 edible; 15-50 used Traits Yield/productivity Yield stabilization: GxExM Pest/disease resistance Nitrogen fixation Genomic selection Systems/Synthetic Biology Efficiencies Feed-to-yield ratio Heat tolerance Photosynthesis: C3 to C4 Cisgenics vs Transgenics Water-use: Crop per Drop Nitrogen-, phosphorus-use Managing pre- and post- harvest losses Path Forward: Discoveries
Virtual water and nitrogen True costs? Transformative approaches Perennial/multi cropping Conversion of deserts? Algae in oceans? Bio-/nano-technology Modern Meadow, Inc. o 3-D printing Beyond Meat, Inc. Logistics and mechanization Pest management Big data: data.gov/agriculture Policy research Research investments Partnerships Governments NGOs Private Academic
Path Forward: Farming systems Improved technologies Productivity gap: 1.5 2% Peak farmland – Ausubel et al. 2013 Cooperatives – Kibbutz? Closed loop systems Integrated/diversified Soil fertility Nitrogen, Phosphorus Smart farming Robotics, sensors, sentinels Resilient intensification Policies and consequences Vertical farming Hydroponics Aquaponics Fish culture and irrigation ARO, Israel: Harpaz 2012
Path Forward Policies/Regulation/Marketing Governance Socially beneficial policies, programs Acceptance of technologies Behavior, Choices, Attitudes Risk and Change Poverty reduction Education Trade – “glocalization” Jobs Environmental degradation/conservation
Workforce Needs Between 2010-2015, 54,400 jobs in agriculture, food, and natural resources Approximately 53,500 qualified graduates are available each year 55% have degrees from colleges of agriculture and life sciences, forestry and natural resources, and veterinary medicine 45% come from allied disciplines including biological sciences, engineering, health sciences, business and communication Agriculture, Food Systems, Renewable Energy, & Environment Education, Communication, & Governmental Services Management & Business Science & Engineering 47% 27% 11% 15% Source: USDA
Workforce Needs Demographic changes Global competencies More international students returning home Foreign‐born population in US projected to increase – >40 M in 2010 to >68 M in 2060
Workforce Needs Research Multi- and Trans-disciplinary skills Application: need workers with skills to translate/transfer research to the end user What does this mean as we train new researchers, extension agents, the workforce, and agricultural producers?
1862: An Act donating Public Lands to the several States and Territories which may Provide Colleges for the Benefit of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts “…without excluding other scientific and classical studies and including military tactic, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts, in such manner as the legislatures of the States may respectively prescribe, in order to promote the liberal and practical education….” http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llsl&fileName=012/llsl012.db&recNum=534
“… science should be based on direct experience with the physical world rather than the words of teachers or textbooks. … recommended teachers guide students’ thinking and …. … one week be set aside for laboratory instruction and one afternoon per week be set aside for out-of-door instruction.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Committee_of_Ten#cite_ref-4 1893: Committee of Ten – National Education Association meeting in Saratoga, NY
"Our nation is at risk...the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future ….” Recommendations: … increase graduation requirements in english, mathematics, science, and social studies; two-years foreign language for the college bound; raise expectations and standards admissions; longer school days and years with increased amounts of homework. … improved teacher education, increased teacher pay …. … accountability of civic and school leaders to the citizenry.” http://datacenter.spps.org/uploads/sotw_a_nation_at_risk_1983.pdf 1983: A Nation at Risk
“… science education should help students to become scientifically literate by integrating the disciplines of science, mathematics, and technology/engineering, focusing on guiding themes and principles that unify the disciplines independently and bring them together as a whole, and explicitly teaching the nature of science.” http://www.project2061.org/publications/sfaa/default.htm 1990: Science for All Americans: Project 2061 AAAS lays out a goal for what science education should look like by the return of Halley's comet in 2061.
2006: Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities James Heckman, Jora Stixrud, Sergio Urzua “… cognitive and noncognitive abilities determine social and economic success. …. … noncognitive skills … explain why early childhood programs, like Headstart and the Perry Preschool program, are effective. … they do not boost IQ but raise noncognitive skills and therefore promote success in social and economic life.” http://www.nber.org/papers/w12006.pdf?new_window=1
Communications Decision making Self management Teamwork Professionalism Experiences Leadership “Comparative Analysis of Soft Skills: What is Important for New Graduates? Perceptions of Employers, Alum, Faculty and Students,” APLU, 2011 Noncognitive skills aka Soft skills
2007: America COMPETES Act "To invest in innovation through research and development, and to improve the competitiveness of the United States. “… Act’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education agenda. … enhancement of research capabilities and coordination and importance of undergraduate research experiences ….” http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/110/hr2272/text
“If institutions … do not address changes needed, their colleges … of agriculture may … become irrelevant. Their graduates will have difficulty in keeping up with changing needs of society and in securing stable careers. … nation will miss its opportunity for leadership in addressing the global challenges related to food and agriculture.” 2009: Transforming Agricultural Education for a Changing World – National Academy of Sciences http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12602#toc
The Morrill/LG Act Foundational knowledge in humanities and sciences Practical education in agriculture and mechanical arts Military leadership Cognitive Skills Noncognitive Skills
Coalition for a Sustainable Agricultural Workforce Start younger Get hands-on experience Attract the best and the brightest Companies expect to hire >1,000 scientist-level FTEs in next two years (13% of current scientific workforce) 84 percent of total needed in Plant Sciences, Breeding/Genetics, and Protection
Curricular Innovations to Address Nine Billion Question University of Nebraska Integrating food, energy, water, landscapes and people in undergraduate curriculum B.S. in Integrated Sciences for students with academic and professional goals that require trans-disciplinary study Dean's Scholars in Experiential Leadership Program AGRI 103 – first-year required course revised to focus on “big questions” for the future of agriculture in the context of natural resource use and long-term global needs and sustainability
University of Florida Offer year-long leadership institute, leadership minor, and certificate program in Food Security Leadership North Carolina State University Course: “World Population and Food Prospects” UC Davis Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems major Iowa State University New major “Global Resource Systems” Virginia Tech More hands on experiences; new courses; minor in international agricultural and life sciences University of Minnesota MOOC - Sustainability of Food Systems: A Global Life-Cycle Perspective
Innovations in Education Start at a younger age Use the LG model in high schools Enhanced partnerships between high schools and colleges/universities Resurrect AITC/Home Economics curricula
Innovations in Education Hands-on Experience Science fairs with an agriculture component Internships for undergrads and high school students National competition for developing value- added products
Innovations in Education Attract Best & Brightest: Constraints/Opportunities Cost of education/For profits Ag’s image problem “Useless Degrees” http://education.yahoo.net/articles/most_useless_degrees.ht m http://education.yahoo.net/articles/most_useless_degrees.ht m Earnings potential/job placement 4-H and other informal education systems Role of community colleges 2+2 articulation Need to build Ag curriculum at this level Gateway for minority and rural populations
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