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New research relationships developing due to dwindling dollars

Madison, Wisconsin -- It's the vicious cycle of funding-- dollars drop, in this particular case, for ag-related research. The drop leads to declines in faculty and staff. Those declines ultimately impact student enrollment, leading to a shortage of qualified graduates. "Obviously if you've had a 30% reduction in funding, you don't have the support staff or the operating budget. And so programs are affected," says Colorado State University Agricultural Experiment Station Director Lee Sommers, who is also an American Society of Agronomy and Soil Science Society of America Fellow.

In these times of funding cuts for agronomic science, along with some of the latest career exploration research showing many students already making decisions about their future as early as 8th grade; the key word is quickly becoming, collaboration. These new partnerships, never thought possible in the past, are already infusing public research and extension programs with the needed money to boost the legitimacy of work being done by both companies and universities. University of Minnesota Agronomy Professor, and American Society of Agronomy and Crop Science Society of America Fellow Vernon Cardwell calls it crucial to science and technology developments. "With the decline in public support, our capacity to deliver both personnel-- that is to train undergraduate and graduate students-- has shifted," says Cardwell.

Agribusiness may not survive without this shift in partnerships, but many new relationships are already strengthening the agriculture community and its future.

Contact: Teri Barr
American Society of Agronomy

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